Congressman Tom Reed voted in favor of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act on Thursday.
Reed, who represents Ithaca and New York’s 23rd Congressional District, was one of 217 Republicans in the House to support the American Health Care Act. Reed has been a longtime supporter of repealing the Affordable Care Act.
In a statement Thursday, Reed said the passage of the health bill is a victory that will provide property tax relief for New Yorkers.
“Today is a great victory for the American people. We are finally on the path to fixing our broke and broken health care system. The AHCA upholds protections for pre-existing conditions and the expansion of Medicaid, which help our most vulnerable populations. The bill will also provide much needed property tax relief for New Yorkers who are unfairly forced to foot the bill for Medicaid. We care about giving people the freedom and flexibility to make their own health decisions while providing promised tax relief for middle-income families and small business owners,” Reed said in a statement.
The bill, which passed 217-213 Thursday, would eliminate tax penalties for people without health insurance, and also phase out Medicaid expansion. All Democrats and 20 Republicans opposed the bill.
Many in Ithaca and Tompkins County have made it clear over the past few months that they do not agree with repealing the Affordable Care Act. Ithaca Common Council and Tompkins County Legislature passed resolutions opposing the repeal, though in the case of Tompkins County Legislature they opposed the repeal without a replacement. Both resolutions were directed at Reed.
In the resolution passed by Tompkins County Legislature, it noted that the repeal of the ACA would put about 8,000 Tompkins County residents at risk of losing health care.
When Reed visited Ithaca for a town hall in March, the first and biggest topic of concern for local residents was the Affordable Care Act. During that visit, Reed was clear that he supported repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.
“We took up the bill last week in our committee. We have the structure in place that will be going to the floor in two weeks to repeal the Affordable Care Act,” Reed said at the town hall in March. “We are going to replace it – these are reforms that I support that are part of a 3-part process which will happen over the next 13-24 months – maybe longer.”
When the Congressional Budget Office evaluated the first version of the bill, it found that it would reduce federal spending by about $337 billion, but it would also leave 24 million people covered under the Affordable Care Act without insurance after a decade. The latest version of the bill has not been scored yet by the Congressional Budget Office.
The American Health Care Act now moves to the Senate.
Featured image: Dr. Nia Nunn (left) and Congressman Tom Reed stand on the steps of the Southside Community Center by Alyvia Covert.