Local political leaders react to health care vote

President Donald Trump, flanked by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, and House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., are seen in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Thursday, May 4, 2017, after the House pushed through a health care bill. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

It was heralded as a major win for President Donald Trump when the Republican-led House of Representatives approved a new health care bill by a vote of 217 to 213. Those approving the bill called it a great replacement for President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

Utah’s Congressional delegation all voted in favor of the measure and Cache County Republican Party Chairman Casey Snider says there is still work to do, but so far there is reason to be optimistic.

“I put trust in our delegation and the way that they voted, and to represent us,” explains Snider. “Obviously, the status quo isn’t working for many Americans and I’m hopeful that we can find an alternative that will take care of people but also bring costs down.”

Snider says he believes this will help show that Republicans know how to govern well. 

Cache County Democratic Party Chairman Danny Beus, however, strongly disagrees.

“It’s a terrible thing, honestly, to gut protections for people with preexisting conditions and cutting millions and millions of dollars from Medicaid,” Beus exclaims. “What they are doing is cutting health care for the poorest Americans. It’s very disappointing.”

Beus says this bill puts politics before people and he hopes the U.S. Senate will realize that and vote against the measure.

State Senator Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan, says the vote is a victory for Republicans but the bill still has a ways to go. Hillyard says a lot of people believe everyone is entitled to full health care benefits but they don’t question how much money it will cost.

“We’re focusing too much on how to pay for (benefits) and not on how to control them and how to use them wisely,” Hillyard claims. “The good example is we could solve a lot of our health care issues if, rather than allowing everybody to go to the emergency room who walks in who can’t afford to pay for it, make them go to Instacare, or some other place that is not nearly as expensive that they could take care of non-life threatening illnesses. That alone would save us a lot of money.”

Hillyard says, for example, people sometimes pay approximately $200 at Instacare compared to $1200 at an emergency room for the same ailment.

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