AUSTIN (NEXSTAR) — On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to cast a highly anticipated vote on the Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.
The new bill has drawn criticism from both parties and has some Republicans concerned that it won’t receive the 216 votes it needs to pass.
“I hope our Texas congressional delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives will listen carefully to their constituents,” State Rep. Chris Turner, D-Arlington, said, “and think very carefully before they vote on this bill tomorrow in the U.S. Congress.”
Turner called the new plan “dangerous” and says if it passes, as many as half a million Texans are at risk of losing health insurance.
“It would drive up healthcare costs for everyone,” Turner said. “People would be paying higher deductibles, getting less care, and it will be a big tax break for the wealthiest Americans once again.”
Turner says anyone between the ages of 50 and 64 are most at risk, but it’s going to cost everyone.
“When uninsured folks go to the emergency room because they have no where else to go — guess what — we all pay for it,” Turner said. “And so that is going to cost every Texan and every American ultimately.”
“I believe we can pass it,” Congressman Pete Sessions, R-Dallas, said Wednesday. “The American people want and need a better health care bill now and I’m going to help that.”
Sessions and his colleague Congressman Jodey Arrington from West Texas said they plan to vote “yes” on Thursday.
Arrington said he supports the bill because it provides medicaid funding to only those who need it, rather than the “8 million able-bodied Americans who were receiving medicaid funding under Obamacare”.
Other Texans across the aisle like Democratic Congressman Lloyd Doggett from Austin said the bill will leave millions of people uninsured.
“Lets reject this phony Republican giveaway,” Doggett said on the House floor this week. “All of those American families that are out there struggling trying to access life saving drugs, they don’t win a dime in this contest.”
Doggett said he hopes the 10 other Texas Democrats in the House join him in voting “no”.
“I hope they are listening to those constituents because it seems to me that constituents are going to remember that next year when all those folks are up for reelection,” Turner said.
Thursday is the seventh anniversary of the signing the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) into law.