President Donald Trump shakes hands with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) after he addressed a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol.

Updated 1 p.m. March 22

The Pennsylvania delegation in Washington isn’t feeling the American Health Care Act, the Affordable Care Act replacement plan endorsed by President Donald Trump and being floated by House Republicans.

Congressman Charlie Dent, a moderate from the Lehigh Valley, expressed concern about the impact the new plan could have on Medicaid. Scott Perry, one of the more conservative members of the Pennsylvania delegation, said he “remains concerned” about the proposed legislation. Several PA GOP leaders have hinted at dissatisfaction with it, too, and others, including Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, have not specifically discussed their opinions.

Here’s a rundown of how Pennsylvania’s senators and congressmen feel about the Republican health care plan, as well as Gov. Tom Wolf. We will update as lawmakers change their positions or make their positions more clear.


Bob Casey

Party: Democrat

Does he support it?: No

Why: Casey considers it harmful for lower income citizens, particular for its possible effects on Medicaid.

Statement: Via Twitter, Casey said in response to a Trump tweet, “The GOP health plan is basically a tax cut for millionaires, destroys Medicaid and insurers (sic) fewer people. But yeah, why would we worry?”

Pat Toomey

Party: Republican

Does he support it?: Unclear

Why:  Toomey spokesperson Steve Kelly tells us he is “reviewing the House plan.” Monday during a Facebook Live Q&A session, hours before the plan was revealed, Toomey noted people would have plenty of time to make adjustments if the bill becomes law.

Congressional delegation

Lou Barletta

Party: Republican

Does he support it: Yes

Why: Barletta came out with a statement March 21 that he won’t support the AHCA — and his statement made national news. Why? Barletta’s a big Trump guy. He supported the president heavily in Pennsylvania and was even rumored to be considered for a cabinet position. But he came out against the AHCA, saying he “cannot support it in its current form” due to a mechanism that he believes could offer tax credits to “illegal immigrants.”

However, on Wednesday, the day before a vote in the House was scheduled, Barletta released a statement saying he’s now a “yes” on the bill after a productive meeting with President Trump and House Speaker Ryan.

From the statement: “Millions of Americans can no longer afford health insurance under Obamacare, while at the same time, three-quarters of a billion dollars in Obamacare subsidies have been given to illegal immigrants,” Barletta said.   “President Trump and Speaker Ryan agreed with me last night that this is wrong and must be fixed.  The president gave his full support to legislation I will introduce to deny health care tax credits to illegal immigrants, and the speaker promised to bring the bill to the House floor for a vote. Because my concerns were met, I will vote for the bill with the understanding that my bill will receive full consideration on the House floor next month.”

Brendan Boyle

Rep. Brendan Boyle

Party: Democrat

Does he support it: No

Why: Boyle, whose district encompasses parts of Philadelphia, said in a statement that the AHCA would “increase costs and provide worse care for Americans.” He mentioned his status as co-chair of the Blue Collar Caucus and said he’s “particularly incensed” that middle class and low-income families could see increases in the cost of their health care while wealthier families could see tax breaks.

Statement: “This bill would be one of the largest transfers in wealth from low and middle income families to the wealthiest in recent memory… Under the Republican plan, working families could see their premiums and deductibles increase by hundreds to thousands of dollars, and older Americans would be forced to pay premiums five times higher than what others pay for health coverage.”

Bob Brady

Credit: U.S. House

Party: Democrat

Does he support it: Unclear, but probably no.

Why: Brady has not spoken publicly about the plan or released a statement. He helped lead a rally supporting Obamacare in January and, as a longtime member of the Democratic establishment both in Philadelphia and in Washington, Brady would likely not support the AHCA plan.

Matthew Cartwright

Party: Democrat

Does he support it: Unclear, but leans no

Why: We haven’t been able to track down a statement one way or the other from Cartwright, who represents parts of northeast Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. But he’s a loyal Democrat and supported the Affordable Care Act, so he likely leans no.

Ryan Costello

Party: Republican

Does he support it: Sure seems like it

Why: Costello, whose district includes parts of Chester, Lebanon, Berks and Montgomery counties, voted in favor of moving the bill out of the Energy and Commerce Committee, saying he believes it “is the appropriate framework through which to rein in healthcare costs and improve our healthcare system.”

From the statement: “I look forward to the forthcoming bicameral legislative process to make additional improvements to the legislation so that we can go about fixing our healthcare system. I encourage continued feedback from my constituents and all affected stakeholders, including patients, doctors, nurses, and others involved in the healthcare system.”

