CONTACT: Steve Butterfield, Policy Director
Consumers for Affordable Health Care
(207) 213-7254 (Cell)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 28, 2017
Maine’s Senators Lead in Defeat of Latest Version of ACA Repeal
Advocates hopeful that Senate leadership chooses to abandon repeal effort and embrace bipartisan solutions
Statement of Steve Butterfield, policy director of Consumers for Affordable Health Care, in response to this morning’s vote in the U.S. Senate on the so-called “skinny repeal” amendment to the American Health Care Act
“Consumers for Affordable Health Care is relieved to see the latest version of an unfixable and unworkable bill be defeated.
Since it was first written, and continuing through one desperate amendment after another, this bill has been about one thing and one thing only: bringing real harm to millions of Americans in the interest of fulfilling a campaign promise, no matter what the cost.
Those members of Congress who chose to support this legislation were making it clear that they would accept virtually any number of Americans losing their health coverage in order to tally up a legislative ‘win’. While they have frantically voted on one terrible amendment after another, millions of Americans, including tens of thousands of Mainers, have been forced to plead with their elected officials not to take away their health coverage and their access to health care.
Here in Maine, we are fortunate that Senator Susan Collins, Senator Angus King, and Congresswoman Chellie Pingree heard those voices, and listened, and demanded that Congress choose a better path. Our leaders understood what was at stake, and stepped up. To say that we are grateful to them is an understatement.
In particular, we want to thank Senator Susan Collins for her leadership. She resisted calls from within her own party to move this bill to the finish line. She advocated on behalf of Maine’s most vulnerable. She urged her colleagues to commit to a thoughtful, deliberative, bipartisan process to fix what needs fixing in our health system. We applaud her for this courage.
Most of all, we want to thank the countless people in Maine who have been dedicated to this cause for months. Your calls, e-mails, tweets, and rallies are why this bill failed last night. Your boundless energy carried this fight to this point. This would not have happened without you. This is your victory.
We are eager to now be part of a conversation about how to work together to strength our health system. In particular, Congress should immediately appropriate funding for cost sharing reduction payments for 2018 and beyond. This will inject crucial stability to the individual market and provide peace of mind for those Mainers who need to know that their insurance coverage will be there for them next year.
While this setback is welcome, it is not the end. This bill is still alive and could still come back. We call on Congress to end this destructive process. We call on Congress to commit to holding hearings and seeking bipartisan approaches to strengthen, not destroy, our health care system through new legislation. We call on Congress to kill this bill once and for all.”