Health care proposal draws mixed reviews

GOP plan would replace Obamacare

— On Monday, House Republicans unveiled a plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

The plan removes the mandate for health insurance coverage and creates a new system of tax credits focused on the open market, records show.

It was met with disapproval from Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat.

“The proposed legislation in Congress to repeal Obamacare is not the direction we should be going to meet our country’s health care needs,” he said. “It will not improve the health or well-being of millions of people who have gained coverage through the Affordable Care Act.”

He worried it would “... kick 600,000 Washingtonians off Medicaid unless the state can come up with $1.3 billion.”

Besides a bill he claims the state can’t afford, Inslee contends it harms those with low incomes, the elderly, and the disabled.

“We must move forward on health care, not backward,” Inslee said. “I will continue to do everything I can to ensure that Washingtonians have meaningful, affordable coverage.”

It received mixed reviews elsewhere in the state.

Joyce Mulliken, a former 13th District state legislator, backed the proposal in a Facebook post to Congressman Dan Newhouse, R-Sunnyside.

“Thank you, Dan. This is not an easy task, but we appreciate your work,” Mulliken said. “Maybe insurance companies will return to eastern/central Washington. Grant County only has one. Competition is needed to reduce premium costs.”

Another constituent Rob Thompson, was less optimistic.

“Tens of thousands of your constituents stand to lose their insurance under this bill,” Thompson posted to Newhouse’s page. “What are they supposed to do? What effect will this have on our North Valley Hospital here in Tonasket? What did your constituents say on the survey you sent out? Why not let the bill’s full effect be evaluated before the vote?”

Newhouse’s stance against the Affordable Care Act, was the focus of recent protests in the Tri-Cities and Yakima.


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