Charlie Dent

Rep. Charlie Dent

Party: Republican

Does he support it: Unclear, but leans “no”

Why: Dent, one of the remaining centrists in Congress, represents portions of the Lehigh Valley. He’s signaled that he has serious concerns about the viability of the AHCA, and a growing number of moderates became uncomfortable with the bill after the Congressional Budget Office score showed more than 20 million people could lose their healthcare under the plan. Dent told CNN that his concern with the legislation is the component that would roll back Medicaid expansion before 2020 — something Dent said would be a “non-starter,” especially for legislators representing states like Pennsylvania that expanded Medicaid under the ACA.

From the statement: “I am continuing to thoroughly review and evaluate the released version of the American Health Care Act, paying special attention to its impact on Pennsylvanians.  I am pleased that the bill fully repeals the jobs-destroying medical device tax, addresses over-reaching government mandates, and includes some elements of replacement.  I remain concerned, however, about the impact of the Medicaid changes on vulnerable populations, as well as the overall effect of the bill on access to affordable care.”

Mike Doyle

Rep. Mike Doyle

Party: Democrat

Does he support it: No

Why: Though we couldn’t track down a statement from Doyle, a Democrat who represents Pittsburgh, we’re pretty certain he isn’t in favor of the this plan. He tweeted Tuesday an article that indicated millions of Americans could lose coverage under the AHCA. He told CBS Pittsburgh that “They’ve taken affordable out of the bill… If you’re a working family in my district, it’s going to be tougher to be able to purchase insurance.”

Dwight Evans

Party: Democrat

Does he support it: No

Why: Evans, a freshman congressman who represents parts of Philadelphia, said in a statement that he’s concerned some 220,000 Philadelphians are vulnerable to losing their coverage under the AHCA.

From the statement: “We have seen real numbers, heard countless success stories and have hard facts to prove the ACA provides quality, affordable health insurance to millions of Americans. In the African American community we have seen the uninsured rate decrease dramatically as a result of the ACA. Now, is not the time to repeal and replace a law that is working with a plan that will cost Americans more money for less coverage.”

Brian Fitzpatrick

Party: Republican

Does he support it: No “in its current form”

Why: Fitzpatrick, a first-term Republican who represents parts of the Philadelphia suburbs, is a critical representative being targeted by both sides of the aisle to not support the bill, even being the target of area ads launched by the Club for Growth, a conservative think tank against the AHCA. Fitzpatrick released a statement March 22 saying he can’t support the bill in its current form because he’s concerned it cuts funding for opioid abuse treatment and recovery programs.

From the statement: “I have many concerns with this bill, and first among them is the impact on the single most important issue plaguing Bucks and Montgomery Counties, and the issue that I have made my priority in Congress: opioid abuse prevention, treatment and recovery. I commend both the Administration and House Leadership for focusing our nation’s attention on reforming our broken healthcare model.

“I am continuing my discussions with House leadership, urging them to address our concerns and to develop solutions based upon transparency and free-market principles to drive down healthcare costs and expand access to all. It is important to note that this bill is one of several reform measures being considered, and many more bills will surely follow. It is incumbent upon all elected officials, at every level of government, to take our time and to get this right. Healthcare is far too important and we must not settle for anything less.”

Mike Kelly

Rep. Mike Kelly

Party: Republican

Does he support it: Yes

Why: Kelly, who represents parts of Erie and northwestern PA, is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and voted the bill out of committee, saying the group “answered the American people’s call and that of President Trump and officially put the American Health Care Act on the path to becoming law.”

From the statement: “This historic bill represents Phase One of the overall repeal and replace process; Phase Two will be the action that Secretary Price takes at the Health and Human Services Department, and Phase Three will come in the form of future patient-centered legislation that could not be included in the reconciliation process. With the leadership of President Trump, as well as the support of conservative policy champions like Vice President Pence and Secretary Price, my colleagues and I in Congress will fulfill our promise to relieve the nation of Obamacare while avoiding the mistakes of its disastrous creation. Through it all, we will guarantee that this delicate process remains honest, open, and transparent for the American people.”

Tom Marino

Party: Republican

Does he support it: Yes

Why: Marino, who represents parts of Central Pennsylvania, wrote on Facebook: “I look forward to working with the president on more legislation that replaces Obamacare with a more cost effective and patient centered plan, ensures that those entering our country are doing so the right way, provides our middle class families much needed tax relief and works to bring jobs back to our country.” The week a vote was scheduled on the AHCA, Marino said he wouldn’t be releasing a statement on what he’s voting for until after the vote takes place. But he’s a big Trump backer, and several organizations counting House Republican votes on the bill have put him in the “yes” column.

