WASHINGTON (AP) – Democrats in the House of Representatives approved a bill Monday that expands coverage of the health program known as Obamacare, a measure that cannot be enacted, but hints at how the issue of medical care will become more important in this year’s elections.
Although the bill has no chance of being approved in the Senate, where Republicans are in the majority, and also faces a veto threat from the White House, the Democrats pushed ahead anyway. It is one more of multiple bills that they have compiled and that show what their priorities are in terms of medical services, employment, ethics and voting rights, issues that they intend to wield in this year’s presidential and legislative elections .
The bill was passed in the lower house by 234 votes in favor and 179 against, a vote that was largely defined according to partisan lines and with strong opposition from Republicans. These, who have never relented since unanimously opposed the law promoted by President Barack Obama in 2010, said the move is a blow to the nation’s health care system during the pandemic, and a political move.
« This bill attempts to exploit the coronavirus pandemic to resurrect already well-worn partisan proposals, » the White House wrote in a statement. He said that clauses that cut the costs of prescription drugs would affect pharmaceutical companies’ incomes and « undermine the American innovation that the whole planet depends on » by limiting their research on vaccines and treatments.
Republican lawmakers’ votes against the measure will almost certainly be included in campaign propaganda. In advance of what they will likely contain, Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi said Monday’s vote gave lawmakers a choice between strengthening protections for access to health care or being « complicit. » in Trump’s attempts to dismantle it.
« Make no mistake, » said Pelosi. « A vote against this bill is a vote to weaken the health and financial security of Americans during a pandemic. »
The bill would expand tax credits for lower-income Americans so that they can pay their health insurance premiums, allow more people to qualify for subsidies, and cap the portion of their income. that some consumers would pay to receive coverage.