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 RyanWatchdog group sues for donor list from Ryan-aligned nonprofit Terminating Budget Committees not as absurd as it sounds The writing is on the wall for bump stocks and Congress should finalize it 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 DurbinPompeo faces pivotal vote To succeed in Syria, Democrats should not resist Trump policy Hannity, Kimmel, Farrow among Time's '100 Most Influential' MORE (D-Ill.) said.

“This bill is going nowhere fast in the United States Senate,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerCan Mueller be more honest than his colleagues? Throwing some cold water on all of the Korean summit optimism House Republicans push Mulvaney, Trump to rescind Gateway funds 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 MurphyOvernight Cybersecurity: Senators want info on 'stingray' surveillance in DC | Bills to secure energy infrastructure advance | GOP lawmaker offers cyber deterrence bill Overnight Health Care: GOP pushes stiff work requirements for food stamps | Johnny Isakson opens up about family's tragic loss to opioids | Republicans refuse to back vulnerable Dem's opioids bill | Dems offer new public option plan Dems give muted praise to Pompeo-Kim meeting 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 WarnerRand's reversal advances Pompeo Pompeo headed for confirmation after surprise panel vote Overnight Finance: Treasury mulls sanctions relief for Russian aluminum firm | Trump floats tying NAFTA talks to border security | 14 states hit record-low unemployment MORE (D-Va.) added.

“The bill that Republicans passed today is an absolute disaster,” Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersOvernight Finance: Treasury mulls sanctions relief for Russian aluminum firm | Trump floats tying NAFTA talks to border security | 14 states hit record-low unemployment Kamala Harris will no longer accept corporate PAC money Judd Gregg: Who wins with Paul Ryan's departure? 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 MerkleyOvernight Energy: Senate confirms Bridenstine as NASA chief | Watchdog probes Pruitt’s use of security detail | Emails shine light on EPA science policy changes 32 male senators back Senate women's calls to change harassment rules Duckworth brings her baby to Senate vote, drawing a crowd 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 TrumpRand's reversal advances Pompeo New allegations could threaten Trump VA pick: reports President Trump puts on the pageantry for Macron’s visit 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 WhitehouseOvernight Energy: Dems raise new questions about Pruitt's security | EPA rules burning wood is carbon neutral | Fourth GOP lawmaker calls for Pruitt's ouster | Court blocks delay to car efficiency fines Dems: Pruitt’s office security sweep was subpar Dem senators demand Trump explain ties to Koch brothers 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.