By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Wednesday, March 22, 2017, US Representative Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) voiced her support for the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and called on her fellow House conservatives to keep their promise to repeal and replace Obamacare.
In a speech from the House floor, Congresswoman Roby said “I’ve heard from countless constituents negatively impacted by Obamacare, and in response, I made a promise – the same promise President Trump and every conservative in Congress has made over and over: give us the majority in the House and Senate, give us a Republican in the White House, and we will repeal Obamacare and replace it with reforms that work.
Roby acknowledged that no bill is perfect, but that passing the ACHA this week is Republicans’ best opportunity to deliver on their promise. Rep. Roby said this bill “Represents our opportunity to undo the damage of Obamacare and help American families like we said we would. For seven years we have been promising, and this is our chance to deliver.”
Rep. Roby said, “For seven years we have made the case against Obamacare. As the law has been implemented, that case has largely been made for us. Millions have been forced away from the health care plan and doctor they liked, despite promises to the contrary. This year alone, in Alabama, health insurance premiums are rising by 58 percent. That’s on top of already steep increases the past two years. Our average deductible for the supposedly affordable Bronze plan is now six thousand dollars.”
Rep. Roby saidI’ve heard from countless constituents negatively impacted by Obamacare. I’ve listened to their stories about how higher costs and fewer choices have made it that much harder to keep their families healthy and make ends meet. And in response, I made a promise; the same promise President Trump and every conservative in Congress has made over and over: give us the majority in the House and Senate, give us a Republican in the White House, and we will repeal Obamacare and replace it with reforms that work.”
Rep. Roby said, “Instead of one giant bill like Obamacare, we are using a more responsible, three-step process. First, we’ll repeal Obamacare with all its taxes, mandates and spending through budget reconciliation. Next, the Trump Administration will use its executive authority to weed-out the more intricate Obamacare policies one-by-one to stabilize the market and lower costs. And finally, Congress will move forward with legislation addressing more specific policies, such as allowing individuals to purchase insurance across state lines. I believe this will ultimately lead to better, more stable health care policy that empowers patients, increases choices, and lowers costs.”
The House is expected to vote as early as Thursday. At this hour it is uncertain whether or not GOP Freedom Caucus members will support the American Healthcare Act or not. Negotiations between Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and the Whitehouse with members of the ultra-conservative Freedom Caucus continue in a bid to make the bill acceptable to the conservative group.
Congresswoman Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District. Ironically, Rep. Roby won her seat in Congress over Democratic Congressman Bobby Bright (D-Montgomery) as part of the 2010 election which was a backlash to passage of Obamacare earlier in that year. Rep. Bright joined fellow Democrats Parker Griffith and Artur Davis in opposing President Obama’s controversial healthcare law. The Democratic Party in Alabama still have not recovered from that first post-Obamacare election.
The Hill is reporting that Republican Study Committee and Freedom Caucus member Gary Palmer voted no on the House Budget Committee but has switched to a yes vote on the bill with changes after a meeting with Trump.
The Hill is also reporting that Representative Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) is now a yes vote. “I changed my vote to yes,” Aderholt said after meeting with Trump and getting assurances the bill would be changed.