A Senate vote to repeal and replace Obamacare will most likely take place before the July 4 recess, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wy., said Monday.
"Every Republican is trying to get to yes," Barrasso told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" program.
"There are some differences of opinion on specific details of this, but you may have seen [Sen.] Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader, sent a letter to Mitch McConnell on Friday afternoon, saying let's get together.
"[Schumer] admits that Obamacare is not providing affordable or accessible coverage or care, and as a doctor, I focus more on the word care than coverage."
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., has said collaborating on healthcare would be a good way to show unity in the Senate following last week's shooting, noted show host Bill Hemmer, and Barrasso agreed there is an opportunity.
"We passed a sanctions bill last week against Iran and Russia last week bipartisanly, and unified our position in support of NATO and our NATO alliance," Barrasso said. "That passed 98-2. [Sens.] Bernie Sanders and Rand Paul voted against it. That's a significant bipartisan vote to focus on American security."
Barrasso said he and Klobuchar work closely together and have discussed healthcare.
"You need to look at the fact that the pain of Obamacare is getting worse and the insurance markets are collapsing," Barrasso said. "Many people around the country can't buy insurance from anyone because no one is willing to sell in so many counties across the country. On the other hand, the Democrats in California, the state Senate has passed a basically single-payer plan. The cost is $400 billion, over twice the entire general fund of the state of California. So that is not realistic where the Democrat Party is trying to lead."
There are just 10 working days before July 4, and still much to be done, Barrasso said.
"I'm confident and committed to getting it to the floor and working hard to get the votes we need to pass it," said Barrasso, noting Vice President Mike Pence may have to cast the tie-breaking vote.
"We're doing this because premiums have doubled in the last four years – choices have gotten less," Barrasso said. "We're focused on protecting people with preexisting conditions. My wife, Bobbie, is a breast cancer survivor. I know how important that is."
Medicaid also needs to be stabilized and strengthened so it can continue, Barrasso said.
"I thought the best way to do that is if the states had the opportunity to get that money and make the right decisions," the senator said. "We could have covered and helped many more people at home if we didn't have the one size fits all."
Barrasso noted when President Donald Trump called the House version of the healthcare law "mean," and said he sees that as the president saying the White House is happy the Senate is writing a bill of its own, and to make it one that allows people to get help from the doctors they choose, and pay less.
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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