New Democrat Coalition Calls for Pragmatic, Consensus Path Forward
This week, the “skinny repeal” plan failed in the Senate 49-51. In the wake of this partisanship, the New Democrat Coalition Members continue to call for a pragmatic, consensus-driven path forward to stabilize and improve the individual health insurance market while protecting the Affordable Care Act.
“Last night, we saw three Republican Senators put country above party. For many Americans, including me, the sense of relief was palpable. For a moment at least, a glimmer of hope has reemerged that we may actually be able to fix the problems with our existing healthcare system without harming millions of Americans. I have been working with Members of the New Democrat Coalition, led by the Health Care Task Force Co-Chairs Reps. Kurt Schrader, Ami Bera, and Ann McLane Kuster, to craft a plan to stabilize the healthcare marketplace, the most necessary first step to controlling costs and premium increases. The ideas we are putting forward, and which we have presented to moderate Republican lawmakers for their consideration, are designed to be pragmatic, consensus solutions that actually have a chance of moving forward. At this point, the future is unclear. But that’s a good thing. It means there are still options and opportunities for Congress to build on last night’s momentum in the coming months and take action that will benefit everyone. It’s time for real cooperation,” said New Democrat Coalition Chair Jim Himes.
“The uncertainty that the new administration has created is throwing the health care industry into a spiral and it’s the folks across this country who will pay for it the most,” said Rep. Schrader. “If we don’t start acting on real solutions, everyone at home is going to pay for it with higher premiums. It’s never been more apparent than it has this past month that politicking and partisanship will not get us to a solution; working together will. I’m glad to see that the Senate recognizes we don’t need reckless bills that are only meant to fulfill empty political promises. We need concrete solutions and real proposals that will solve the problems at hand. I’m sick of political nonsense taking rank over good policy and real solutions. I know my neighbors and a lot of my colleagues from both sides of the aisle are sick of it, too,” said Affordable and Accessible Healthcare Task Force Co-Chair Kurt Schrader.
“As a doctor, I swore an oath: to do good, to do no harm, and to help patients make the best health care decisions for their own circumstances. This week, Senator John McCain called for a return to bipartisanship – I could not agree more. Sacramento County faces real health care challenges and it’s time Washington put aside the political games and worked to improve the lives of the American people. I recently led ten of my colleagues who released a plan to improve the Affordable Care Act. Just a few weeks later, our plan has the support of over 80 House Democrats. We are ready and willing to come to the table with solutions. I hope to work with my Republican colleagues in the coming weeks to put patients first, cut costs, and increase the number of people insured,” said Affordable and Accessible Healthcare Task Force Co-Chair Ami Bera.
“Last night was a win for the American people who are tired of partisan politics getting in the way of real solutions. Everyone who took the time to call their members of Congress over the past several months has played an important role in defeating this misguided effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and I want to thank you all. I have also heard from Granite Staters who have faced challenges accessing healthcare through the ACA. I appreciate those concerns, and I recognize the ACA is far from perfect. I urge my Republican colleagues to abandon their focus on repealing the ACA and instead come to the table in good faith to improve our healthcare system so that everyone is able to access quality, affordable health insurance. I’ve outlined what I hope can be the basis for bipartisan conversations about commonsense solutions to fix problems within the ACA and look forward to working with my Republican colleagues on this critical issue,” said Affordable and Accessible Healthcare Task Force Co-Chair Annie Kuster.