Larsen Slams Republicans For 60th ACA Repeal Vote, Failing to Renew Job-Creating Export-Import Bank

WASHINGTON, D.C.—As House Republicans today held the 60th vote to repeal or undermine the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, called on Congress to instead focus on creating jobs and growing the economy by reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank.

Larsen voted against but the House passed H.R. 1190, which would repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), an ACA mechanism to respond to high rates of growth in Medicare spending. While not yet set up because of slowing growth in health care costs under the ACA, the IPAB would recommend strategies to contain Medicare costs. It is prohibited from recommending changes that would ration care, increase costs for beneficiaries, reduce benefits, or change eligibility.

The bill pays for the IPAB repeal by cutting $8.85 billion from ACA’s Prevention and Public Health Fund, which supports programs designed to prevent strokes, cancer, obesity and more, some of the country’s biggest health problems.

“Medicare is a cornerstone of our social safety net. I have long fought to protect Medicare’s guaranteed benefit, while working to rein in costs by cracking down on fraud to keep Medicare strong for generations to come.

“Because ACA has so effectively slowed growth in health care costs, IPAB is not even set up yet. Republicans continue to push proposals that would end Medicare as we know it while falsely waving this bill as an accomplishment for seniors. To make this stunt worse, Republicans are cutting prevention programs focused on fixing some of our country’s most pressing health problems,” Larsen said.

Meanwhile, the Export-Import Bank is set to expire on June 30, and the Republican-controlled House has yet to take action. The Bank gives Pacific Northwest businesses of all sizes access to critical financing to sell their goods overseas, and it has supported more than $71 billion in exports from the Second Congressional District since 2007.

“If we want a healthy economy, our country cannot afford to lose the jobs and growth the Export-Import Bank creates. Congress could vote today to reauthorize the job-creating Export-Import Bank. Instead, House Republicans are stopping progress for the middle class by wasting time and money voting for the 60th time to undermine a law that is working,” Larsen said.

Larsen earlier this year helped introduce a bill to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank for seven years. He led efforts to reauthorize the bank in 2012.