Though President Barack Obama last week urged Republicans to stop voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act and instead work with Democrats to improve the law, it does not appear that they are eager to heed his call.
Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, who has unveiled an ACA alternative, said in a statement that the healthcare reform law has led to record premium hikes, caused millions to lose their plans or be forced to buy plans they don’t like, and triggered waste, fraud and abuse. “And at this point, one thing is clear: This law can't be fixed,” he said.
He also took aim at the Obama administration’s efforts to encourage more millennials to enroll through the ACA exchanges, saying “America’s young people know a bad deal when they see one--and Obamacare is a bad deal.”
For his part, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) suggested during Republicans’ weekly address that Democrats are the ones who have not been open to bipartisan cooperation.
“Unfortunately, instead of working across the aisle to fix this mess, President Obama and congressional Democrats are in denial,” he said. “In fact, they’re doubling-down on their support for this failed law.”
In his remarks last week, Obama argued that practical fixes for some of the ACA’s shortcomings could include a public option on the exchanges to boost competition and increased tax credits to help more Americans afford coverage.
But “none of those things would move the needle one bit” in terms of fixing the healthcare reform law, Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) told The Hill.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has also championed the concept of repealing and replacing the ACA, though his opponent Hillary Clinton has indicated she would leave it largely intact.
A panel of experts from the University of Pennsylvania recently said they doubt the ACA will be repealed regardless of the outcome of the presidential election, given the vested interest that powerful pharmaceutical and health insurance corporations have in new markets created by the law.