WASHINGTON, DC - The House narrowly passed a bill to repeal Obamacare Thursday by a vote of 217-213, with three New Jersey Republicans breaking ranks and voting against the controversial bill, including Rep. Leonard Lance, R-7th.
Also voting against the repeal were New Jersey Reps. Frank LoBiondo, R-2nd and Chris Smith, R-4th.
A total of 20 Republicans joined all 193 House Democrats in voting against the American Health Care Act.
“Like many of my colleagues I ran in support of a repealing Obamacare and replacing it with a plan that lowers premiums, drives down health-care costs, encourages competition and gives every American access to quality, affordable health insurance," Lance said afterwards.
Now serving his fifth term in the House, Lance represents several towns throughout central New Jersey, including Somerville
"I campaigned on a plan that protects those with pre-existing conditions and provides a stable transition for those forced into Obamacare at no fault of their own. And I ran on the promise of not simply repealing Obamacare and returning to the status quo but offering something better," he continued.
"The House-passed bill doesn’t achieve these goals.
“Additionally, important cost-saving provisions like purchase of policies across state lines, small business pooling and medical malpractice reform are absent from today’s legislation," Lance added.
"And it has yet to be analyzed for cost and effects by the Congressional Budget Office."
Lance noted that the bill will face scrutiny in the Senate, with substantial changes expected before the Senate version passes back to the House.
"The final product will have to be a compromise between the two chambers," Lance said. "I remain committed to repealing and replacing Obamacare and will work with my colleagues across the Capitol to pass a better bill, one that lowers costs, improves access and increases quality of life for hard working New Jersey families.”