Tags: Trump Administration | mike lee | obamacare | repeal | GOP | healthcare

Sen. Lee: Failure to Repeal Obamacare a 'Sad Reflection' on GOP

Image: Sen. Lee: Failure to Repeal Obamacare a 'Sad Reflection' on GOP
(AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 18 Jul 2017 01:23 PM

Sen. Mike Lee, whose decision against the Senate healthcare reform bill led it being abandoned Monday night, said Tuesday he remains fully in favor of a total Obamacare repeal.

"We campaigned on the promise of repealing Obamacare," the Utah Republican told Fox News' "Happening Now" program.

"Obamacare has made healthcare unaffordable and inaccessible. We've promised it for the last seven years and we didn't do it."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that a vote for complete repeal will be held in upcoming days. If passed, the legislation will allow for a two-year transition period to allow more time for a replacement plan for former President Barack Obama's legacy legislation.

The bill will be similar to one passed in the House and Senate in 2015, but rejected by Obama, and Lee said he'd vote for the measure if presented, even though other Republicans are already rejecting a repeal-only measure.

"I don't know where any of my colleagues will go," he said. "What I'm saying is if I'm given an opportunity to repeal Obamacare, I will do it. It would surprise me if we are not able to do that. That would be a sad reflection on our party, given it's what we campaigned on for the last seven years. It's what we ought to do first."

Lee continued that he would vote for "any bill" that repeals Obamacare, as it's what he has been calling for the past four months.

"I would love to repeal Obamacare," said Lee. "Bring up a bill that does that and only that, and let's see if we get that passed. It's a step forward and we can decide what comes next after that."

President Donald Trump has been calling for a repeal first, then replace measure, including on Tuesday morning, when he tweeted his call to start from a clean slate, and insisting that Democrats will join in.

However, Lee said that's up to members of the opposing party.

"I don't speak to them," Lee said. "I certainly hope they would. I've been disappointed to this point that they've chosen not to participate in this process. Those who have spoken out on it have, as I understand it, said 'we don't want to be a part of anything that repeals any part of Obamacare.'

"If that's the case, let's move that obstacle out of the way. We'll invite them to join in the discussion as to what comes next."

Lee said when he goes home to Utah, he also says he wants to repeal Obamacare.

"It's what we have been saying for seven years," the senator said. "It's what the market people demand. In many cases, people have health insurance that they are no longer able to use, and they can't afford to use it because of the high deductibles.

"This is an urgent problem and it demands urgent action, and that urgent action necessarily involves full repeal."

Lee said he also refuses to accept the suggestion that there will not enough votes to pass a repeal, considering Republicans hold the House, the Senate, and the White House.

He said he also welcomes Trump's involvement, and that it's always helpful.

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Sen. Mike Lee, whose decision against the Senate healthcare reform bill led it being abandoned Monday night, said Tuesday he remains fully in favor of a total Obamacare repeal.
mike lee, obamacare, repeal, GOP, healthcare
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2017-23-18
Tuesday, 18 Jul 2017 01:23 PM
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