Washington state leaders react after health care bill pulled

SEATTLE -- Leaders from around Washington state were quick to voice their opinions Friday after House Republican leaders pulled legislation intended to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Democrats from the state lauded the effective elimination of the bill, criticizing the failed legislation they say would have taken coverage away from 24 million Americans.

"Today 600,000 Washingtonians beat Congress, and can rest easy knowing that Speaker Ryan and President Trump have failed in their misguided attempt to destroy health care in America," Governor Jay Inslee said in a release.

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, D-Seattle, said the bill's failure is a victory for all in the health care system.

"Today is a victory for 24 million Americans who will continue to have health care," Jayapal said. "It's a victory for older Americans who won't have to pay thousands more in premiums. It's a victory for women who can continue to access critical birth control and lifesaving care."

U.S. Rep. Denny Heck, D-Olympia, in-part credited Washington constituents with the bill's failing.

"Every single person who spoke out is a hero, and we couldn't have defended the Affordable Care Act without them," Heck said in a statement. "Going forward, I stand ready to work in a bipartisan fashion to make health care even more affordable and accessible for every American."

Congressman Adam Smith said repealing Obamacare would have thrown away meaningful progress.

"Repealing the Affordable Care Act is a mistake and would throw away the meaningful progress we have made towards increasing the quality and accessibility of affordable health care," he said.

Local Republican leaders were more reserved in their comments.

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Issaquah, who did not publicly announce how he planned to vote on the bill, said his focus will remain on creating a high-quality health care system.

"My focus has always been to work together with all Members of Congress to create a patient-centered, high-quality health care system that offers more choices at affordable price," Reichert said in a statement. "this is the health care system Americans deserve. Today, Congress could not come to a consensus that the legislation debated on the floor of thee U.S. House achieved those goals."

Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, said she is disappointed Congress couldn't come to a consensus about repealing Obamacare.

"Although I'm disappointed we couldn't find consensus on how to repeal and replace Obamacare, I'm optimistic about the agenda House Republicans have proposed," McMorris Rodgers said. "I'm eager to continue work on the many issues that are important to people Eastern Washington and around the country, like lowering taxes and putting the people back at the center of our government."

Congresswoman Jaime Herrara-Beutler, R-Vancouver, did not immediately release a statement on the bill's failing. Herrara-Beutler said earlier this week she planned to vote "no" if the bill came to the floor.