Locals say health care divide brings out the worst in Washington

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WYTV) – The passage of the American Health Care Act in the U.S. House of Representatives was a Republican victory Thursday. Now Valley residents are weighing in on the divide in Washington when it comes to health insurance.

“It’s ridiculous. To me, the Democrats are just arguing over every point they can make,” said New Castle’s Jeff Malizia.

“We can take care of everyone while being fiscally responsible,” said Nick Diana, of Austintown.

President Trump and many Republicans, including Representative Bill Johnson from Ohio and Congressman Mike Kelly from Pennsylvania, gathered outside the White House for a celebration after the vote.

Local lawmakers react to House passage of bill to repeal Obamacare

The president called the AHCA a good plan with great features. Representative Kelly said the bill creates a system that is patient-centered and cost-lowering. Congressman Johnson posted a video on YouTube, saying the legislation most importantly protects people with pre-existing conditions.

“The ultimate goal here, we’re providing more Americans with more choices and better access to affordable, quality health care,” Johnson said.

However, the bill will bring an added cost to older Americans. Insurance companies can charge them five times what they charge younger people.

The vote ended up being 217 to 213. However, out of the 213 “no” votes, 20 were Republicans, including two representing Ohio and four from Pennsylvania.

Both Ohio senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman said they cannot vote yes on this bill in its current form.

Democrat Tim Ryan was another to vote no.

“At the end of the day, it is unfair to working class people who are just trying to make ends meet. This bill is a huge step backwards,” he said.

Obamacare hasn’t be nixed just yet, but people from the Youngstown area said they’ve seen enough division in Washington.

“I think the divide is just a show between the two parties that it’s just really one big party going on,” Diana said.

Malizia believes Democrats are going to stop everything Republicans try to do.

This piece of legislation goes to the U.S. Senate next.