Toomey Wants to Repeal the Affordable Care Act With or Without a Replacement

In a statement, the senator said he was “disappointed” with the failure of the Senate health care bill, which he helped draft.

Disability activists protested outside Sen. Pat Toomey’s Philadelphia office yesterday, some covered in fake blood, to speak out against his push to repeal the Affordable Care Act and cut back on Medicaid spending.

Several hours later, Toomey released a statement calling for a “full Obamacare repeal bill that would take effect in two years so that Congress can use this time to craft a legislative replacement and move toward a consumer-driven health care system.” 

In other words, Toomey wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act with or without plans for a replacement. This was already evident in his role in drafting the Senate health care bill, which ultimately failed this week because it could not draw enough support from Republicans. The legislation is opposed by a bipartisan group of governors, including Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf, who said in a statement that they fear “efforts to ‘repeal’ the current system and replace sometime later … could leave millions of Americans without coverage.”

Members of ADAPT, a national grass-roots organization, blocked the doors to Toomey’s Philadelphia office for hours Tuesday to advocate against the bill, which would end Medicaid as an open-ended entitlement program by imposing annual caps on spending. Medicaid, which largely benefits the poor and disabled, insures 20 percent of Americans, covers nearly half of all births in the county, almost 40 percent of children and nearly 65 percent of nursing home residents, according to the New York Times.

The bill’s defeat is the latest blow to Republicans’ seven-year effort to repeal the ACA, which President Donald Trump has vowed to see through.

In his statement, Toomey said he was “disappointed with the failure of the draft Senate bill. History will look back on this moment and harshly judge this Congress for not beginning the process of replacing Obamacare and for failing to put Medicaid on a sustainable trajectory when we had the opportunity to do so.”

Here’s the full statement from Toomey:

“Obamacare is failing. In Pennsylvania, Obamacare premiums are up 120 percent and 40 percent of our residents are limited to one insurer on the exchange. Families are still in dire need of relief. Meanwhile, Medicaid is fiscally unsustainable as its costs continue to grow faster than our economy.

“I intend to vote to proceed to a full Obamacare repeal bill that would take effect in two years so that Congress can use this time to craft a legislative replacement and move toward a consumer-driven health care system.

“I am disappointed with the failure of the draft Senate bill. History will look back on this moment and harshly judge this Congress for not beginning the process of replacing Obamacare and for failing to put Medicaid on a sustainable trajectory when we had the opportunity to do so.”

Follow @ClaireSasko on Twitter.

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