“I cannot support this legislation,” he said in the statement.
Fitzpatrick is currently serving his first term in the U.S. House of Representatives representing Pennsylvania’s 8th District, which includes all of Bucks County, as well as a portion of Montgomery County.
The move follows weeks of “Fridays with Fitzpatrick” protests outside of his Langhorne office, along with a letter-writing and phone campaign by the Indivisible Lambertville & New Hope organization.
“Took a while but he got to the right place,” said one member of the group on Facebook.
The current administration and House Speaker Paul Ryan want to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and pass legislation that would limit federal funding for Medicaid, ditch subsidies for age-based tax credits, and potentially add 24 million citizens to the rolls of the uninsured, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
So why did Fitzpatrick finally switch course after weeks of defending his position?
“The issue that I have made my priority in Congress: opioid abuse prevention, treatment and recovery,” Fitzpatrick said in his statement.
The congressman praised Trump and House Republicans for trying to “reform our broken healthcare model,” but said that his party’s replacement health bill will hamper drug enforcement.
Fitzpatrick has previously emphasized the need for stronger border security to address the nation’s opioid epidemic, claiming that most drugs and guns come from Mexico and Colombia.