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LaHood: Republican Healthcare Plan ‘Right Approach’

Darin Lahood's Campaign for Congress

Congressman Darin LaHood (R-Illinois) said he supports the House Republicans’ plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. LaHood said even though 20 million more people now have health care due to Obamacare, the insurance is not affordable.

“Their deductibles are all up at $5,000, $6,000, or $7,000. So you can say you have insurance but it’s not affordable," LaHood said.

"The average premium in my district has gone up 55% in the last four years so what I’m looking for is legislation that will fix the costs. I think the bill that was introduced in the House is the right approach.”   

LaHood said many counties in his west-central Illinois congressional district have only one insurance provider participating in Obamacare, which is one reason why costs are up.  He said one remedy is to allow insurance companies to sell across state lines.

“So in some ways, there’s a monopoly in every one of these places because there aren’t options. If you could go across to Iowa or Indiana or Missouri or Florida and look at another health care option, that is vital,” LaHood said.

LaHood said the Republicans’ American Health Care Act keeps some of the good parts of Obamacare which include not allowing discrimination against those with pre-existing conditions and allowing children to stay on their parent’s insurance until their mid-20s.

A report by the non-partisan think tank, Center for American Progress, found that 34,700 people in LaHood’s district (IL-18th) would lack health insurance by 2026 if  Congress repeals the ACA.

LaHood said he plans to support the Republican plan when it comes up for a vote in the U.S. House this week.  So far, no Democratic members of the House have come out in support of the plan.

LaHood was an Illinois State Senator when Congress passed Obamacare. He said the program has failed to do what was promised

“So how do we fix, revise, reform that and keep the things that have worked and do it in an affordable way? The House bill does some of those things,” LaHood said.

Check out NPR's health care tracker to see where other members of Congress stand on the American Health Care Act.

Emily Boyer is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.