WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-08) released the following statement Thursday regarding his vote against the American Health Care Act [H.R. 1628]:

“We saw what happened when healthcare reform – an issue impacting 1/5 of our economy - was rushed through Congress along extremely partisan lines in 2010. The Affordable Care Act has failed to live up to its promises, and too many are left with skyrocketing premiums, limited access to their doctors, and insurers pulling out of the system entirely. This broken process yielded a broken product – the very reason we’re dealing with this situation today.

I’ve said from the start: ‘We need to proceed in fixing our healthcare system in a responsible, deliberate manner. That means any changes to our current system must ensure both the continuity of coverage and the continuity of patient protection provisions.’ Throughout this debate, I’ve made clear my concerns about the proposed legislation - including its impact on our response to the opioid epidemic crushing our community, something I’ve made a primary focus in Congress. Despite some positive portions, I could not support this bill with these issues unresolved.

It is my hope that the Senate takes the opportunity to return a reform bill that addresses this bill’s shortfalls, provides real solutions for the American people, and can garner my support because the status quo is unacceptable.”

Earlier this year, Fitzpatrick launched a Health Care Listening Tour comprising of sit-down meetings and listening sessions with patients, physicians, industry professionals, and local stakeholders on health care reform. He continues to actively solicit constituent input regarding the future of healthcare. His deliberate approach seeks to compare current policy with new proposals that advance the progress of healthcare in America.

As member of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force, Fitzpatrick has testified before a House Appropriations subcommittee to urge for robust funding authorized by CARA and the 21st Century Cures Act to help communities combat the opioid epidemic. Additionally, he has advocated for increased access to healthcare and medical treatments, including speaking out in support of removing barriers to care for the terminally ill Americans. Fitzpatrick has also called for the doubling women’s health funding at the National Institutes of Health from $4 billion to $8 billion.