Today, U.S. Congressman Dan Donovan announced his intention to vote “no” on the current draft of the GOP’s American Health Care Act, despite the package of amendments released on Monday to modify the bill.
“I do not believe the legislation as currently written is in the best interest of the 740,000 people I represent in Congress, and I believe we can do better,” writes Donovan in an op-ed published in the Staten Island Advance.
Donovan wasn’t appeased by the Collins Amendment, part of Monday’s amendments, which would shift billions in Medicaid costs to the state that are currently shouldered by counties — except in NYC.
“The provision excludes New York City, putting an unfair and disproportionate burden on City residents to cover the state’s exorbitant Medicaid expenses,” Donovan responded.
Two other groups that would be hurt by the AHCA, says Donovan, are seniors and hospitals (hospitals are the biggest employers in Donovan’s district). But he does champion Medicaid reforms, and “applaud[s] President Trump for his commitment to fixing the healthcare system” — a program he warns will have the federal government spending “more on Medicaid than on defense.”
Donovan has taken a clear stance against Obama’s Affordable Care Act. “Obamacare has burdened New York families with unaffordable premiums, rendered some insurance plans unusable because of high deductibles, and caused people to lose their doctors,” he said.
“But recognizing that the status quo is failing isn’t, on its own, a compelling reason to vote ‘yes’ on the current replacement plan.”
The American Health Care Act is set to hit the House floor tomorrow, Thursday, March 23.
On Monday, Bay Ridge residents released a video message to Donovan, with stories from constituents who live with chronic ailments — a slice of the 78,800 district residents covered under ACA’s Medicaid expansion.
Before that, Donovan heard from constituents in Brooklyn and Staten Island, who rallied at his office by the hundreds — in lieu of a town-hall — to keep Affordable Healthcare alive.
Mallory Mcmahon of Fight Back Bay Ridge commends the congressman on his vote but vows to keep a watchful eye. “I think our pressure had something to do with his vote, but also suspect he’s voting this way because many other Republicans are. It’s a safe gamble for him to take… We will continue to remind him who he represents when the next version of Trumpcare comes around,” said Mcmahon.
Within the swirl of his stance to “reform a broken healthcare system”, Donovan has vowed to protect some of the benefits that his constituents rely on: Medicaid expansion and coverage for pre-existing conditions.