What Does Bob Say?

In this new section, we’ll take a look at Bob’s own words on the issues, and report back on our visits to Bob Latta’s Bowling Green office.

May 19, 2017

May 12, 2017

American Health Care Act

Rep. Latta was one of the few members of Congress to vote on the American Healthcare Act. As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Latta reviewed the bill in committee, and on March 9, voted “yes” in favor of advancing it to the full House. Keep in mind that the Congressional Budget Office report on this bill was not released until March 13, so Latta cast his vote without even knowing how the plan would affect cost or coverage for Ohioans.

How does Bob explain his position? In his newsletter, he said this:

For many Ohio families, Obamacare has meant higher premiums, less access to care, and fewer choices.  It’s time that we repeal this broken law and replace it with patient-centered health care.

Needs context: While it’s true that on average premiums have risen, Ohio has not been hit as hard as most other states. In fact, the Fiscal Times reports that on average, premiums in Ohio increased by just 2%, the lowest increase in the nation. The total number of insurers did drop from 15 to 11 in the state, and there are some counties in OH-5 that now have only 1 insurer, but overall, the market in Ohio is not in bad shape, which argues for fixing the ACA rather than the repeal that Latta calls for.

The House of Representatives is beginning this process with the introduction of the American Health Care Act which would eliminate Obamacare’s burdensome taxes and put in place free-market reforms that empower patients to make their own decisions when it comes to their health care.

Needs context: What the Congressman isn’t saying about those “burdensome taxes” is that they affect only the wealthiest Americans, those who make more than $200,000 a year, and those taxes are used to provide healthcare, through the Medicaid expansion, to the most vulnerable. The other thing Bob is not saying is that only those who can afford to buy the products in the free market really have all this “freedom” and “choice” the Republicans keep talking about.

Bob also reports on his website:

Congressman Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green) joined his colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives in passing legislation that takes an important step forward toward repealing Obamacare. Latta voted for S.Con.Res. 3, the Fiscal Year 2017 budget, which now paves the way for passing a repeal of the President’s massive health care law in the coming months. (Jan 13, 2017)

Needs context: You might be wondering what a budget bill has to do with the ACA. In short, this bill de-funds parts of the ACA, weakening it and causing some of the very problems that Rep. Latta then uses to support his call to repeal the bill. Seems like a pretty dirty trick!

After his vote, Rep. Latta told WFIN 1330 in Findlay that

…we could not get enough people to come to a consensus that the bill would do what they wanted it to do, and so we were kind of in a quandary then, so that’s when the speaker decided not to put the bill up.

Needs context: When Latta says “enough people” what he means is “enough Republicans” — there was no thought of working with colleagues across the aisle on this bill. It’s interesting that there is disagreement among Republicans about what the bill will do. Maybe they should read the CBO report.

In the same interview, Bob indicated that health care and tax reform could be worked on at the same time, so he’s not done trying to give us “freedom” and “choice” in health care yet.