Heritage Action Will Key Vote Health Care Amendments

Washington — This afternoon, the Senate voted to begin debate on the House-passed American Health Care Act (H.R. 1628). That successful procedural vote allows Senate Republicans to begin debate on their seven-year promise to repeal and ultimately replace Obamacare. Heritage Action released the following statement from chief executive officer Michael A. Needham:

“Obamacare’s failures are on full display as premiums skyrocket, networks narrow and insurers disappear. Today’s vote gives Senate Republicans the opportunity to debate a bill that will begin the process of dismantling Obamacare and restoring some semblance of federalism and freedom into our nation’s health insurance system.

“Throughout the amendment process, Republicans must unite to protect some of the most significant conservative reforms from hostile liberal amendments. Those reforms include the newly revised 1332 waiver process, generational reform of Medicaid and the rollback of the Medicaid expansion enhanced match, and additional consumer freedom provisions.”

Multiple key votes are possible throughout the amendment process. Because the rules governing the Senate’s budget consideration are complex, amendment votes often occur without notice. As a result, Heritage Action may not release key votes in advance during the vote-a-rama. Follow Heritage Action on Twitter throughout the debate to get up-to-date information of pending amendments.

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.”

Related:
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)

Heritage Action Supports the AIRR Act (H.R. 2997)

Washington —  Last month, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure approved the 21st Century AIRR Act (H.R. 2997). The bill, which could be considered by the full House later this month, would turn the nation’s Air Traffic Control system into a standalone government-sanctioned private, non-profit corporation. The Heritage Foundation wrote that the proposal “represents a superior alternative to the status quo” and “a substantial step in the right direction.” Heritage Action released the following statement from Vice President Dan Holler:

“The AIRR Act is the culmination of a decades-long conservative effort to provide consumers with more choices, improve modernization efforts, and spur aviation innovation. Over the past year, conservatives have worked closely with the committee to make important changes to labor and tax provisions to ensure these reforms will generate the type of savings experienced by Canadian air travelers.

“Barring significant changes, Heritage Action intends to key vote in favor of the AIRR Act. Congress should not allow special interest groups, like the General Aviation community, to undermine substantial reforms to our broken aviation system. Simply protecting the status quo is no longer acceptable.”

Obamacare Bailouts are Unacceptable

Washington — Next week, the Senate will take a key procedural vote to begin debate on Republicans’ seven-year promise to repeal and replace Obamacare. That vote is widely expected to fail, causing Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) to announce yesterday that he would 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:

“Until Senate Republicans demonstrate a willingness to come together and work with their colleagues to repeal and replace Obamacare, the near-term fight is to block a bailout of this failing law. Make no mistake, when lawmakers call for ‘bipartisan market stabilization’ they mean more taxpayer money and more regulations. That approach is unacceptable.

“Heritage Action supports the motion to proceed, which would be an indication of a willingness to work together. At this point Senate Republicans are clearly not inclined to bridge the significant policy divide within the party, even on something like the 2015 reconciliation bill that was vetoed in 2016. The only way to force those 52 individuals back to the table is to block efforts to prop up Obamacare. After seven years of promises, Republicans cannot simply retreat to the lowest common denominator in Washington of embracing the status quo.”

Related:
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)

Next Steps on Obamacare Repeal

Washington — Last night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced “the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful.” If the Senate votes to proceed on the House-passed bill, McConnell said the first amendment would be “what a majority of the Senate has already supported in 2015 and that was vetoed by then-President Obama.” Heritage Action released the following statement from chief executive officer Michael A. Needham:

“For seven years, the Republican Party pledged it was the party of repeal. That longstanding promise cannot be allowed to die quietly on a Monday evening. Every single Senate Republican should vote to begin debate. They owe it to their constituents and the nation.

“Once on the bill, they should vote in favor of the 2015-era Obamacare reconciliation bill. They are on record supporting that bill. To be clear though, even if that partial repeal is adopted by Senate Republicans, it will mark just the first step in a long process toward unraveling the damage caused by Obamacare. As Heritage Action cautioned last year, that bill ‘did not repeal the costly insurance rules, regulations, and mandates on plan offerings that have contributed to premiums skyrocketing, healthcare costs rising, and insurance plans being canceled.’ The faltering Senate bill made significant progress on that front.

“Many conservatives are justifiably frustrated with the obstinance of their more liberal colleagues, but both wings of the Republican Party must continue working toward their longstanding promise of repealing and replacing Obamacare. Anything less will be catastrophic for the party and the nation.”

Related:
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)