Walz bucks party, votes for GOP health care bill
First District Rep. Tim Walz joined 38 fellow Democrats today in voting for a Republican bill that would allow health insurance companies to continue selling policies that don't meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.
In a statement, Walz said he voted for the bill as a way to start making needed changes to the health care law. Below is the Mankato Democrat's full statement.
"As I’ve always said, health care reform is a journey not a destination. There will need to be fixes to the law along the way. While many folks may find higher quality, better value coverage on the marketplace, if you’re insured currently and you like your plan, you should be able to keep it. Although I’d rather have seen a stronger bill pass the House—a bill that allows folks to keep their plans, but also informs them of the plans deficiencies compared to new options on the marketplace—I believe this is a good starting point to fix the problem, which is why I supported it today.
"The status quo was unsustainable before health care reform was signed into law. While the Affordable Care Act isn’t perfect, nothing is. We need to continue moving forward and working together to improve the law when necessary and ensure every American has access to high-quality, high-value health care."
Two other Minnesota Democrats — 7th District Rep. Collin Peterson and 8th District Rep. Rick Nolan — also voted for the bill.
Walz's vote comes as Republicans are ramping up attacks on the congressman for having voted for Obamacare. The National Republican Congressional Committee sent out a press release targeting Walz's past support of Obamacare and said the congressman voted for the Republicans' bill because he is "desperate to hide his support." Meanwhile, 1st District Republican candidate Jim Hagedorn sent out a statement calling on Walz to support repealing the health care law.
"As the Obamacare saga has unfolded these past two months, First District Congressman Tim Walz, who voted for Obamacare and supports the Act's full implementation, was issuing partisan statement-after-statement and talking about everything and anything but Obamacare," Hagedorn said. "It is way past time for Tim Walz to address the concerns of his constituents."