The House of Representatives voted Thursday to enable lower costs for generic prescription drugs and to protect the Affordable Care Act’s prohibition against denying health insurance to people with pre-existing conditions.
Only five Republicans joined the Democratic majority in voting for the MORE Health Education Act. Along with the other Republicans, Congressman Cline voted no.
To address prescription drug costs, the bill would restrict the ability of generic drug manufacturers from blocking competitors, thus cracking down on anticompetitive behavior by pharmaceutical companies.
The bill also contains several provisions to roll back attempts of the Trump administration to push junk health insurance plans to the general public. These plans, which Trump and Republicans champion, do not contain the protections for people with preexisting conditions enshrined in the ACA, such as ensuring costs are not higher and that people with preexisting conditions cannot be denied health insurance.
Further, the bill would add $100 million in funding for the program that helps people sign up for health insurance through the ACA, as well as restore funding for marketing and outreach so more people are aware of the health care options under the ACA.
Before the vote, Cline spoke against the measure on the House floor:
“As lawmakers we owe it to Americans to protect their rights to make their own decisions, particularly as it relates to health care… Reject this idea that government knows best.”
Considering Cline’s approval of government interference at every stage of a woman’s pregnancy from conception to birth, he appears to have a selective understanding of Americans’ rights to make their own decisions.
And the Affordable Care Act, for all its correctable faults, has not limited Americans’ access to health insurance. It has greatly expanded it— especially in states like Virginia, which (despite the opposition of then-Delegate Cline and other Republicans) approved expansion of Medicaid under the ACA.
Thanks in large part to the Medicaid expansion that Cline so passionately opposed, since January 1 more than 277,000 previously-uninsured Virginians have obtained health insurance– including more than 28,000 of Cline’s constituents in the Sixth Congressional District.