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Neighbors Growing Together | Jun 19, 2018

Ernst, Grassley vote to repeal Obamacare

Jul 27, 2017

Ed Tibbetts, Quad-City Times


WASHINGTON — Sens. Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley voted Wednesday to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the first in a series of actions this week as Republicans attempt to come up with a health care solution that so far has eluded them.

The Iowa Republicans joined most of the other Senate Republicans in backing a repeal, which would not have put in place an immediate replacement. They also voted late Tuesday for a repeal measure.

Both failed, however, because several Republicans joined a unified front of Democrats in voting against them.

Sens. Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin, both Illinois Democrats, voted against the repeal efforts. Durbin complained the bills were drafted in secret and would throw millions off health insurance.

On a conference call with reporters before Wednesday’s vote, Grassley said it would be painless because it would be delayed for two years giving Republicans time to come up with a replacement.

“Nobody’s going to be hurt over that two-year time as we work on replacement,” he said.

Democrats rejected that idea. They said no insurer would take a chance on joining the marketplace with all the uncertainty surrounding a repeal.

Republicans have struggled to come up with a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act that can garner enough votes. The House passed a bill, but that was panned in the Senate.

Subsequent Senate plans also have been opposed by enough Republicans to stymie them.

On the conference call Wednesday, Grassley said the goal in the Senate is to get something through the body so there can be a House-Senate conference.

“I’d hate to say anything, but you’re going to have a conference anyway, so getting to conference is a necessary step for me ...,” he said.

Despite the hope the Senate can pass something, Grassley said he still is “pessimistic” a bill will clear Congress.

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