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Key Michigan GOP moderate rejects health care bill

u.s._rep._fred_upton.jpg
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President Donald Trump is pressuring the House to vote on the Republican health care bill this week. The chances of that happening dealt a significant blow with a respected Southwest Michigan congressman saying he does not support it.

Moderate U.S. Rep. Fred Upton from Saint Joseph, Michigan is a 16-term House veteran who until this year chaired the chamber's Energy and Commerce Committee.

He said Tuesday he can't back the health care legislation because it undermines insurance protections that current law gives people with pre-existing illnesses.

The GOP bill would let states get federal permission for insurers to charge some people with pre-existing illnesses higher premiums. Currently, they must charge sick and healthy customers the same premiums.

House Republican leaders hope to push the health care bill through the House this week. But they remain short of votes.

Upton's defection could make it easier for other moderates to vote no.