In a series of letters to Michigan’s Congressional representatives, Gov. Rick Snyder warned of the potential consequences of voting to pass House Resolution 1628, also known as the American Health Care Act of 2017, a bill introduced by House Republicans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.
Though he did not explicitly write the representatives should vote no, Snyder included health care statistics specific to each district, indicating that under the new bill, many of their constituents would lose coverage.
“Altogether, there are 1.75 million children, seniors, pregnant women and disabled individuals served by traditional Medicaid in Michigan, and roughly 104,000 of them reside in your district,” Snyder wrote to U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg (R–Tipton). “As you know, these are our state’s most vulnerable citizens, friends and neighbors. The proposed AHCA will adversely impact them.”
In a series of interviews with the Detroit Free Press, other Republican members of Michigan’s delegation expressed their continued support for the AHCA, confirming their opposition to Snyder. U.S. Rep. Paul Mitchell (R–Dryden) stressed the urgency of the bill.
“This is not the first issue on which I disagree passionately with the governor,” Mitchell said. “This is a rescue mission. Allowing the system to continue to collapse will result in even fewer choices and, eventually, a lack of access to care.”
U.S. Rep. Mike Bishop (R–Rochester) agreed, saying that to continue under Obamacare would be a disservice to anyone who relies on Medicaid.
“Medicaid is not on sustainable financial footing and it cannot stay intact if we continue to kick the can down the road,” he said. “A major part of our health care reform package is about preserving and strengthening programs like Medicaid for years to come and not to pull the rug out from under anyone who currently relies on this assistance.”
Under the AHCA, tax credits for people buying insurance on state exchanges would be based on age, rather than income, as they were under Obamacare — a change Snyder said concerned him.
“While reforming the nation’s health care system is vital, it is imperative that gains in health coverage and access to care are maintained,” he wrote. “These ideas are not mutually exclusive.”
The House was expected to vote on the AHCA Thursday evening, but it was postponed to Friday. Assuming all Democrats vote against it as a bloc, the bill could only sustain 23 “no” votes from Republicans and still pass — which is approximately how many are predicted.
As of now, the only Republican from Michigan opposed to the bill is U.S. Rep. Justin Amash (R–Cascade), who thinks it doesn’t go far enough in repealing Obamacare.
“Absolutely not true that conservatives have flipped to yes on the health care bill,” he wrote in a tweet. “It doesn’t repeal Obamacare. It remains a disaster.”
The bill is also opposed by conservative business magnates Charles and David Koch, on the same grounds as Amash. In an attempt to garner opposition against it, the brothers recently announced their intent to start a fund for re-election for Republican members of Congress who vote “no” on the bill.
Snyder’s opposition to the AHCA isn’t the first time he has publicly clashed with President Donald Trump, who has said he’s “100 percent” behind the bill. In an encounter during the president’s recent tour of the American Center for Mobility in Ypsilanti, Trump invited Snyder to take a photo with him, with the bite of: “even though you didn’t endorse me.”