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Inside the Beltway

Washington politics and government with a New Mexico flavor

Pearce Supports, Heinrich and Lujan Oppose Health Care Repeal

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The U.S. House is scheduled to vote tomorrow on a proposal to repeal a sweeping health care bill signed into law by President Obama last year, but the measure will have support from only one New Mexico’s three House members.

 

Rep. Steve Pearce, the delegation’s lone Republican, told the Journal he will vote in favor of the repeal. Reps. Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Lujan, both Democrats, said they will oppose the measure.

 

Heinrich said while the health care bill isn’t perfect, it has many provisions – including small business tax credits and a rule precluding health insurers from rejecting customers with pre-existing medical conditions – that most Americans support. He said Republicans should offer an alternative bill before scrapping the current one. He also said the bill amounted to “political theater” because the Democratic-controlled Senate is very unlikely to pass it.

 

“They are just going to go ahead and vote on something that would completely eliminate the health care reform bill and ignore the fact that there are at least parts of it that have incredibly broad support,” Heinrich said.

 

Pearce said the health care law is a “dramatic step away from personal choice in health care.”

 

“President Obama’s plan creates hundreds of new bureaucracies, organizations, regulations, and steps that stand between a patient and their doctor,” Pearce said. “Where greater simplicity and ease are needed, President Obama’s new health care regime creates more complication.”

 

 

Lujan, in a floor statement Tuesday, said the bill holds insurance companies accountable to consumers. He also repeal would hurt small businesses by eliminating a 35 percent tax credit for those that offer health insurance.

 

“During this difficult economic time, it is critical that we make job creation a top priority,” Lujan said. “That is why I am concerned about the impact (the bill) will have on small businesses.”

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