With the Senate voting to advance a measure to repeal and replace Obamacare, a group of conservative Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee said they are “not prepared to vote for the repeal and replacement of the ACA unless we get a chance to replace it with something that is in our best interest.”
The bill that would repeal the Affordable Care Act, known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act, would have a number of Republican senators voting to keep the Affordable Health Care Act intact, but the measure has yet to pass the House and has been stalled in the Senate.
The Better Care Act would require health insurers to sell coverage across state lines, expand Medicaid eligibility to people making up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level, and eliminate the requirement that people purchase insurance across state borders.
The bill would also eliminate the Affordable Child Care Tax Credit, which has provided nearly one million families with tax-free childcare for the past three years.
“The bill that we have is not in our long-term interest, particularly for middle-class families,” Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee, told reporters on Wednesday.
“This is a bill that has no teeth, it has no authority, it’s not going to have a real impact on premiums, it won’t have a meaningful effect on the costs of insurance.”
Alexander said he had a “concern” about the bill’s impact on children, but noted that there was no evidence to support the claim that premiums would rise in states that expanded Medicaid.
“But it’s just one of those things that you have to take a look at and evaluate it,” he said.
“We have a lot of work to do to get this done.”
Republican Senator Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican, added that the “best way” to address the issue of premiums would be to “make the best possible product, and that is a health care system that works for everyone.”
Corker also said that he had “not seen the full bill” and “is not familiar with the details” of it, though he added that “there is a chance” that it would be “very different from the one we have today.”
On Wednesday, Republican Senator Rand Paul, who was one of the bill backers, criticized the “weak” plan.
“There are a lot more details to get,” Paul said.
Republicans have faced criticism for their efforts to repeal the ACA, with some Senate Republicans voting to repeal it even before the Senate’s healthcare committee voted to advance the bill.
On Wednesday morning, Senators Lindsey Graham, Republican from South Carolina, and Susan Collins, Republican senator from Maine, announced that they were joining forces to advance healthcare legislation.
“I am excited to be joining the bipartisan healthcare team that will help pass the Better Health Care Reconcililiation Act,” Graham said in a statement.
“While this bill is far from perfect, I believe it is the best path forward.”
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump, a Republican, said he was not planning to sign the legislation, but that he would be making a “determination on a later date.”
“I think I’m going to sign it because I think it’s better for the country,” Trump said during a rally in Florida.
“If you look at what’s happening with healthcare, we’re at the brink of something bad happening and you know what?
We’re not going.
I mean, we have it now for three years, and you don’t have it, you don.
It’s a disaster. “
What we’re doing is we’re putting a system in place that will not make people sick.
It’s a disaster.
And I just hope we can put it together in a way that’s fair.”