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Horn backs resolution condemning Trump position on health care


U.S. Rep. Kendra Horn backed a resolution on Wednesday condemning the Trump administration for its support of a ruling to strike down the Affordable Care Act. The four Republicans in Oklahoma's congressional delegation opposed the Democratic legislation.

“All Americans deserve access to quality, affordable health care,” Horn, D-Oklahoma City, said. “We need to work to expand that access, not to contract it. The Affordable Care Act laid the groundwork for American health policy. It created protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions. It banned lifetime caps. It guaranteed that young people can stay on their parents’ insurance until they’re 26.

“We need to preserve those critical protections and continue to improve health care."

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, argued against the resolution in a committee earlier this week, saying it was nonbinding and would have "no impact whatsoever."

"No law will be passed," he said. "No statute will change. And the text will have no effect at all on the American people ... Republicans are ready and willing to pass real legislation that protects people with pre-existing conditions."

A federal district judge in Texas in December sided with 20 states that challenged the mandate in the Affordable Care Act that individuals purchase health insurance. Because the tax reform bill of 2017 eliminated the tax penalty for not purchasing coverage, the mandate was unconstitutional, and the rest of the law must also fall, the judge ruled.

The ruling has been appealed by California and several other states. The U.S. House, controlled by Democrats, has intervened to try to rescue the law.

However, the U.S. Justice Department sent a letter to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last month backing the judge's decision to scrap the law and saying that the United States "is not urging that any portion of the district court's judgment be reversed."

The House resolution, approved by a vote of 240-186, with eight Republicans in support, says, "the actions taken by the Trump Administration seeking the invalidation of the ACA’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and later the invalidation of the entire ACA, are an unacceptable assault on the health care of the American people."

It calls on the Justice Department to reverse its position in the lawsuit, which is widely expected to wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

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<figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Cole " title=" Cole "><figcaption> Cole </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Horn " title=" Horn "><figcaption> Horn </figcaption></figure>
Chris Casteel

Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. Casteel covered the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City. From 1990 through 2016, he was the... Read more ›