Barletta Cannot Support American Health Care Act in Current Form

Mar 20, 2017
Press Release
Concerned with Health Care Tax Credits to Illegal Immigrants

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today released the following statement in regard to the American Health Care Act:

Obamacare is destroying our health care system.  The monstrosity of a health care law failed the American people by throwing them off their preferred plans, eliminating access to their favorite doctors, and sending premiums and deductibles through the roof.  In fact, the average premium in Pennsylvania increased by 32 percent this year, and in some corners premiums rose as much as 53 percent.  That level of cost increase is unsustainable.

I remain as committed to repealing and replacing Obamacare as I was on the day I came to Congress.  We must find an alternative that allows consumers to choose their plans, drives down costs, and ensures that Americans’ hard-earned tax dollars are properly distributed only to American citizens. 

Unfortunately, after evaluating the text of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), I cannot support the bill in its current form.  I am concerned that the bill lacks sufficient safeguards for verifying whether or not an individual applying for health care tax credits is lawfully in this country and eligible to receive them.  Under Obamacare, a half a million people received a total of $750 million in health care subsidies, even though the recipients could not prove their lawful presence in the United States.  I cannot vote for a replacement plan that fails to address this problem.

I came to Congress to stop illegal immigration.  I would have a hard time explaining to families in the 11th District – many of whom are still struggling to put food on the table and foot the costs of their own health care bills – why they should be helping to pay for the health expenses of someone who broke the law to get here and has no right to those federal dollars.  The repeal and replacement of Obamacare will be a multi-phase process, but until my concerns are met, I cannot at this point support the bill.