Tags: 2014 Midterm Elections | Healthcare Reform | John Thune | Senate | majority | elections

Thune: GOP Ideas Would Flourish If We Controlled Senate

Wednesday, 26 Feb 2014 02:39 PM

By Wanda Carruthers

Should Democrats lose their majority in the Senate in the midterm elections, Republican Conference Chairman Sen. John Thune says Americans should expect to see more Republican ideas, like the many bills passed in the House on Obamacare, that have been blocked once they reach the Senate floor.

"Given a chance to be in the majority after this election, I think you'll see a lot of Republican ideas offered, advanced out there," Thune told Fox News' "Happening Now" on Wednesday.

"There are a whole range of good Republican ideas out there, but we don't get a chance to get those considered today because in the United States Senate, at least Democrats, block those initiatives," the South Dakota senator said.

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Thune, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, said Democrats blocked House bills on Obamacare because "they don't want to put the president's signature law at risk."

One thing he'd like to see happen right away would be a repeal of Obamacare's medical device tax, a measure he said has bipartisan support.

"We actually got 79 votes in support of repealing the medical device tax last year in the budget, which included 30 Democrats. There is bipartisan support for it," he said.

The medical device tax is costing jobs, Thune maintained, and repealing it would "help create jobs." He also recommended giving people the option of whether or not to participate in Obamacare.

"We ought to give the American people a break from it. If you want to be in Obamacare, great. If you don't want to be in Obamacare, you ought to be able to continue to buy insurance in the private marketplace, a policy that you like that an insurance provider would offer you," Thune said.

Thune said other Republican alternatives to Obamacare included interstate competition, allowing people to join larger groups for greater purchasing power, and tax credits for people to buy private insurance.

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