American Bridge spokesperson Andrew Bates released the following statement after Sen. Mitch McConnell alleged that Affordable Care Act places were “collapsing” and that the path forward on healthcare was “murky.”
“The marketplaces have proved resilient despite repeated attempts by Donald Trump to sabotage the Affordable Care Act, but now it’s time for Republicans to come to terms with reality and commit to working across the aisle to improve existing law. We need an approach that puts the American people ahead of partisanship, something like that might even stop Sen. McConnell’s approval rating from ‘collapsing.'”
The Hill: McConnell: Path on healthcare ‘murky’
BY JORDAIN CARNEY – 08/21/17
02:03 PM EDT
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) acknowledged Monday that Congress’ next steps on healthcare are unclear after Republicans failed to repeal ObamaCare.
“Obviously we had a setback on the effort to make dramatic changes on ObamaCare. The way forward now is somewhat murky,” the Senate GOP leader said at a Chamber of Commerce event in Kentucky with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
A GOP push to pass a “skinny repeal” of ObamaCare failed in a dramatic 49-50 vote before the August recess. A broader repeal proposal and a measure to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act simultaneously also failed to get 50 votes in the Senate.
McConnell added that lawmakers were “going to see” what negotiations between Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the top two members of the Senate’s healthcare committee, aimed at stabilizing the individual health insurance market could produce.
“We have … collapsing individual insurance markets around the country. Requests to continue to subsidize the insurance companies. It’s a pretty controversial subject to subsidize insurance companies without any reforms,” the GOP senator said.
He added that Democrats “have been pretty uninterested in any reforms,” but the two parties will need to try to negotiate when they get back to Washington next month.
“So when we get back after Labor Day we’ll have to sit down and talk to them and see …what the way forward might be,” he said.
Alexander and Murray are expected to hold a series of bipartisan Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP) hearings next month.
Their goal is to craft an insurance stabilization bill by mid-September that is expected to include money for ObamaCare’s cost-sharing reduction payments, which President Trump has threatened to cut off.
McConnell has previously acknowledged that the next steps on healthcare are unclear after Republicans campaigned for years on repealing and replacing the Obama-era law.
“If the Democrats are willing to support some real reforms, rather than just an insurance company bailout, I would be willing to take a look at it,” McConnell told reporters earlier this month ahead of the annual Fancy Farm Picnic.