House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy blasted Democrats in the Senate for stalling the confirmation of secretary of Health and Human Services nominee Rep. Tom Price, arguing they are holding up Congress from getting to work on repealing and replacing Obamacare.
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer questioned where Republicans are in the health care reform process, reminding senators that President Donald Trump promised at the start of his administration he would act quickly to provide a bill that expands coverage. McCarthy countered that Democrats have obstructed the process, criticizing efforts to halt the confirmation of Trump’s cabinet. He added the GOP’s replacement plan will be crafted using regular order, allowing the other side of the aisle to contribute to process in committee.
“It’s not on my side of the aisle. It’s on the Democrats’ side of the aisle over in the Senate. You know how far they have gone or how much they really want to work on health care?” he said on the House floor Friday. “Well, you actually said it needs to be reformed, they wouldn’t even show up in committee. So how much do they really care about Americans? They don’t even show up in committee to ask the question. They wanted to run and hide. How much do they really want to work?”
Republicans have repeatedly vowed to keep popular provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including provisions allowing dependents to stay on their parent’s plans until the age of 26 and requiring insurers to cover preexisting conditions while bringing down costs and expanding options. Democrats continue to back, saying they believe Obamacare is working therefore it shouldn’t be repealed.
McCarthy noted that premiums have skyrocketed since implementation, and argued that people with coverage often don’t have access to actual care, due to high out-of-pocket costs.
“We all know it’s a failure. So let’s stop playing the political games and let’s put the people before politics and let’s put a system that works. Our door’s open,” he continued. “The committee is open for all ideas. And let’s work together to solve it.”
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