Congressman Gary Palmer (AL-06) issued the following statement after voting in favor of the American Health Care Act of 2017 which passed 217 to 213.
"Today the House of Representatives took the first step toward repealing and replacing the misnamed Affordable Care Act and restoring access to affordable healthcare for all Americans," said Palmer. "The amendment that I authored on invisible risk sharing will drive down the cost of health insurance premiums and helps ensure that those with preexisting conditions have affordable coverage. The option for states to choose to receive Medicaid funding as a per-capita cap or a block grant will provide states with more flexibility to meet the needs of their Medicaid eligible people and will reduce the waste of billions of Medicaid dollars to fraud, inefficiencies and mismanagement. The AHCA also gives states the option to establish work requirements for able-bodied adults without small children. Together, these additions to the AHCA are the most substantial entitlement reform in 50 years. Although states, as they should be, are provided the option to seek waivers from certain federal mandates, states must certify that pursuing a waiver is for the purpose of expanding coverage or reducing the cost of healthcare. There is no underlying intention to exclude people from coverage, including those who have been previously sick, and it is important to note that this bill will not exclude people from coverage. There is a little known provision in the bill which defunds Planned Parenthood for one year and will protect this lives of the unborn. This bill is not the end of our efforts to dismantle Obamacare and repair the damage done to our healthcare system. It is the first major step forward."