As President Donald Trump pushes hard to get all Republicans to back a bill that would would repeal the 2010 health care law, so far only two of the four GOP members of the Washington state delegation are ready to sign on.
Republicans plan to move the bill to the full House for a vote in the coming weeks after it cleared the House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday.
With Republicans controlling both the House and Senate, all eyes are on GOP members to see if the party can produce the votes to scrap President Barack Obama’s signature achievement.
"We are on a mission to repeal and replace Obamacare. It’s a rescue mission to save families and patients all across this country,” Washington state Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers said at a news conference on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.
Washington state Rep. Dave Reichert used Facebook to announce his backing for the bill, saying Americans would get “a fairer system where families will finally have the freedom to choose a plan that best meets their needs.”
The two other Republicans in the state’s delegation, Dan Newhouse and Jaime Herrera Beutler, both said they support the goal of repealing the law, but the lawmakers are waiting to take a position on the bill unveiled this week.
“I support replacing Obamacare,” Herrera Beutler said. “I'm currently reviewing the bill to evaluate its impacts on the people I serve.”
Herrera Beutler said she’s also waiting for a report from the Congressional Budget Office, which will determine how much the GOP plan would cost.
Newhouse called the bill “a good start to fulfilling the promise to repeal and replace Obamacare while helping Americans access affordable insurance options.”
Some popular plans on the Affordable Care Act insurance marketplace in 38 states saw premiums jump by an average 25 percent this year, though most buyers qualify for tax subsidies. In several states, meanwhile, people on Obamacare now have just one insurance company from which to choose.
The bill’s fate is uncertain, with many conservative members of the House Freedom Caucus opposing the legislation.
On Tuesday, Washington state Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee said the repeal would cut $1 billion in federal Medicaid funds to the state and eliminate coverage for more than 600,000 Washingtonians.
“The proposal put forth by congressional Republicans will hurt low-income people, the elderly, people with disabilities and those who need long-term care, while providing a tax break for the wealthy and shifting unaffordable costs onto the states,” Inslee said in a statement.
Reichert said the overhaul would “provide more choices, higher quality and lower costs, while at the same time keeping what has worked.”
Among other things, he said, the bill would protect those with preexisting conditions while allowing young adults up to 26 to remain on their parents’ insurance plans. Both those provisions were enacted as part of Obamacare.