Congressman Steve Knight (R-Palmdale) regularly voted to put health care out of reach for constituents. And now Republican leadership is gearing up for one more vote against the popular Affordable Care Act (ACA) before the 2018 midterms.
Rather than try once again to completely repeal the ACA, the House is preparing to vote on a bill that delays or repeals certain provisions in it.
According to the Hill, the bill would delay the ACA’s employer mandate policy, which went into effect in 2015. The provision requires companies with at least 100 workers to provide health insurance or pay a penalty. The Republican bill would suspend the penalty through 2019.
Further, the bill would change the definition of “full-time employee” from the current 30 hours per week up to 40 hours per week.
What would be the impact of the bill?
Health Care Voters, a nonprofit group, said in a statement that the bill will cause up to one million people to lose their health insurance.
“By increasing the requirement to be considered a ‘full-time employee,’ Republicans have found yet another way to sabotage Americans’ health care and make it clear they remain obsessed with trying to increase the number of uninsured workers,” said spokesperson Eduardo Silva.
Further, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), this bill would cost more than $50 billion.
Knight has been a reliable voter for the Trump agenda — including attacks on health care — siding with the Trump-Paul Ryan agenda 99 percent of the time. He has a track record of being a dutiful “yes man” for Trump, especially on health care issues.
In 2017, Knight voted to gut the ACA and replace it with a Republican alternative that would have eliminated protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions, one of the most popular provisions in the law. If Knight had his way, cancer patients, those suffering from asthma, and even pregnant women could have paid thousands more every year in health care costs.
Knight also supported a provision dubbed an “age tax” by the AARP. The provision would have increased costs for people aged 50-64 by up to thousands of dollars per year.
And while the bill under consideration this week would cause up to a million people to lose health insurance, the bill Knight wanted to make law would have caused 23 million people to lose health insurance.
Knight has relentlessly attacked access to affordable health care, and done so with no regrets.
In his district, Health Care Voters is teaming up with a local nonprofit, SoCal Healthcare Coalition, to educate voters about Knight’s record on health care.
“This desperate attempt to repeal our health care won’t go unnoticed by the millions of health care voters mobilizing across the country,” said Silva. “The American people won’t stand for these relentless attacks on our care, and the GOP should be ready to be held accountable come Election Day.”