WASHINGTON — After months of arm twisting, false starts and political football, the House finally went on the record on the Republican health care plan Thursday.
The chamber ultimately passed the measure, known as the American Health Care Act, by a razor-thin 217-213 margin. The vote was strictly along party lines, with 20 Republicans crossing over to vote with every Democrat to reject the bill.
Georgia’s 13 congressmen all went with the leaders of their respective parties.
Ahead of the vote, 8th District Republican Austin Scott said he was supporting the legislation because it seeks to “put more competition in the health care system,” which he said would help lower insurance premiums.
Meanwhile, Lithonia Democrat Hank Johnson said the bill is “terrible” and would direct the health care system “backwards.”
“Anybody who votes for it, as Nancy Pelosi said, is tattooing their forehead,” he said. “Voters are going to remember what those Republicans in the House are doing today in 2018.”
Here’s how your representative voted:
Buddy Carter, R-Pooler
Drew Ferguson, R-West Point
Rob Woodall, R-Lawrenceville
Austin Scott, R-Tifton
Doug Collins, R-Gainesville
Jody Hice, R-Monroe
Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville
Rick Allen, R-Evans
Tom Graves, R-Ranger
Sanford Bishop, D-Albany
Hank Johnson, D-Lithonia
John Lewis, D-Atlanta
David Scott, D-Atlanta
The measure now moves to the Senate, where its political future is unknown. Odds are the bill will change substantially there, if it can move at all. That’s because Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has only two Republican votes to spare and must contend with arcane rules that limit the kinds of policy he can include in such legislation.
Georgia’s senators have refrained from making definitive statements on how they’d vote on the measure, but both Johnny Isakson and David Perdue have indicated they’re supportive of its underlying principles. In the two months since the previous version of the Republican health care legislation crashed and burned, both senators have propagated the need to work with Democrats on the issue.