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Three Republicans shoot down repeal and replace effort on Obamacare

This news story was published on July 28, 2017.
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Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)
UPI/Kevin Dietsch

WASHINGTON, D.C. ­– U.S. Senator John McCain, battling brain cancer, stepped forward and joined fellow Republican Senators Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins in shooting down a GOP bill that allegedly would have repealed and replaced the beleaguered Affordable Care Act, known to many as Obamacare.

McCain, an Arizona Republican, released the following statement Friday after becoming the 51st “no” vote on the so-called “skinny repeal” of Obamacare:

“From the beginning, I have believed that Obamacare should be repealed and replaced with a solution that increases competition, lowers costs, and improves care for the American people. The so-called ‘skinny repeal’ amendment the Senate voted on today would not accomplish those goals. While the amendment would have repealed some of Obamacare’s most burdensome regulations, it offered no replacement to actually reform our health care system and deliver affordable, quality health care to our citizens. The Speaker’s statement that the House would be ‘willing’ to go to conference does not ease my concern that this shell of a bill could be taken up and passed at any time.

“I’ve stated time and time again that one of the major failures of Obamacare was that it was rammed through Congress by Democrats on a strict-party line basis without a single Republican vote. We should not make the mistakes of the past that has led to Obamacare’s collapse, including in my home state of Arizona where premiums are skyrocketing and health care providers are fleeing the marketplace. We must now return to the correct way of legislating and send the bill back to committee, hold hearings, receive input from both sides of aisle, heed the recommendations of nation’s governors, and produce a bill that finally delivers affordable health care for the American people. We must do the hard work our citizens expect of us and deserve.”


U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, an Iowa Republican, issued a statement after Senate consideration of legislation to repeal and replace ObamaCare failed.

“As I’ve said throughout this debate, ObamaCare is not sustainable in Iowa and we have to act. Iowans in the individual market have seen their choices vanish and have seen massive rate increases. Throughout my 99 county tour, I hear countless stories from Iowans facing these premium increases, as well as increases in other out of pocket costs like deductibles and copays that they simply cannot afford. We don’t have the option to sit back and do nothing; Iowans are demanding relief from ObamaCare.

“I am disappointed that the Senate was unable to advance important changes to this flawed law. We must now continue to find ways to work on behalf of Iowans and the American people who have been negatively impacted by Obamacare to find affordable, patient-centered solutions that work for them.”

Statement from GOP Senator from Maine, Susan Collins:

Senator Susan M. Collins Statement on Health Care Reform July 27, 2017
Few issues are as important or personal to the American people as health care, which is why this debate has been so fervent and ignites such passion.

On the one hand, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has allowed millions of individuals and families to obtain health insurance for the first time. It has also brought important patient protections like those for people with pre-existing conditions and prohibitions on annual and lifetime limits on insurance payments for needed care.

On the other hand, too many Americans face skyrocketing premiums and unaffordable deductibles coupled with mandates that give them few, if any, choices. Some insurance plans have become so restrictive that families find they can no longer go to the doctor or hospital of their choice. In addition, the ACA’s employer mandate discourages businesses from creating jobs or giving their workers more hours, while its tax credits and subsidies are designed so poorly as to cause “wage lock” – where working harder to get ahead can instead make some Americans fall further behind.

Despite President Obama’s campaign promise that his health care plan “would save the average family $2,500 on their premiums” per year, the opposite has happened as premiums are increasing in nearly every state, with an average increase of 25 percent nationally last year. And today, despite the implementation of the ACA, 28 million Americans remain uninsured.

These problems require a bipartisan solution. The Democrats made a big mistake when they passed the ACA without a single Republican vote. I don’t want to see Republicans make the same mistake.

Earlier this week I voted against proceeding to health care reform legislation – the American Health Care Act of 2017 – that passed the House of Representatives last May without a single Democratic vote. For many Americans, this bill could actually make the situation worse. Among other things, the bill would make sweeping changes to the Medicaid program – an important safety net that for more than 50 years has helped poor and disabled individuals, including children and low-income seniors, receive health care. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that the number of uninsured Americans would climb by 23 million under this bill.

Senate Leaders, recognizing that the House bill did not have sufficient support, advanced their own substitute proposal that would make similar structural changes to the Medicaid program, as well as many other changes. CBO estimates that this plan would reduce the number of people with insurance by 22 million, cause premiums and other out-of-pocket costs to soar for Americans nearing retirement, and shift billions of dollars of costs to state governments. It also would undermine the financial stability of rural hospitals and long-term care facilities and likely lead to the loss of important consumer protections for many Americans, while doing virtually nothing to address the underlying problem of escalating health care costs. Earlier this week, this body struck down that proposal by a vote of 43 to 57.

