Republicans said the 2010 health care law is broken and must be repealed and replaced with something better — although just what that replacement plan will look like has not yet been revealed by congressional leaders. Critics of the law cite sky-rocketing premiums, high deductibles and fewer health care choices for patients as insurers pull out of the program.
"When Obamacare's supporters forced their partisan law on our country, they promised an easy-to-use system; one that would lower premiums and out-of-pocket health care costs; one that would foster choice and allow families to keep the plans and doctors they liked," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
"But it didn't take long for the American people to discover the truth about Obamacare. Too many have been personally hurt by this law. Too many feel they're worse off than they were before Obamacare."
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Democrats said repealing the law will strip millions of Americans of insurance, leave people with pre-existing medical conditions unable to find coverage, and increase the nation's budget deficit by $353 billion over the next 10 years as the tax and fee provisions that pay for Obamacare are gutted.
"Ripping apart our health care system — with no plan to replace it — will create chaos," said Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, the senior Democrat on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. "If Republicans repeal the Affordable Care Act, it's women, kids, seniors, patients with serious illnesses, and people with disabilities who will bear the burden."
"Premiums will skyrocket," she continued. "Out-of-pocket prescription drug costs will rise. And overall health care costs will increase. It's a perfect storm to make America sick again — and absolutely the wrong direction for families and for our economy."