MANCHESTER, N.H. — New Hampshire’s Democratic congressional delegation and the governor called on both parties to fix the Affordable Care Act, after the dramatic rejection early Friday of a Republican proposal.
All Democrats were joined by GOP Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and John McCain of Arizona in defeating a bill that would have erased several parts of the law signed by President Barack Obama. Following rejection of two broader GOP repeal plans earlier in the week, the vote cast doubt on whether divided Senate Republicans can advance any health bill.
“Now, it is time for Republicans and Democrats to come together and get to work on improving and building upon the Affordable Care Act in order to bring down health care costs for hard-working people,” Sen. Maggie Hassan said in a statement.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen said she was “very relieved that, for the time being, healthcare repeal has been set aside.”
“Republican leadership, through a reckless and partisan process, came dangerously close to undermining healthcare for millions of Americans and tens of thousands of Granite Staters,” she said. “It’s time for Republican leadership to finally abandon their attempts to repeal healthcare and begin working across the aisle to improve the Affordable Care Act.”
Rep. Annie Kuster called the vote a “win for the American people who are tired of partisan politics getting in the way of real solutions.”
“I urge my Republican colleagues to abandon their focus on repealing the ACA and instead come to the table in good faith to improve our healthcare system so that everyone is able to access quality, affordable health insurance,” she said in a statement.
Republican Gov. Chris Sununu called the bill’s defeat “absolutely disappointing” but said all parties needed to work together to address the Affordable Care Office, “which has absolutely failed for this country.”
“I had my insurance commissioner here a few days ago talking about how our health exchange is on the brink of collapse,” he said. “So, it doesn’t work. When something doesn’t work, you got to fix it and the elected officials in the Senate — not just Republicans but Democrats too — have to come to the table with real constructive solutions.”