Charlie Baker Is “Disappointed” after Republicans Pass the AHCA

"I urge Congress to reject this bill."

Photo via Governor's Office/Alastair Pike

Photo via Governor’s Office/Alastair Pike

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker says he is “disappointed” after his Republican colleagues in the House voted Thursday in  the AHCA, the bill that would repeal Obamacare and replace it with a GOP-devised plan. He said it “would significantly reduce critical funds” for Massachusetts healthcare and urged Congress to reject it.

“Massachusetts leads the nation in health care coverage and I am disappointed by today’s vote as this bill would significantly reduce critical funds for the Commonwealth’s health care system,” Baker, a Republican, says in a statement. “As the U.S. Senate takes up this bill, we will continue to advocate for the Commonwealth’s priorities so that all residents have access to the health coverage they need. Maintaining flexibility through the Medicaid program is critical to the Commonwealth’s ability to provide coverage for the needy and I urge Congress to reject this bill in its current form.”

The bill cleared the House this afternoon on a vote of 217-213. No Democrats voted for it. It heads next to the Senate.

Baker, a prominent and popular Republican, has continually advocated against the repeal-and-replace plan, known as the American Health Care Act—both this one and a prior version that sputtered earlier this year. In January, he wrote a letter to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy in support of keeping much of Obamacare in place. In March, he cautioned in a letter to the state’s Congressional delegation that the plan would cost the state $1 billion in 2020. He has not make a similar estimate based on the language of the new bill.

His comments come as the state is grappling with lower-than-expected tax revenue with just two months to go until the end of the fiscal year, prompting concern about deepening state budget problems as officials mull cuts to services.

The Affordable Care Act was a signature piece of legislation from President Barack Obama, who will be in Boston this weekend to accept the Profile in Courage award at the JFK Library.

Baker isn’t the only one “disappointed” by today’s news. Mayor Marty Walsh said something similar in a statement of his own.

“I am disappointed that Congress voted today to repeal the Affordable Care Act,” Walsh says. “This action will hurt people living with pre-existing conditions, deny access to essential benefits including substance use treatment and recovery services, and trigger large reductions in vital funding to Massachusetts. I stand with our Congressional Delegation in opposing this harmful proposal and vow to continue working to ensure that our residents have access to adequate, affordable health care.”