House votes to overturn Trump ObamaCare move

The House voted Thursday to overturn one of President TrumpDonald John TrumpThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Impeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Judd Gregg: The big, big and bigger problem MORE’s key ObamaCare moves, advancing a bill that Democrats have framed as protecting people with pre-existing conditions.

Passed in a largely party-line vote of 230-183, the bill seeks to overturn guidance the Trump administration released last year expanding a program that allows states to innovate and waive certain ObamaCare rules.

ADVERTISEMENT

Republicans argued that Democrats were simply trying to score political points with a bill that did not actually add new protections for people with preexisting conditions. Democrats, meanwhile, said that the legislation was needed to fight Trump’s efforts to weaken the health law’s current protections for those with preexisting conditions.

Four Republicans voted with Democrats for the bill, including Reps. John KatkoJohn Michael KatkoProgressive group unveils first slate of 2020 congressional endorsements Democratic lawmakers call on Judiciary Committee to advance 'revenge porn' law Katie Hill resignation reignites push for federal 'revenge porn' law MORE (N.Y) and Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickHillicon Valley: Critics press feds to block Google, Fitbit deal | Twitter takes down Hamas, Hezbollah-linked accounts | TikTok looks to join online anti-terrorism effort | Apple pledges .5B to affordable housing Twitter takes down Hamas, Hezbollah-affiliated accounts after lawmaker pressure GOP lawmakers express concerns about Giuliani's work in Ukraine MORE (Pa.), who face potentially tough reelection races next year, and Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner (Wis.) and Chris SmithChristopher (Chris) Henry SmithChina threatens 'strong countermeasures' if Congress passes Hong Kong legislation This week: Congress returns to chaotic Washington Nancy Pelosi is ready for this fight MORE (N.J.).

Democrats have put forward a range of bills they frame as protecting people with preexisting conditions, looking to hammer Republicans on an issue that helped Democrats win back the House last year.

Democrats say the move announced by the Trump administration last year allows states to cast aside important protections under ObamaCare.

For example, the new guidance would allow ObamaCare subsidies to be used to buy cheaper plans, which Democrats deride as “junk” plans, that do not have to cover preexisting conditions.

“This legislation should not be necessary, but unfortunately the Trump Administration continues to take actions that undermine the health care of millions of Americans, including the more than 133 million people with pre-existing conditions,” said House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone Jr.Frank Joseph PalloneDemocrats demand FCC act over leak of phone location data Democrats say they're waiting for nearly 50 requests for Trump info on science, environment Trump pressed to follow through on vaping crackdown MORE (D-N.J.).

Republicans, though, said the Trump administration’s action was simply giving states more flexibility.

“They claim their agenda is ‘for the people,’” said Rep. Greg WaldenGregory (Greg) Paul WaldenThe Hill's Campaign Report: Bloomberg looks to upend Democratic race The GOP should follow the example of Rep. Greg Walden Shimkus announces he will stick with plan to retire after reconsidering MORE (Ore.), the top Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee. “Well, this bill is ‘for the politics.’”

“Let me be very clear: This bill has nothing to do with protecting Americans with preexisting conditions,” he added. “This bill has everything to do with eliminating health care options and choices for states.”

The bill is not expected to go anywhere in the Republican-controlled Senate.

The House will vote on additional health care legislation next week that includes measures to overturn the Trump administration’s expansion of cheaper, skimpier insurance plans and to provide funding for enrollment outreach efforts that Trump slashed.