Following the death of the Republican health care bill in the Senate, Democrats have intensified their calls for GOP leaders to work with them on fixing Obamacare as opposed to repealing and replacing the highly-controversial legislation.
“Democrats have said all along that the [Affordable Care Act] is not working perfectly … and we are prepared to sit down and make it work well,” House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer told reporters Tuesday. “We believe that reforming the ACA and making it work well is reflective of what the American people would want us to do.”
Hoyer made the case that Obamacare is functioning fine, comparing the amount of Americans covered under the Obama-era health care bill to the Senate’s proposed Better Care Reconciliation Act.
“The fact that Republicans – the president and the Republicans in the Senate and the House – keep saying it’s not working, that is not accurate,” Hoyer said. “That’s why people will lose insurance if the Republican bills pass.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer echoed the minority whip’s calls for improving Obamacare in a Tuesday press conference.
“It’s getting clearer and clearer that Senate Republicans won’t be able to pass either their bill or a backup plan of repeal without replacement,” Schumer said. “We Democrats believe that the time has finally come for our Republican colleagues to take us up on our offer of working together to improve the health care system, rather than sabotage it.”
Senate Republicans’ attempt at a replacement collapsed Monday night, when Sens. Jerry Moran of Kansas and Mike Lee of Utah united with Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Susan Collins of Maine to oppose the GOP health care bill.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell responded swiftly to the bill’s death, announcing that he would instead introduce a measure to fully repeal Obamacare, buying time for Republicans to come up with a replacement. That proposal did not gain enough GOP support, either.
While it might seem like wishful thinking for Democrats to think they can save Obamacare, it could become a reality if Republican leadership in the Senate cannot muster up votes on health care legislation soon.
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