Rep. Mike Coffman isn’t giving up on the dream of repealing the Affordable Care Act just yet, despite Republican leadership pulling their replacement plan Friday afternoon.
The Aurora Republican said in a statement that he and others in his party made a promise to voters to get rid of Obamacare, and they need to keep it. Coffman was the only Colorado congressman to publicly support the American Health Care Act — the bill to planned replace Obamacare.
“Republicans promised to repeal and replace Obamacare. There are legitimate differences of opinion in our Conference about how we accomplish that, but we need to bridge them and get this job done,” Coffman said. “We need to get a bill to the Senate, refine it and finish our work. History will judge the party harshly if we don’t keep our word to repeal and replace the Obamacare disaster.”
After canceling a vote on the seemingly doomed American Health Care Act on Friday, Speaker Paul Ryan said America will be “living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future.”
It’s still unclear whether President Donald Trump asked Ryan to pull the replacement bill or if the speaker made the decision himself.
What was clear to Ryan was that he would be unable to get the necessary 216 votes in favor of repealing the Affordable Care Act and replacing it with the Republican plan. No Democrats were expected to support the bill, and some Republicans — including Colorado Reps. Ken Buck (Windsor) and Doug Lamborn (Colorado Springs) — went into today’s proceedings “undecided.”
On the other side of the aisle, Colorado Democrats are doubling down on their offer to work with Republicans to improve the existing law.
“There is bipartisan agreement across the country that we should improve the Affordable Care Act and do more to bring down premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs,” Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Denver, said in a statement. “I am prepared to work with colleagues across the aisle on legislation to improve the ACA, just as we worked together to modernize biomedical research with the bipartisan 21st Century Cures Act that became law three months ago. Congress can accomplish the goal of improving health care in this country without hurting millions of people in the process.”