Seven of Indiana’s nine congresspeople voted this afternoon to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act. Ultimately the House of Representatives voted 217 to 213 to make major changes.
The precise cost and impact of the bill is unclear because the House passed it before the Congressional Budget Office could review it. A previous version of the bill was expected to result in 24 million Americans losing health insurance.
District 9 Representative Trey Hollingsworth, who represents most of south-central Indiana including Monroe, Brown, Lawrence and most of Morgan counties, voted for the legislation. Hollingsworth released a statement this afternoon in which he said the bill was built on “conservative principles.”
Hollingsworth also lied about the bill’s contents, claiming the legislation is “protecting those Americans with pre-existing conditions.” In fact, the new bill would partially undo current protections for those Americans. It would allow states to apply for waivers so insurance companies could charge higher premiums to certain people with pre-existing conditions.
The bill, known as the American Health Care Act, would also add billions of dollars to what are known as high-risk pools, which are designed to offer coverage to otherwise uninsurable residents. But an analysis by the Center for American Progress found the legislation would leave nearly 850,000 people with pre-existing conditions not covered. In Indiana, about 12,000 residents with existing illnesses would theoretically have no coverage.
The American Health Care Act would also allow companies to charge older people up to five times as much as they charge young people. Under current law, companies can charge three times as much.
The health care bill will now be considered by the Senate, which is expected to make major revisions.