WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Rep. Loebsack: Congress Must Be Held Accountable for Health Care Vote

Jul 17, 2017

Senate Republicans are delaying a vote to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act until U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) recovers from recent surgery. Congressman Dave Loebsack (D-IA) said his colleagues need to think long and hard about their votes and how their decisions will affect people across the country.

To that end, Rep. Loebsack introduced the Holding Congress Accountable on Health Care Act.

Rep. Loebsack said his legislation would prevent members of Congress from accessing health insurance coverage through federal programs, including ACA exchanges, if they pass a law that changes the ACA and the changes lead to an increase in the number of uninsured Americans.

“Members of Congress are elected by their constituents to be their voice in Washington, not pass laws that do one thing for Iowans but leave members untouched,” said Loebsack in a statement.

“When Members of Congress vote on legislation that could lead to an increase in the nation’s uninsured rate, they must be able to live by the same rules they are forcing on the American people. If Congress passes legislation that causes folks across the country to lose their healthcare insurance, they too should feel the same pain. I strongly believe that members of Congress must have a personal stake in the future of our nation’s healthcare policy.”

Loebsack said they would also lose any federal tax credit or subsidy related to health insurance coverage. He said accountability is what he hears about most from residents during return trips to Iowa.

“We can’t operate as we have in the past,” said Loebsack during an interview with Tri States Public Radio. “We can’t have business as usual. Congress has to be held accountable. I’m hearing that from people all the time. That’s what they want as much as anything -- they want members of congress to be held accountable."

Loebsack is the lone Democrat in Iowa’s federal delegation.

He said he knows that his bill will not come up for a vote in the Republican-led Congress, let alone pass. He said it’s more about sending a message from the people to their representatives in Congress.