Fortenberry Statement on the American Health Care Act

May 4, 2017
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) today issued the following statement after voting for the American Health Care Act:

“As I prepared to vote today, I asked a Nebraskan visiting my office what he thought about the new health care bill. He said, ‘It’s a start.’ I agree with him.

“The bill is a ‘start’ to try and restore the health care system that all Americans deserve. My goal in health care repair remains the same: ensuring lower costs, promoting better health, and protecting vulnerable persons.

“In Nebraska, health care costs have risen over the past year between 35-50%. Moreover, our state soon may be left with only one insurance provider. While this bill is highly complex and has created a great deal of controversy, saying no to any change would lock us into a system with significant and worsening problems. This is fundamentally unfair to many Nebraskans.

“I fully realize that change causes anxiety for those who benefit from the current system.  At the same time, many are facing an awful choice: do I pay for increasingly unaffordable insurance, or pay for my other basic human needs?

“At its core, the new health care bill moves from a centralized one-size-fits-all Washington program to more of a state-based system with important federal protections. The legislation protects those with preexisting conditions and maintains insurance coverage for young people up to age 26 on family plans. Persons with preexisting conditions are helped through a new approach to federally-backed insurance.  

“Overall, I want to thank everyone who has contacted my office. I only have one choice: yes or no. Doing nothing is irresponsible. Today my choice is yes—with a steadfast commitment to improving this legislation for every American.” 

Fortenberry serves on the House Appropriations Committee.