Republicans will vote to repeal Obamacare if they retake control of the Senate during the November midterms, Sen. Rob Portman says, even though there is little to zero chance the president would sign legislation to end his legacy legislation.
"I suspect we will vote to repeal early to put on record the fact that we Republicans think it was a bad policy and we think it is hurting our constituents," the Ohio senator told reporters at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor on Thursday, reports The Huffington Post.
"We think healthcare costs should be going down, not up. We think people should be able to keep the insurance that they had. They are worried about the fact that the next shoe to drop is going to be employer coverage."
But even if Senate Republicans vote to repeal Obamacare, they should be ready with an alternative healthcare plan of their own to replace it, said Portman.
"I think it is something that ought to go along with repeal to say, 'Yes, we think this is the wrong way to go. But we also think the healthcare system must be improved,'" said Portman.
However, while House Republicans have promised an Obamacare alternative, no bills have materialized. Earlier this year, GOP strategist Karl Rove wrote in an opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal
that it isn't enough for Republican candidates to attack Obamacare. They must have a plan for replacing it.
"Americans do not want to return to the broken status quo in place before [President Barack] Obama made an even bigger mess of our healthcare system," wrote the former deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush and organizer of the American Crossroads PAC.
But Portman said Thursday that even if Republicans do not want to uproot Obamacare, a
GOP-controlled Congress could still work with the president on smaller reforms, including repealing the law's medical device tax and working on tort reform.
"I'm hopeful that we can find some common ground on some issues," said Portman. "Yes, we are for repeal. Yes, we're for replacing it all. But there are also some specific things where I think the Senate and the House could act and the president would actually sign legislation."
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