CRAMER: Obamacare Relief is on the Way
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Congressman Kevin Cramer said the budget resolution passed by the House of Representatives today paves the way for Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare. The House approved S. Con. Res. 3, the Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2017, which was passed by the Senate Thursday.
The approval of this resolution by both chambers of Congress now triggers the reconciliation process, a fast-track legislative procedure that is filibuster-proof and only requires a simple majority vote for passage in the Senate. The reconciliation bill instructs four authorizing committees in Congress – Ways and Means, and Energy and Commerce in the House, and Finance and Health, and Education, Labor and Pensions in the Senate – to report legislation to their respective budget committees by Jan. 27. This legislation will be combined for consideration by the House and Senate.
“Relief is on the way,” said Cramer, who is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “Passage of the budget resolution is the first step to rescuing Americans from a very sick health care law. While it is too soon to spike the football, the blockers are set and the backs are in motion.”
He said the reconciliation package will include both repeal and replace provisions allowed by the rules, while additional repeal and replacement consideration will be subject to Senate filibuster. “We should have something passed by the House and Senate and on the President’s desk by late February.”
Since Obamacare first took effect, Cramer has been hearing from North Dakotans who have lost health insurance coverage or whose premiums and deductibles are too great a burden. A number of constituents have recently shared their experiences on Cramer’s Facebook page. “These stories are heartbreaking,“ he said. “They have health insurance coverage, but can’t access health care because of skyrocketing out-of-pocket costs.“
He said the new Republican plan will continue to provide coverage for pre-existing conditions and keep children on their parents‘ policies until age 26. ”We will develop a new patient-centered health care system to give Americans access to quality, affordable care.“