With the GOP giving no reason for voters to keep them in Congress, one senator who is facing re-election next year is calling out to his fellow senators to get it together, soon, when it comes to ObamaCare.
Senator Dean Heller (R- Nev.) is hoping the ObamaCare repeal makes its way back up for a vote and Republicans can find the 50th vote they need to pass it.
Sen. Heller, who is at risk of losing his seat in next year’s election, said, “Once we have 50 votes, health care will come up again. And so, if you hear Washington, D.C., talking about health care, it’s because we found that 50th vote, and I hope we do. No one was more disappointed than myself.” Sen. Heller was referring to the Senate’s inability to pass the most recent bill last month.
In order to keep the repeal process moving forward, he voted for the “skinny repeal” bill. That bill was considered a scaled-down repeal bill and ripped away items such as ObamaCare’s mandate for people to have health care coverage as well as the medical device tax. The “skinny repeal” bill did not touch Medicaid.
Sen. Heller defends himself for protecting Medicaid by saying, “I made a promise and I kept that commitment.”
Democrats, who are clearly not in favor of repealing and replacing the failing ObamaCare have been hitting Sen. Heller hard for voting for the skinny bill. Their stance is that 16 million fewer people would have insurance as a result of repealing and replacing ObamaCare. Many of the people who would be without insurance would choose not to have insurance because of the absence of the mandate to buy.
Sen. Heller, along with Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), have come up with an alternative ObamaCare replacement bill. They have been meeting with White House officials and hope the proposed bill can gain support and momentum. It will focus on giving decisions to the states and would take the current ObamaCare spending and give it back to the states in a block grant. The bill would also include major changes to Medicaid. It would put a cap on Medicaid spending. Medicaid expansion monies would go into the block grant going back to the states.
Of the bill, Sen Heller has said, “Let’s drain the swamp for healthcare, let’s get it out of Washington, D.C., and send this money to the states.”
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, spending would be 34 percent lower than current spending by 2026 with the block grant proposal. They feel this is a dangerous cut.
ABOUT SENATOR HELLER
He has held the seat since being appointed in 2011 by Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval after the resignation of John Ensign. Heller resigned as a member of the United States House of Representatives, Nevada’s 2nd congressional district where he had served from 2007-11 to assume office in the Senate. Prior to that he served as Secretary of State of Nevada (1995–2007) and a member of the Nevada Assembly (1991–95). He became the dean of Nevada’s Congressional Delegation when his Senate colleague Harry Reid retired in 2017.
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