U.S. Democratic Sens. Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Tim Kaine of Virginia today introduced the lead amendment to stop Republican efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
The amendment would prevent the Senate from considering fast-track legislation that the senators said would increase health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs, reduce the number of Americans with health coverage, and/or reduce the benefits provided by private health insurers.
“If Republicans have their way, 30 million Americans will lose their health insurance,” Murphy said. “We’ll go back to the day when people were denied coverage and went bankrupt simply because they got sick, and when women paid more to receive the same benefits as men.”
“Health care in America should be less expensive and easier to find,” he said. “But rather than even trying to work in a bipartisan way, Republicans are working day and night to take health care away from the people who need it. We can’t let that happen.”
“There is no reason, while we acknowledge the need for improvement, to repeal the Affordable Care Act outright without having a sense of what the replacement would be,” Kaine said. “By doing so, we create chaos in the economy, chaos in the health insurance market and chaos in the most intimate and most important area of people’s lives – their health.”
The measure would establish a 60-vote threshold for considering any legislation that triggered reductions in coverage, increase in costs, and/or reduction in quality.
John Whitbeck, chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, issued a statement maintaining that GOP members of Congress are following the mandate given them by voters in the November election.
“All through the 2017 campaign, Republicans promised to make the repeal and replacement of Obamacare job-one if voters trusted us to govern,” Whitbeck said. “Now, with a Republican Congress and Republican headed to the White House in just over two weeks, we’re keeping that promise.”