A spokesman for Marino told The (Sunbury) Daily Item: “The American Health Care Act is a major improvement over Obamacare. The AHCA will lower premiums, reduce the deficit and lower taxes. This health care act will finally give people the freedom to choose the quality of health care that they want.”

Pat Meehan

Party: Republican

Does he support it: Unclear

Why: Meehan, who represents parts of the Philadelphia suburbs and Delaware County, voted for the bill to make it out of the Ways and Means Committee, but after the CBO score of the bill was released, a spokesman told reporters Meehan is still working to decide “whether it’s prudent to move forward with the legislation.” Meehan represents a district won by Hillary Clinton in November, meaning he’ll have to weigh the political implications of supporting the bill — especially if it could lead to loss of coverage for a large swath of his constituents.

Tim Murphy

Party: Republican

Does he support it: Yes

Why: Murphy, who represents Southwestern PA, defended the AHCA in this tweet. He also told reporters that “The American Health Care Act creates a better framework by putting the patient at the center. With our plan, you can get the care you need from the doctor you choose at a price you can afford.” Murphy is proposing an amendment to the bill he said will strengthen mental health treatments.

Most recently, Murphy — a psychologist in the Navy Reserve Medical Service Corps. —penned an op-ed in The Hill defending the legislation and writing that “Republicans will step up again to address the issues that the Obama administration overlooked in their failed healthcare reform endeavor, putting forth a health care plan that goes further than the current law to help families in mental health crisis.”

Scott Perry

Rep. Scott Perry

Party: Republican

Does he support it: No

Why: In a statement, Perry, a conservative who represents parts of south central PA, said in a statement that while the ACA is “broken” and he supports its repeal, he remains “concerned about the alternative.” Most recently, Perry said during a recent town hall that he’ll vote “no,” saying it “does not drive the cost of health care down.”

Statement: “We need something that significantly reduces costs, increases access, provides the flexibility to choose your coverage, and re-connects patients with their providers – with less decision-making by the insurance companies. I agree with President Trump that this is a starting point for negotiation. I’ll continue to seek and hear your thoughts as the Congress moves forward in the replacement process.”

Keith Rothfus

Rep. Keith Rothfus

Party: Republican

Does he support it: Undecided

Why: Rothfus, who represents parts of southwestern Pennsylvania, has been non-committal so far. He said as recently as March 17 that he remains undecided.

From the statement: “I am already reading and reviewing the legislation to determine it addresses the concerns I have had for seven years, and I welcome feedback from constituents on the proposal,” he said in a statement to the Beaver County Times.

Bill Shuster

Rep. Bill Shuster

Party: Republican

Does he support it: Unclear, but leans yes

Why: While we weren’t able to track down a full statement from Shuster, who represents portions of southwestern PA, we’re pretty sure he supports this bill. He was the only representative from Pennsylvania who reportedly met with Trump’s team Tuesday after the bill was unveiled to huddle about whipping votes in favor of the bill.

Lloyd Smucker

Party: Republican

Does he support it: Yes

Why: Smucker, who represents parts of south central Pennsylvania, said in a statement that he’ll work to advance “this critical legislation.”

Statement: “While more work needs to be done, the American Health Care Act is a good start to ensuring Pennsylvanians will have access to the care they need at a price they can afford. I will work with my colleagues in the House to advance this critical legislation, and will fight for a stable transition to a better system for everyone.”

Glenn Thompson

Party: Republican

Does he support it: No

Why: Thompson, who represents parts of central Pennsylvania, told The Centre Daily Times that he “cannot support the bill in its current form.”

“Obamacare must be repealed, but I have concerns with any proposal that would increase costs for older Americans,” he told the CDT. “As a former licensed nursing home administrator, I also need better assurances that services for our most vulnerable populations will not be jeopardized.”

From the statement: “While I believe the House bill contains a lot of good, it is a work in progress. I have met with the House leadership and committees of jurisdiction throughout the week to express these concerns and advocate for additional changes to the bill. I stand by my principles that health care reform must lower costs, increase quality and ensure that rural populations have access to care.”

Other PA politicians of note

Governor Tom Wolf

Credit: Governor Tom Wolf/Flickr

Party: Democrat

Does he support it?: No

Why: He claims it will cut health care coverage for nearly a million Pennsylvanians.

Statement: “It will eliminate healthcare coverage for middle class families while encouraging insurance companies to increase executive salaries. This is a bad plan that would leave thousands of Pennsylvania seniors and families unable to afford access to basic medical care coverage.”

Mark Dent is a reporter/curator at BillyPenn. He previously worked for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, where he covered the Jerry Sandusky scandal, Penn State football and the Penn State administration. His...