Durbin: Repealing Health Care Without A Replacement Is A Dereliction Of Duty

WASHINGTON – In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) slammed Senate Republicans for proposing a vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without any replacement plan—the latest twist in the Republican health care repeal effort, which follows last night’s announcement that they do not have consensus within their own caucus and lack the 50 votes needed to advance the last version of their legislation.

“For those who say, ‘Well, I promised my entire political career and I couldn’t wait for the day to come forward and repeal Obamacare,’ I just want to tell them they should be aware that when the Congressional Budget Office looked at the impact of just repealing the Affordable Care Act and not replacing it, they said: This would force more insurance companies to leave the market immediately.  It would increase individual market premiums by 20 percent in the first year, double their price over 10 years, and it would take health insurance away from 32 million people,” said Durbin. “This repeal-only bill would raise the cost of health insurance for families across the country. Better that we take the current system and make it stronger.”

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor are available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here for TV Stations.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that the most recent Republican plan to repeal the ACA without a replacement would increase individual market premiums by 100 percent and result in 32 million Americans losing their health insurance over the next decade.  Due to the repeal of subsidies that assist Illinoisans in purchasing insurance and the repeal of Illinois’ Medicaid expansion under this repeal bill, it is estimated that 1.1 million Illinoisans would lose coverage and the state would lose nearly $50 billion in federal funding.  Forty-one percent of Illinois hospitals operate on razor-thin or negative margins, yet this proposal would increase Illinois hospital uncompensated care costs by $4 billion in 2019 alone.  The Illinois Health and Hospital Association (IHA) has stated, “people will not be able to get the care they need; local economies will suffer; and jobs will be lost,” projecting up to $13.1 billion in lost annual economic activity for Illinois, and the loss of up to 95,000 jobs.  Because of the devastating impact that would result from repealing the ACA without a replacement plan, the Republican bill is opposed by nearly every medical and patient stakeholder organization in Illinois.