Nebraska and Iowa senators released the following statements in response to today's vote to begin debate on repealing and replacing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare:
Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb.:
“Under ObamaCare, health insurance has become increasingly unaffordable for Nebraskans. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, premiums in Nebraska increased 153 percent from 2013-2017. CoOportunity collapsed leaving 80,000 Nebraskans facing tough decisions with their insurance coverage. At this time, just like our neighbors in Iowa, our state has only one insurer offering individual plans. The status-quo is simply unacceptable and I believe we need to act, which is why I voted today to begin debate on the Senate floor.
“Nebraskans need relief. I am committed to working with my colleagues throughout this legislative process on solutions to provide families with quality, affordable care.”
Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb.:
"Today’s vote allows the Senate to begin debating health reform legislation on the floor. This is step one in what's going to be a long process — I expect the Senate to immediately start the back and forth amendment process. If a bill ultimately passes, it will not be the House bill, but rather something that goes to a conference debate process with the House of Representatives."
Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa:
“Today we took a significant step forward and voted to allow the full Senate to begin debate over repealing and replacing ObamaCare.
“For years, I have heard from Iowans who are struggling under the weight of ObamaCare and are looking for affordable, and patient-centered health care solutions. The reality in our state is that continuing the status quo isn’t an option because ObamaCare is unsustainable. Therefore, I will not stand by and do nothing while Iowans in the individual market have seen their choices vanish and will likely see a massive rate increase – all under the weight of ObamaCare.
“This is the long-overdue opportunity we’ve been waiting for to roll back this disastrous law and replace it with affordable, patient-centered solutions for Iowans. As we move forward in the time ahead, I will closely examine the amendments to see how they will affect Iowans’ insurance availability and affordability in 2018 and beyond.”
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa:
“By voting to move to proceed, the Senate sent the message that Obamacare is not working as promised. Obamacare has caused higher premiums and insurance that many people can’t afford to use. Now that we’ve opened the debate, all 100 senators have the chance to debate the issue and offer their amendments and ideas. Each senator can decide how to vote, based on the final bill and how it’s amended. The Senate process should work this way for the benefit of the American people.”