Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senators split on whether to repeal Obamacare

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Outside groups have spent more than $4.3 million to influence voters in congressional races in the Philadelphia region,The U.S. Capitol building at dusk in Washington (Evan Vucci/AP Photo, file)

Outside groups have spent more than $4.3 million to influence voters in congressional races in the Philadelphia region,The U.S. Capitol building at dusk in Washington (Evan Vucci/AP Photo, file)

The Senate has voted to move ahead on health care legislation aimed at dismantling the Obama health law. The vote was 51-50 on Tuesday, a victory for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Donald Trump.

The vote sets up days of debate and votes on repealing and replacing Barack Obama’s health care law. Whatever the Senate approves still requires a vote in the House.

Pennsylvania’s Democratic U.S. Senator says it’s time to put an end to talk about repealing the Affordable Care Act.  

But his Republican colleague is working hard to end Obamacare.

Senator Bob Casey, a Democrat, said Pennsylvania in general and specifically the health care industry would be hard hit by an Obamacare repeal.

“This bill is a wrecking ball for our health care system. Rural hospitals will close, jobs will be lost.  By one estimate, George Washington University tells us more than 62,000 health care jobs would be lost in Pennsylvania,” said Casey.

Republican Senator Pat Toomey said the key is making states pay a larger share of covering more people through Medicaid.  

“If we have the votes, the ideal thing from my point of view is to have as much of the replacement as we can do, done now.”

As an incentive for states to expand Medicaid under President Obama, the Affordable Care Act had Washington footing the bill for 100 percent of the expanded coverage for three years before states would begin to share the costs. Toomey wants states to pay a larger share now, as they have in the past for Medicaid patients.

 

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