ObamaCare Repeal Moves Forward
January 11, 2017
(SitNews) Washington, D.C. - The ObamaCare repeal resolution passed the U.S. Senate 51 to 48 early Thursday morning with the support of U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan.
Both Murkowski and Sullivan (R-AK) voted for the Fiscal Year 2017 budget resolution (S. Con. Res. 3), the vehicle to allow the Senate to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through the budget reconciliation process. The resolution includes instructions to the Senate HELP and Finance Committees so that repeal can move a privileged process ensuring its expediency. The Republicans are using this budget resolution to provide for Obamacare's repeal, allowing the Republicans to act without any Democratic votes while Senate Democrats made a late-night show of resistance. The House is expected to take up the legislation Friday.
“This is a first and necessary step towards delivering better healthcare for Alaskans. The ACA has harmed Alaskans for far too long, from skyrocketing premiums to diminishing choices in coverage, and done nothing to reduce the cost of healthcare or improve its quality,” Murkowski said. "We can now begin the process of creating a more affordable system by repealing key elements of the failed law and allowing for the return of flexibility to the states. Through the passage of this resolution, we are now on the way to genuine healthcare reform that is affordable, accessible, and that provides for families' needs.”
“Today the Senate took the first major step toward repealing the Affordable Care Act, keeping our promise to the American people,” said Senator Sullivan. “‘If you like your health care plan, you can keep it. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,’ the President and those who supported ObamaCare told us in 2009. The law, they promised, ‘means more choice, more competition, lower costs for millions of Americans.’
Sullivan said, “That has not proven to be true for millions across our country – and Alaska is ground zero. With skyrocketing premiums and deductibles and one provider left in the exchange, our healthcare system is in a downward spiral. The Affordable Care Act is not affordable for thousands of Alaskans. Doing nothing is not an option."
“In this new Congress, I am committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle on an orderly transition that focuses on market oriented reforms that reduce the cost of healthcare without growing the size of government, and ultimately provides greater healthcare affordability and choice for Alaskans,” said Sullivan.
While supporting repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Murkowski has voiced her strong desire for legislation that will allow for a return to a healthcare system where states have the flexibility they need to control costs and increase insurance options for Alaskans. Murkowski believes the concurrent timing of repeal and replace is critical and that we must ensure there are no lapses in coverage for individuals and families as a better alternative is put in place.
Murkowski has long been an opponent of the ACA, saying from day one that the one-size-fits-all bill would never work in a rural, sparsely populated state like Alaska. She voted against the bill in 2010 and has repeatedly sought its repeal amid crushing premium hikes and the withdrawal of all but one insurer from the Alaska marketplace.
Moderate lawmakers have voiced “serious reservations” about starting the process without replacement plans being spelled out.
In his news conference on Wednesday, President-elect Donald Trump said that repeal of the Affordable Care Act would not occur without a replacement plan. “Obamacare is the Democrats’ problem. We’re going to take the problem off the shelves for them. We’re doing them a tremendous favor,” Trump said.
Editing by Mary Kauffman, SitNews
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