Tags: Tim Kaine | Obama | Warned | Democrats | Obamacare | GOP

Tim Kaine: Obama Warned Dems Not to 'Fix the Mess' GOP Leaves on Obamacare

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By    |   Thursday, 05 Jan 2017 09:19 AM

President Barack Obama, during his meeting with top Democrats on Capitol Hill, cautioned them to refrain from helping Republicans "bail them out" of their own problems if they they go through with an Obamacare repeal vote, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine said Thursday.

"He said, 'look, can this law be improved? Can the health care system be improved? Sure it can and we ought to be working together to do that,'" the former Democratic vice-presidential nominee said,  while giving his first national interview since the November election to CNN's "New Day" program.

But if Republicans force through a partial repeal vote that strips insurance from 30 million Americans, and then ask for help to "fix the mess," Obama told Democrats not to "'bail them out of their own problem."'

Instead, said Kaine, the time to work on improving Obamacare is now, before a repeal vote is taken. He noted that he and 13 other key Democratic senators have written a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sens. Lamar Alexander and Orrin Hatch, voicing their concerns with plans to use a fast-track budget process to repeal Obamacare.

"Repealing this law will have immediate negative impacts on the people we represent and the economy as a whole," the letter says. "While we believe improvements are needed to ensure high-quality health care is affordable for all Americans, we cannot afford to make a mistake that will lead to the loss of health care for our constituents."

If the repeal goes through, Kaine said, Republicans will show "that they are uninterested in our input, and they will have also shown a heartlessness about 30 million people are going to lose insurance."

In addition, critical protections will be lost, warned Kaine, such as prohibitions against women being charged more for coverage than men.

"I noticed a tweet from Donald Trump that said, Democrats and Republicans should work together to try to find health care fixes," Kaine said, but he disagrees.

"That's what we should be doing," said Kaine, "not rushing headlong over a cliff . . . we're playing with the lives of tens of millions."

If no replacement options are offered, he continued, there is no guarantee that there will ever be a replacement plan offered.

"What the Urban Institute has said is people will start to lose insurance," said Kaine. "Millions of people will lose insurance. Premiums go up and insurers will start to leave the market. That's what is going to happen and health care is one-sixth of the economy.

"As soon as you inject the biggest sector of the American economy you're not only going to have effects on the health care system but you'll start to affect the economy too."

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President Barack Obama, during his meeting with top Democrats on Capitol Hill, cautioned them to refrain from helping Republicans "bail them out" of their own problems if they they go through with an Obamacare repeal vote...
Tim Kaine, Obama, Warned, Democrats, Obamacare, GOP
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2017-19-05
Thursday, 05 Jan 2017 09:19 AM
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