Hoosier leaders have mixed responses to failed Obamacare vote

By Abrahm Hurt

INDIANAPOLIS — Republicans in Congress are scrambling to regroup after a vote that would have repealed parts of the health care law failed to pass in the U.S. Senate early Friday morning. 

The bill failed in a 51-49 vote with Indiana’s senators voting along party lines.

Republican Sen. Todd Young voted yes for the repeal because he said it would move toward relieving Hoosiers and millions of Americans from the burdens of “Obamacare.”

“Too many Hoosiers have been left with too few options and rising costs,” Young said in a statement. “It is more important than ever that we keep our promise to them and fundamentally reform our healthcare system.”

Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly voted against the repeal, citing the harm losing health care coverage could bring upon Americans’ health and economic well-being. He said by working together legislators can improve the health care system.

“We should do the hard and necessary work to gather the input of doctors, nurses, hospitals, and patients, and work in a bipartisan manner to make coverage more affordable and accessible for Hoosier and American families,” Donnelly said in a statement.

Republicans Sens. John McCain, Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins broke with their party to vote against the legislation.

“This fight saw some Republicans stand up to party leadership and step up for the well-being of their constituents,” John Zody, Indiana Democratic Party chairman, said in a statement. “Young and Holcomb? They stepped back when Hoosiers needed their leadership most.”

Democrats have been criticizing Gov. Eric Holcomb for not releasing his administration’s analysis of the bill’s impact on the Indiana economy and health care.

Holcomb has repeatedly said he will not release the information at this time because the estimates keep changing.

“Last week, we saw two separate publicly reported estimates about the impacts of Senate legislation that were $5 billion apart,” Holcomb wrote in a letter to Hoosiers on Monday. “By tomorrow, there could be other reports with completely different numbers.”

Holcomb has urged lawmakers in Washington to change the health care law but has avoided giving his direct opinion on the legislation proposals that have come before Congress. Instead, Holcomb has called upon his federal colleagues to give the state more control over the federal health care dollars spent in the state so that the state could continue to use the Healthy Indiana Plan to provide health care to low-income Hoosiers.

HIP 2.0 is a health care program for Medicaid-eligible or low-income individuals, which was established by then-Gov. Mike Pence. The program replaced traditional Medicaid for all non-disabled adults in the state.

Abrahm Hurt is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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