Senators Should Proceed to Health Care Debate

Washington — Tomorrow, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is expected to offer a motion to proceed to the House-passed American Health Care Act (H.R. 1628). That key procedural vote will allow Senate Republicans to begin debate on their seven-year promise to repeal and replace Obamacare. If the vote fails, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) will move to convene hearings to discuss bipartisan ways to stabilize the individual insurance market. Similar efforts are already underway in the House. Heritage Action released the following statement from chief executive officer Michael A. Needham:

“Failure is not an option. For seven years, Republicans promised the American people that they would do everything in their power to dismantle Obamacare. Every single Republican should vote yes tomorrow.”

Earlier this month, The Heritage Foundation acknowledged the Senate’s revised Better Care Reconciliation Act was an “imperfect legislative product” but made clear that it was “nonetheless a major improvement over the status quo.” In June, Heritage Action’s Needham wrote:

“No one should be under the illusion this is the best possible bill. No one should excuse moderate Republicans’ reluctance to keep their promise to repeal Obamacare. But the restraints imposed by Republicans’ current governing coalition will take years, not weeks, to overcome. The long term work of righting that ship need not and cannot prevent Republicans from governing in the here and now under those constraints.

“Regardless of what happens later this summer, one thing is certain: Democrats will not stop in their quest for a nationalized, single-payer scheme. Conservatives cannot cede the playing field despite justified disappointment with the current process. Conservatives are right to fight to improve this bill where we can. But we must also evaluate the legislation before us on its own merits, not merely as a broken promise but also for the meaningful reforms it contains. Conservatives don’t have to like that reality, but we do have to live with it.”

Heritage Action: Obamacare Bailouts are Unacceptable (July 2017)
Heritage: Waiving Federal Insurance Rules: How the Senate Bill Would Allow States to Improve Their Health Insurance Markets (July 2017)
Heritage: Recent Health Bills’ Key Provisions to Undo Obamacare Damage: A Comparative Overview (July 2017)
Heritage Action: Next Steps on Obamacare (July 2017)
Heritage Action: Senate Republicans Promised to Repeal Obamacare, Not Bail it Out (July 2017)
Heritage: Why the Revised Senate Health Care Bill Is an Improvement Over the Status Quo (July 2017)
Heritage Action: Americans Need Relief from Obamacare (June 2017)