A separate proposal that would simply repeal the ACA without a replacement also failed, by a vote of 45 to 55. That legislation, according to CBO, would result in 32 million people losing their insurance, bringing the total number of uninsured Americans to 60 million a decade from now. Clearly, that is going in the wrong direction.

In a final effort to reach consensus, Republican Leaders have pieced together a plan that would repeal key portions of the ACA while punting on many of the more difficult questions. While I support many of the components of this plan, this approach will not provide the market stability and premium relief that is needed.

In fact, a bipartisan group of Governors wrote Senate Leaders this week urging rejection of this so-called “skinny” plan, which they say “is expected to accelerate health plans leaving the individual market, increase premiums, and result in fewer Americans having access to coverage.” I ask consent that the letter be entered into the record.

Also included in all of these plans is a misguided proposal that would block federal funds, including Medicaid reimbursements, from going to Planned Parenthood. Millions of women across the country rely on Planned Parenthood for family planning, cancer screening, and basic preventive health care services.

Denying women access to Planned Parenthood not only runs contrary to our goal of letting patients choose the health care provider who best fits their needs, but it also could impede timely access to care.

If Planned Parenthood were defunded, other family planning clinics in Maine, including community health centers, would see a 63 percent increase in their patient load. Some patients would need to drive greater distances to receive care, while others would have to wait longer for an appointment.

Let me be clear that this is not about abortion. Federal law already prohibits the use of federal funds to pay for abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is at risk.

This is about interfering with the ability of a woman to choose the health care provider who is right for her. This harmful provision should have no place in legislation that purports to be about restoring patient choices and freedom.

We need to reconsider our approach. The ACA is flawed and in portions of the country is near collapse. Rather than engaging in partisan exercises, Republicans and Democrats should work together to address these very serious problems. In their letter to Senate Leaders, the bipartisan group of Governors correctly notes that, “True, lasting reforms can only be achieved in an open, bipartisan fashion.”

Health care is extraordinarily complex, and we must work together systematically in order to “do no harm” and improve our health care system. In developing legislation, our focus should be on the impact on people, premiums, and providers.

We’re dealing with an issue that affects millions of Americans and one sixth of our economy, and we need to approach reforms in a very careful way. That means going through the regular process of committee hearings; receiving input from expert witnesses such as actuaries, governors, advocacy groups, and health care providers; and vetting proposals with our colleagues on both sides of the aisle. It needs to be a much more deliberative process, and I am pleased that Chairman Alexander has expressed a willingness to begin hearings in the Senate Health Committee.

Neither party has a monopoly on good ideas, and we must work together to put together a bipartisan bill that fixes the flaws in the ACA and works for all Americans.

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17 Responses to Three Republicans shoot down repeal and replace effort on Obamacare

  1. McCain Reply Report comment

    July 29, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    F U Trump. Call me a coward instead of a war hero and I will ram your wacko agenda up your ass.

  2. Carly Reply Report comment

    July 29, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    Have you noticed what is being discussed has nothing to do with healthcare? People are still getting healthcare, still going to emergency room for minor problems. Look no closer than Albert lea to see what is in store for rural America and the future of your small town hospital. How long does it take to get an appt and what is the wait time to see a specialist?
    And then there is the lack of responsibility on the part of the patient. They got to the doctor and then refuse to follow recommendations to make their health better. Then they go back to the doctor again and the cycle continues all on the back of Medicare and insurances.
    Until members of congress use the same health insurance as the rest of us they will never get it. I guarantee you JM will get far better health care than you or I would get.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      July 29, 2017 at 3:16 pm

      My last two annual physicals under Obama-crap-care lasted under five minutes and I never removed a stitch of clothing. No blood pressure exam, no pulse, no, temperature, no prostate exam, nothing like it used to be. Hello, how ya feeling, and goodby.

      The future of health care for people don’t bode well.

      • Anonymous #3 Reply Report comment

        July 29, 2017 at 4:09 pm

        Maybe it is your Doctor that is failing you and not the system. I have had the same great care from the same great doctor in the same system you are in.
        Sounds like you need a new Doctor.

  3. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    July 29, 2017 at 10:26 am

    It’s funny how the ACA/Hillary/Obama health care premiums for many American Families are causing near catastrophic financial problems for them, just so a few can have insurance that didn’t before. Ironic, isn’t it?

    • Watchdog Reply Report comment

      July 29, 2017 at 11:05 am

      Great observation.

      So they vote no because 14 million people will lose their free or reduced cost government healthcare while our Government punishes and makes 250 million people miserable. Makes no sense.

