House Appropriations Chair Comes Out Against Obamacare Repeal Bill

Bill Clark/CQPHO

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), the chair of the House Appropriations Committee, on Friday morning announced that he would not vote for the House bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.

“Seven years after enactment of Obamacare, I wanted to support legislation that made positive changes to rescue healthcare in America,” he said in a statement.

He cited one of the last-minute additions to the bill, a provision that would repeal Obamacare’s requirement that insurers cover Essential Health Benefits, in spelling out the reasons he could not back the American Health Care Act.

“Unfortunately, the legislation before the House today is currently unacceptable as it would place significant new costs and barriers to care on my constituents in New Jersey,” he said in the statement. “In addition to the loss of Medicaid coverage for so many people in my Medicaid-dependent state, the denial of essential health benefits in the individual market raise serious coverage and cost issues. I remain hopeful that the American Health Care Act will be further modified. We need to get this right for all Americans.”

Frelinghuysen’s statement came just hours before House Republicans were set to take a final vote on the legislation Friday afternoon. It’s not clear that GOP leaders have whipped enough votes to pass the bill.

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