Indian-American lawmakers vote against Trump govt’s repeal of Obamacare
All four Indian-American lawmakers from the Democratic Party -- Ami Bera, Ro Khanna, Pramila Jayapal and Raja Krishnamoorthi -- voted against the bill.world Updated: May 05, 2017 14:06 IST
Indian-American lawmakers have supported Obamacare over a bill that aims to replace the landmark overhaul achieved by Barack Obama, alleging that the new legislation passed by House of Representatives would kick off 24 million Americans of healthcare plans.
All the four Indian-American lawmakers from the Democratic Party -- Ami Bera, Ro Khanna, Pramila Jayapal and Raja Krishnamoorthi -- voted against the bill, which was hailed by US President Donald Trump and the Republican leadership.
“While the House Republicans celebrate at the White House, millions of hardworking Americans are worrying about whether they will be able to stay on their healthcare plans,” said Congressman Bera.
Before serving in Congress, Bera practised internal medicine, served as Sacramento County’s Chief Medical Officer, and taught at the UC Davis School of Medicine.
“I don’t want to go back to a time when my patients would have to make healthcare decisions based on their insurance coverage, and this bill is going to make it a lot harder for people with treatable diseases like arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and survivors of cancer and assault to get healthcare,” he said.
“We cannot play politics with people’s lives, and what happened today put political goals ahead of the lives of hardworking Americans. The fact that this bill was rushed through with no budget analysis or public debate shows just how bad it is. This is a sad day for America’s patients, and for the public’s trust in Congress,” Bera said.
Jayapal alleged that it is a dereliction of duty that Republicans passed this “immoral, unconscionable” bill that strips 24 million Americans of their healthcare, cuts $880 billion from Medicaid, and strips coverage from 133 million Americans with pre-existing conditions.
“This bill will raise premiums and deductibles for millions of Americans across our country to transfer almost $1 trillion in tax cuts to millionaires, billionaires and corporations,” she said.
The first Indian-American woman lawmaker said that she intends to continue to fight every single day to protect and expand health care and to hold those accountable who do not do so.
Khanna said Congressional Republicans chose to halt the progress made on improving the nation’s health and livelihood, and instead put the country on a path to higher costs, less coverage, fewer protections, and larger premiums.
“All for a massive tax cut for millionaires and billionaires,” he said.
“Today, the House had a choice. We could cast a vote to uphold our country’s values and keep people healthy, keep them secure, and keep improving care. Or a vote could be made that places corporate interests ahead of working families’ livelihood. I am disappointed to say that latter happened,” Khanna said.
“We lost today but that doesn’t mean we have to like it. We can still stop,” Krishnamoorthi said.
In an interview to MSN, Bera said that the passage of the bill would politically hit the Republican lawmakers.
“I think a lot of them know this was a very difficult vote that’s going to hurt a lot of their own constituents,” he said.
First Published: May 05, 2017 14:05 IST