      Socialism and Capitalism are not compatible. I will stick with Capitalism and Free Enterprise competition. I prefer freedom over Government control.

  4. Watchdog Reply Report comment

    July 29, 2017 at 9:03 am


    Socialism and Capitalism are not compatible. Government take over of healthcare now punishes ALL Americans.

    Socialist/Progressive/Democrats launched America’s healthcare debacle in 1965 with the creation of Medicare, single payer insurance for Seniors only.

    In 1972 Medicare was broke so Congress enacted “price control” on the amount Hospitals and Doctors receive for payment of service for Senior Citizens. Seniors pay 10% to 20% of the costs for the same healthcare service that Non-seniors pay. (To make it more confusing each states Medicare costs are different. For example a MRI in Iowa is $1500.00 and the same MRI in Florida is $3500.00)

    The result was Hospitals and Clinics were forced to raise their prices for health service ARTIFICIALLY HIGHER to compensate for what they were losing on health service for Seniors.

    Insurance companies then followed by raising insurance premiums for Non-seniors.

    In essence, Young People are subsidizing Senior Citizens healthcare inside their insurances premiums. This is just plain unfair and has led us to our current healthcare premium crisis.

    Can’t have a single payer for Seniors and free enterprise for Non-Seniors. No way to get a handle on costs!

    I would undue Medicare and let Free Enterprise compete on a national level. Poor people should be provided for under a different law that requires them to work or provide community service to pay for their health care.

    This is where I would start.

  5. Buster Reply Report comment

    July 29, 2017 at 8:34 am

    Communication is easy. Theses lawmakers are at fault. Greed is the culprit. As for economic 101 is very clear how and where the funds are going. Shame comes to those that follow foolishness.

  6. Buster Reply Report comment

    July 29, 2017 at 8:15 am

    Honest Abe they called ’em and he represented the government. He is on a coin hopefully in your pocket. And he ran a frontier ‘post’ with cantor. As for brass tacks for this and that the United Post Office is in
    the business of preservation as usually. If’n you have debit card your in essence taxed. So yeah where the flag flies Uncle Sam resides.

  7. Buster Reply Report comment

    July 29, 2017 at 3:37 am

    At least the US Post Office ain’t looking for profit and rightly so. That’s one branch that still holds onto integrity by and large.

    • Myth Busters Reply Report comment

      July 29, 2017 at 6:01 am

      The USPS is not a branch of government. They take 0 tax money and are funded entirely by the cost of stamps and other charges for the cost of their products and services.

      • Watchdog Reply Report comment

        July 29, 2017 at 8:37 am

        Whoa there Mr. Myth Buster, the taxpayers have bailed out the USPO more than once in the past.

  8. Buster Reply Report comment

    July 29, 2017 at 1:32 am

    If’n these greedy SOB knew that there ‘tax’ for not having health Ins. took away the ONLY bonus check US working class peeps get by way of our tax refund every spring then they would realize that there ‘smarts’ fall way short of intelligence. Revenue men can go to…have a good life big john and company. America

  9. Carly Reply Report comment

    July 28, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    And no one will want to criticise JM considering his medical condition. Either this is payback for him against trump, he wants to have a legacy, or his medical condition is clouding his judgement. I said it and I have a good understanding of what age and brain tumors can do to the cognition of people. That is thinking skills for those who don’t know what cognition is.

    • Anon Reply Report comment

      July 28, 2017 at 9:50 pm

      Wow Carly, a Trump supporter that uses the word “cognition”.Those two things are not compatible Carly.
      The nerve of Trump who never served for a bone spur of all things to say a man imprisoned and tortured wasn’t a “hero” because he was captured. Still enrages me.
      We served our country and our lives were put at risk. Getting captured is one of the risks associated with that. Try to imagine this orange haired wussy and how he of the gilded penthouse would have whined like a baby in that prison. McCain was the stuff of heroes that thankfully, made this nation great.
      What slams do you have against Senators Murkowski & Collins votes? Menopause perhaps? You know that reduces “cognition”

      • Carly Reply Report comment

        July 29, 2017 at 8:53 am

        You are making an assumption that I am a trump supporter. As far as the other two…. rinos. Read the history on John and you will see he isn’t the all American hero everyone thinks he is.

    • Watchdog Reply Report comment

      July 29, 2017 at 8:32 am

      Republican ruse.


      McCain’s disdain for Trump made it easier for him to vote no and his PROGRESSIVE agenda. John McCain is the leader of the Progressives inside the Republican Party. McCain knew his single vote would give the “yes” votes cover. There are 10 or so Progressive Republicans that are extremely liberal who also wanted to vote no. They arranged for McCain to come back for this vote to give them cover.