By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
WASHINGTON, DC—Wednesday, January 11, 2017, Senate Republicans began the process of repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, better known as Obamacare, through the budgeting process.
“In our first major act in the 115th Congress, Senate Republicans voted last night to pave the way towards repealing and replacing Obamacare with patient-centered health care reforms. After more than six years since the enactment of the massive government takeover of health care, there is no doubt that Obamacare is broken beyond repair,” Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) said on social media. “I have heard from thousands of Alabamians about the harmful impacts of Obamacare on their health care, their family, their job, and their wallet.
“The American people have entrusted Republicans with a unified government and they demand, expect, and deserve results. I am pleased that our first major act in the 115th Congress was to pave the way towards repealing and replacing this failed law with patient-centered health care reforms.”
US Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Alabama) said in his own statement, “The Senate has taken the first step in the process of repealing Obamacare, and I expect the House will act in the next few days. Due to procedural roadblocks from Democrats, we are having to use a multi-step process in order to get the repeal passed. In reality, the ultimate outcome, not procedure, is what is important. We must get rid of this failed law and replace it with something that actually works.”
US Representative Terri Sewell (D-Alabama) disagreed. “Last night, Senate Republicans voted to begin the process of repealing the ACA,” Sewell said. “A vote in the House on this same measure is expected this week which I will proudly oppose on behalf of the 213,000 Alabamians who have gained coverage under the Act.
“Republicans have had 7 years to produce a viable alternative to the ACA and have failed to do so. Instead of abruptly repealing the law without a replacement, we need to work together to increase access, stabilize the markets, and decrease costs.”
On Wednesday, Texas Senator Ted Cruz reintroduced legislation to fully repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Cruz’s has introduced this piece of legislation each year he has served in the senate. Early Thursday morning, Cruz voted in favor of the Senate’s budget resolution, which provides a critical step toward fully repealing Obamacare.
“With Republicans now in the White House, and in control of the House and Senate, I look forward to working with my colleagues to keep our promise to the American people to fully and completely repeal Obamacare,” Cruz stated. “When we repeal Obamacare, we will rein in out-of-control health care costs and rejuvenate the number and quality of health care choices – but our job won’t be complete until we fully return health care decisions and dollars to American families and their health care providers. Unwinding the harms of Obamacare begins now by fully repealing the law and starting over with commonsense, patient-focused reforms that put patients and their doctors back in the driver’s seat.”
Cruz plans to introduce additional pieces of legislation, starting with measures to remove state lines as boundaries for purchasing insurance and to reform the Food and Drug Administration to break down barriers to life-saving medical advances in developed countries.