Dems tear into 'shameful' ObamaCare repeal vote

Dems tear into 'shameful' ObamaCare repeal vote
© Greg Nash

Democrats on Thursday tore into the House GOP's vote to repeal ObamaCare, ripping their healthcare plan as a "tax cut for millionaires" and "immoral."

The House narrowly passed the American Health Care Act by a 217-213 vote earlier Thursday afternoon. No Democrats backed the bill, and 20 Republicans broke ranks to oppose it.

“It is absolutely shameful that Republicans would put partisan procedural politics above the needs of our nation’s heroes, "Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.) said. "If this deeply flawed legislation passes as it is written, millions of veterans and their families could have diminished choice in where to seek care.”

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"This legislation is illogical, immoral and wrong for the country," Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) added. "The American Health Care Act is a reckless, ideologically-motivated bill that will increase pain and suffering across the country so that political actors can claim a ‘win. ’ "

Some House Democrats warned Republicans that they will have to answer to their healthcare vote in the upcoming 2018 midterm elections.

“Today Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanGOP leaders pitch children's health funding in plan to avert shutdown Lawmakers see shutdown’s odds rising Fix what we’ve got and make Medicare right this year MORE saved his Speakership in the short term but sacrificed his party’s majority in the long term,” Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) said in a statement. 

“Republicans should be prepared to be held accountable for their ‘yes’ votes on this disastrous bill when the American people head to the ballot box in 2018.”

The bill will head to the Senate next. Senate Democrats are pledging to fight to prevent the bill's passage. It can pass the upper chamber without any Democratic support due to the process known as reconciliation, but Dems are promising to pressure GOP colleagues against the bill.

“[GOP House lawmakers] were driven by political arrogance instead of common sense. My recent medical experience reminded me how vulnerable we all are. I will fight this Republican health care repeal in the Senate until Hell freezes over," Senate Minority Whip Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinMcCarthy: ‘No deadline on DACA’ Ex-Sheriff David Clarke: Trump only one who 'cares about black American citizens' DHS chief takes heat over Trump furor MORE (D-Ill.) said.

“This bill is going nowhere fast in the United States Senate,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocrats will need to explain if they shut government down over illegal immigration White House: Trump remarks didn't derail shutdown talks Schumer defends Durbin after GOP senator questions account of Trump meeting MORE (D-N.Y.) said. “Senate Republicans should refuse to follow their House colleagues over a cliff, reject repeal, and work with Democrats to improve our healthcare system in a bipartisan way.”

“This is not a health care bill – it’s a tax cut for millionaires that’s paid for by taking insurance away from the sick and jacking up prices for the healthy. Virtually no one in America wants this bill – it polls at about 18% – and the Senate should bury it before it ever gets to our door," Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyFlake's anti-Trump speech will make a lot of noise, but not much sense Senate campaign fundraising reports roll in Puerto Rico's children need recovery funds MORE (D-Conn.) said.

“This was a bad bill a month ago, and it’s a worse bill now. I will fight tooth and nail to keep it from passing the Senate,” Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerNSA spying program overcomes key Senate hurdle Dem lawmaker wants briefing on major chip vulnerabilities Week ahead: Tech giants to testify on extremist content MORE (D-Va.) added.

“The bill that Republicans passed today is an absolute disaster,” Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersMellman: On Political Authenticity (Part 2) Former Sanders campaign manager: Don't expect email list to be shared with DNC Adult film star: Trump and Stormy Daniels invited me to 'hang out' MORE (I-Vt.) said. “It really has nothing to do with health care. It has everything to do with an enormous shift of wealth from working people to the richest Americans.”

“In my eight years in the Senate and nearly 20 years in public service, I have never seen a worse bill than this one," Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyEarly tax bill reality very different than Democratic rhetoric Senate GOP seeks to change rules for Trump picks Dem senators tear into Trump: Tax bill 'a very big Christmas gift from Trump to himself' MORE (D-Ore.) added, referring to the AHCA as TrumpCare. 

"TrumpCare 2.0 is even more damaging than TrumpCare 1.0. This bill keeps all the most harmful features of TrumpCare 1.0, stripping coverage for 24 million Americans and gutting Medicaid.”

Some Democrats accused GOP lawmakers of voting for the bill only to curry favor with President TrumpDonald John TrumpDems flip Wisconsin state Senate seat Sessions: 'We should be like Canada' in how we take in immigrants GOP rep: 'Sheet metal and garbage' everywhere in Haiti MORE

“Republicans have lost sight of why constituents sent us to Washington D.C. – and it wasn’t to score political points with President Donald Trump,” Rep. Al Lawson (D-Fla.) said.

“The House Republicans’ effort to impose this extremely unpopular piece of legislation on the American people is a transparent attempt to score a win for the Trump administration,” Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) said. “[B]ut it will go nowhere because the cost is far too high.”

Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseSenate Finance Dems want more transparency on trade from Trump Trump, Kushner meet with advocates on prison reform Democrats search for Russians — any Russians — for collusion story MORE (D-R.I.) said Republicans know the healthcare bill is bad because they included a provision exempting themselves from the key ObamaCare rollbacks.

“All you need to know about this bill is that Republicans tried to exempt themselves from it before they got caught. That’s because they know it’s a raw deal,” Whitehouse said.

Other Democratic lawmakers claimed Republicans who voted for the bill do not fully know what consequences the bill will have on their constituents’ healthcare. 

“It is unacceptable for the House Majority to have forced a vote on legislation that will impact millions of lives without knowing its full cost or its harmful effects,” Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Calif.) said.

“The passage of Trumpcare is a dark stain on the history of the House of Representatives,” Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) added. “Republican leaders forced this bill on the country without knowing what effect it would have on millions of Americans and one sixth of our economy.”

- Updated at 3:55 p.m.