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Congressman Biggs’ Statement on the American Health Care Act Passage

May 4, 2017
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Andy Biggs released the following statement after voting NO on the American Health Care Act:

“Over the past seven years, House Republicans have continually argued that the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, is unconstitutional and should be fully repealed. Unfortunately, the American Health Care Act (AHCA) leaves the basic framework of Obamacare in place and continues to commit Republicans to an ill-considered, ill-defined, and an almost certainly ill-fated three-stage plan to completely repeal Obamacare at an unspecified later date. Even worse, I have seen no compelling evidence that the AHCA will offer substantive relief to Arizona families who have been crushed by devastatingly high health insurance premiums. For these reasons, and because I promised my constituents a full repeal, I voted “no” on this legislation.

“Some of my colleagues claim that by passing the AHCA we are eliminating hundreds of billions of dollars in Obamacare taxes. There is some truth to this argument. But the AHCA does not do anything to eliminate the costly ACA subsidies already in place, and it continues the dangerous precedent established by the ACA of granting the federal government the power to regulate our nation’s healthcare system. I did not come to Washington to give unelected bureaucrats the authority to dictate health insurance options to me, my family, or the residents of the East Valley.  This is not a fight I am prepared to surrender.

“Last night, I submitted two amendments that would have vastly improved the AHCA. One of these amendments would have allowed individuals to purchase health insurance across state lines; the other would have allowed states to opt out of any or all provisions of the ACA or AHCA without prior Department of Health and Human Services waiver approval. Those amendments, which were drafted in good faith and would have brought the AHCA far closer to the goal of full repeal, were not included in the final version of the AHCA.

“Although I could not vote for the AHCA because of the promises I made to my constituents, I appreciate the good faith and tireless efforts of many of my colleagues. The House Freedom Caucus dramatically improved the AHCA through their negotiations, and I specifically applaud the work of Congressman David Schweikert, whose high-risk pool amendment was included in the final bill, and Congresswoman Martha McSally, who championed a separate bill to ensure that Members of Congress and their staff are not exempted from the laws we pass.

“I look forward to renewing our fight to advance our conservative agenda and keeping the promises we made to our constituents.”

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Congressman Andy Biggs is a first-term Representative from Arizona’s Fifth Congressional District, representing parts of Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Sun Lakes, and Queen Creek. Congressman Biggs is a member of the House Judiciary and Science, Space, and Technology committees, and is the chairman of the Environment Subcommittee. He lives with his wife Cindy in Gilbert.

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