Reps vote to repeal health reform

WASHINGTON – West Virginia’s two Republican representatives Thursday voted to repeal the national health reform bill.

A resolution passed the Republican-controlled House of Representatives 229-195 to nix the Affordable Care Act adopted in 2010, the first time the House has voted for the full repeal of the reform, Rep. David B. McKinley, R-W.Va., said.

The vote was on party lines. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., voted against and Rep. Shelly Moore Capito, R-W.Va., voted for it.

“With each day that passes, more Americans are learning about the harsh consequences of Obama Care,” McKinley said. “President Obama promised this law would reduce costs and improve access to care. Instead, we’ve seen just the opposite happen. The American people now know this plan is unaffordable and unworkable.”

Among the changes under the reform are insurance companies can not deny coverage because of pre-existing conditions, adult children can stay on their parents’ medical plan until they’re 26, some preventive services such as mammograms, immunizations and colonoscopies will be free and Medicare Part D participants who reach the doughnut hole will receive a 50 percent discount on brand-name prescription drugs and 14 percent on generics.

Capito said the lead author of the bill called it a train wreck.

“I am proud to support the full repeal of Obamacare today,” Capito said. “Americans deserve health care reform that lowers costs, improves the quality of care, and protects jobs. My colleagues in the House and I are dedicated to standing up for the interests of Americans by fully repealing Obamacare.”

In an unrelated health bill, McKinley in the Energy and Commerce Committee voted for the Safeguarding America’s Pharmaceuticals Act of 2013. The works to prevent counterfeit or stolen drugs from entering the supply chain, he said.

“This bipartisan, common sense piece of legislation will secure America’s pharmaceutical supply,” McKinley said.

The legislation establishes guidelines on how pharmacies monitor drugs from the manufacturer to the patient, allows prescription drug labeling by electronic means and an option for pharmacies to receive printed materials upon request.

“Some pharmacists in the rural parts of West Virginia don’t have access to the same technology that is found in urban areas,” McKinley said.