(BIVN) – President Trump turned up the volume on his hopes for an Obamacare repeal Monday.
As Trump urged senators to support a motion to proceed with a vote on the GOP’s American Health Care Act of 2017, he staged a press conference at the White House, surrounded by four families “adversely affected” by his predecessor’s Affordable Care Act.
The “victims of Obamacare”, as Trump called them, shared stories of “skyrocketing premiums, denied access, restrictions, and low reimbursement rates due to Obamacare’s failing infrastructure.”
“To every member of the Senate, I say this: The American people have waited long enough,” the President Trump stated. “There’s been enough talk and no action. Now is the time for action. We are here to solve problems for the people. Obamacare has broken our healthcare system — it’s broken, it’s collapsing, it’s gone. And now it is up to us to get great healthcare for the American people. We must repeal and replace Obamacare now.”
The White House issued this statement of administrative policy:
The Administration urges all Senators to support the Motion to Proceed to H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act of 2017.
For months, the Administration has supported multiple bills that repeal central parts of Obamacare and include replacement provisions, such as market stability funding and an expansion of Health Savings Accounts. These bills include H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act of 2017, and the Senate amendment to H.R. 1628, the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017. Both pieces of legislation fulfill President Trump’s promise to provide relief to Americans suffering from the failures of Obamacare and to transition to a better healthcare system by taking power out of Washington and returning it to the States and to families.
H.R. 3762, the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act, which passed both chambers in 2015, outlines yet another path to providing relief from Obamacare. This bill repeals Obamacare’s damaging individual and employer mandate penalties and its tax increases, while providing a reasonable transition period for the Congress to enact patient-centered healthcare. The Administration supports H.R. 3762 as a first step in a multi-step repeal-and-replace process.
As Obamacare exchanges continue a collapse that began years ago, the Administration firmly believes that inaction on healthcare reform is not an option.
The Administration strongly encourages all Senators to support the Motion to Proceed to H.R. 1628 and to move forward on repealing Obamacare and replacing it with true reforms that expand choice and lower costs.
Hawaii’s Democratic Senators continue to stand opposed.
Sen. Mazie Hirono took to the floor of the Senate, calling “Trumpcare a mean, ugly bill that will deprive tens of millions of people across our country the healthcare they deserve.”
Sen. Brian Schatz took things a step further, joining Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) in questioning the legality of administration efforts to “promote Trumpcare and undermine the Affordable Care Act”.
The senators sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, asking for information about his Department’s advertising and public relations efforts, including anti-ACA videos available on the Department’s official social media accounts.
“We are concerned that the use of appropriated funds to promote legislation pending before Congress violate both HHS’s constitutional responsibility to implement existing law, and legal prohibitions against using taxpayer dollars to lobby in favor of pending legislation,” the senators wrote. “The ACA is the law of the land, and HHS officials have an obligation to uphold and implement it.”