By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Montrose, said the Senate must act on health care before the end of the month to pass a plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.
“We have now seen the Democrat’s alternative to Obamacare: Senator Sander’s single-payer healthcare bill,” Bryne said. “The American people overwhelmingly rejected increased government involvement in the last election, yet the Democrats have doubled down, putting forward a multi-trillion dollar government takeover of our entire health care system.”
“Senator Sanders’ bill would require massive new taxes on all Americans and move everyone onto a government healthcare plan,” Bryne added. “If you like your current plan, that’s too bad. This pie-in-the-sky idea is not only unrealistic, but would have devastating fiscal and practical effects on our citizens. That is not a legitimate option. Instead, the U.S. Senate needs to act before September 30th on health care legislation to limit the federal government’s role in healthcare and ensure real choices for consumers. I once again call on my colleagues in the Senate to join the House in passing a bill to rescue the American people from the failures of Obamacare. Time is running out, and action is desperately needed.”
In May, the House passed the American Health Care Act, repealing Obamacare.
That bill was never acted upon by the Senate, which insisted on rewriting the bill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s, R-Ky., alternative, a simple Obamacare repeal measure sponsored by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and the “skinny repeal” compromise bill all were rejected by the U.S. Senate.
Byrne’s office warned that the Senate parliamentarian has ruled that the fast-track plan to repeal Obamacare, known as reconciliation, will expire at the end of this month unless the Senate acts. Without reconciliation or a change to the Senate rules, any effort to repeal and replace Obamacare would require 60 votes in the Senate, instead of a simple majority.
Conservatives would like to see a free market approach to health care reform. Moderates in the GOP want the federal government to continue to be the payer for over half of the country’s health care bill. An increasing number of Democrats are backing Sen. Bernie Sanders’, D-Vt., plan to go to a single-payer model where the government absorbs the costs of everyone’s health care. The health care industry is 16 percent of U.S. gross domestic product.
Following the passage of Obamacare in 2010, the American people gave the Republican Party: control of the House of Representatives in November of 2010; control of the Senate in 2014; and the presidency in 2016. Implicit in those elections was the promise that the GOP would end Obamacare. The Senate is reportedly close to passing a moderate GOP plan, the Graham-Cassidey-Heller-Johnson bill. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is still not happy with the bill.