GOP: Democrats should ‘hold the line’ on ACA repeal


The Hill article Washington (AP) Democrats are calling on the Trump administration to hold firm on the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, saying it would be an “irresponsible” move to go forward without the full public health protections that have made the ACA so successful.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and other Democrats called Thursday for the administration to make the case for its full repeal, arguing that the law has had an “unprecedented impact on people’s lives and health.”

The ACA, the health care law passed by Democrats and signed by President Donald Trump in 2020, was one of the most successful and progressive laws in U.S. history, with millions of Americans benefiting from coverage for pre-existing conditions and preventive care.

Democrats were able to secure a $15 minimum wage, expand access to college and expand Medicaid, among other programs.

But the law also has been plagued by cost overruns and problems with its electronic health records, leading to a major health care overhaul being pushed back into 2020 and 2018.

In his first major legislative push to repeal the law, President Donald J. Trump asked the U.N. General Assembly to pass a bipartisan bill that would repeal and replace it with a single bill that could pass in the Senate.

Democrats, who control both the Senate and House of Representatives, had hoped to get enough votes to pass the bill before the end of the year.

But Republicans are expected to hold onto most of their House majorities and some Senate seats in 2018, with Republicans likely to retain control of both chambers of Congress.

Schumer said Thursday that the GOP needs to “hold the lines” on the ACA repeal, even as the administration is preparing to submit a final version of the bill.

“The Trump administration should be the first to tell the Senate that it is wrong to proceed without fully repealing and replacing the ACA.

The Trump administration is right to be ready to submit its final legislation, and Democrats should be right to hold the line on this important vote,” Schumer said in a statement.

“If we fail to hold our lines on the bill, it will be an irresponsible move by the administration.”

Schumer’s statement came just one day after Vice President Mike Pence told reporters at a White House press briefing that he believed the administration had the votes to repeal and immediately begin the replacement process, though he did not say when the process would begin.

Pence said the administration would begin rolling out replacement plans “in a few weeks” and said there would be a timetable for how long that process would take.

In a statement, the American Federation of Government Employees, a union representing nearly 7 million government workers, said the GOP should hold firm and support a full repeal of Obamacare.

The ACA has been one of President Donald Donald Trump’s signature legislative achievements, and the Affordable Health Care Act was one key component of the legislation that was signed into law by President Barack Obama.

Democrats have called the ACA “the single most important piece of legislation in American history” that has saved millions of lives.

The group said the White House should also support the repeal bill, arguing it will ensure that health care coverage remains affordable.

The American Hospital Association said it supports the ACA and its replacement, saying its goal is to ensure all Americans have the same coverage and access to care.

“We recognize that the ACA is an important piece that has made health care affordable and accessible to millions of people,” said Sarah H. Smith, executive vice president of health policy and regulatory affairs at the AHA.

“We urge the administration and Congress to work together to repeal this flawed law.”

“We remain optimistic that Congress will quickly pass legislation that provides affordable coverage and coverage for all Americans,” Smith added.