In the aftermath of yet another ruling by the Supreme Court on the federal health insurance law competing calls have been issued: get rid of it versus fix it.
A Supreme Court ruling keeps subsidies in place for those getting health insurance through the federal exchange, a crucial victory for the Affordable Care Act.
Most of the Nebraska Congressional delegation disagrees with the Supreme Court ruling, based primarily on their opposition to the law itself.
They also stand by their insistence the law should be repealed.
“We need to scrap the law. It is unworkable. It becomes obvious it is more and more unworkable and more and more costly,” U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer, a Republican, tells Nebraska reporters during her weekly conference call.
Fischer claims to have received more than 18,000 complaints from constituents to her office about the ACA, from high premiums for health insurance to problems with retaining their current doctor.
Congressman Adrian Smith, a Republican, tells reporters during a conference call that the federal health insurance law simply hasn’t lived up to his promises.
“When you look back at the promises that the president made about this health care proposal then and the law now. Let me just say it’s discouraging, if not maddening,” Smith said.
Republican Congressman Jeff Fortenberry’s office released a statement of the Supreme Court ruling in King v. Burwell:
“The decision is a bit of a surprise. There was a level of optimism that a different court ruling could pave the way for a more reasoned discussion about the right type of healthcare reform, while also protecting newly insured. Now the country continues to face skyrocketing prices, diminishing choice and healthcare cartels. We need a new healthcare architecture that will reduce costs, improve outcomes, and protect vulnerable persons.”
U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, a Republican, ran for Senate last year on a number of issues, yet emphasized his opposition to the ACA. He says he hasn’t changed his stance.
“I think we need to repeal Obamacare and start over with a patient-centric alternative,” Sasse tells Nebraska Radio Network. “But, obviously, the conversation about repeal needs to be had at the same time that you’re explaining what you’d replace it with.”
Sasse says the issue needs to be a central part of the presidential election in 2016 and, again, he says Republican presidential candidates need to present an alternative, not just criticize the current law.
Not everyone in the delegation agrees the law should be scrapped.
“It doesn’t need to be repealed,” Congressman Brad Ashford, a Democrat, tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Ashford agrees the ACA has problems, but says Congress needs to fix it and he doesn’t want to wait until the 2016 presidential election.
“We can’t wait for the next president to find a solution,” according to Ashford, “I mean, the premiums are going up now, not two years from now. They’re going up now.”
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]