Lee on ‘Obamacare’ repeal amendment, health care industry mergers

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Republican Sen. Mike Lee issued statements Friday regarding the scheduling of President Obama’s health care law repeal amendment for Sunday, and recent announcements of mergers in the health care insurance industry.

“Obamacare” repeal amendment

Lee said:

Republicans now have an opportunity to make good on our promise to repeal Obamacare. The first Obamacare vote on Sunday will have a 60 vote threshold, and Democrats will likely block it … But thanks to the sequencing of the votes we just locked in, Republicans will have the opportunity resurrect that Obamacare amendment later on in the process, and put it back before the Senate in a manner that only requires a simple-majority vote.

After cloture is reached on the export-import bank amendment, senators will still be allowed to offer germane amendments to the highway bill, each of which would only require a simple-majority to pass. If the chair rules that the health care law amendment is nongermane, Senate Rule 22 also allows any senator to appeal that ruling to the full Senate. At that point, a simple majority of senators would have the power to add the health care law repeal amendment to the highway bill.

I look forward to voting to repeal Obamacare with all 54 of my Republican colleagues Sunday, and working with all of the Senate to finally bring real reform to our health care system, ” Lee said.

Hearings on health care insurance consolidations

Lee also issued a statement Friday with fellow Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, regarding recent announcements of mergers in the health care industry. Lee is chair and Klobuchar is ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights.

“In a changing regulatory environment, the healthcare insurance industry is rapidly consolidating,” Lee said in the statement.  “If each of the recently announced transactions is completed, the number of major health insurers in the United States would shrink to three.  It is imperative that we closely examine changes in the healthcare market, and what has caused these changes, to ensure that consumers are not harmed and continue to receive quality health care at a competitive price.”

“Competition is critical to ensuring that consumers have access to the health insurance plans that best suit their families’ needs at the lowest prices,” Klobuchar said in the statement. “Anthem’s proposed acquisition of Cigna and Aetna’s acquisition of Humana, both individually or combined?, raise important antitrust concerns. The Antitrust Subcommittee has a duty to understand whether this consolidation would increase health insurance costs and jeopardize the ability of Americans to access affordable, high-quality health coverage, as well as whether claims of consumer benefits, corporate efficiency, and lower costs are realistic. I thank Chairman Lee for his attention to these vital issues.”

The antitrust subcommittee will hold a hearing on the consolidation of the health care insurance market in September.

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12 Comments

  • KarenS July 26, 2015 at 8:04 am

    Mike Lee continues to grandstand for his own political benefit at the expense of working for Utah. He is afraid of being primaried so he is announcing that he will use a “nuclear” option in yet another failed attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act. He is only broadcasting his attempt ahead of time because he knows his own Republican leadership in the Senate will not allow such a vote today. Then, he can come back to Utah and say he “tried”. What a joke!

  • tcrider July 26, 2015 at 10:47 am

    I cannot believe Mikey would submit these statements, are you for real? Do you realize the u.s. is one of the richest nations and obamacare is the closest thing we will ever have to a national healthcare program?
    You will spout your agenda, but you have no solutions for the problems. You and your
    cronies are the reason people are turning to candidates like trump, You guys really need to come up with something a little more original than this. Do you really think
    people will keep voting for you because your going to repeal obamacare, if you idiots would of had your act together, you could of worked with him and we wouldn’t have to live with the humiliation of it being called obamacare in the first place.
    The big difference with the new generation of voters, is that they make a decision that is not based on one issue, all you can do, is try and pick the lesser of the evils.
    Its a sad day when the voters looking at choices like trump, hillarious and the other wanabees.

    • BIG GUY July 26, 2015 at 6:31 pm

      Sen. Schumer (D-NY), Reid’s replacement as Democrat Senate minority leader in 2017, said Obamacare was a huge mistake. Apparently you disagree with him. I’ll spare you his exact quote that I’ve posted previously.
      .
      What was needed and is still needed is government-backed catastrophic insurance coverage. Instead we got the worst of all worlds: mandated coverage for services not wanted by many and paid for by young, healthy people. The greatest regressive tax legislation in the country’s history. Obamacare was sold as coverage for the “30-45 million uninsured” but only 8 million are covered today and 6 million of them lost their previous coverage because it was “inferior.” Net newly insured: 2 million. They’ve now got $5000 deductible Bronze plans with lots of coverage that they don’t want.
      .
      I can back up every fact above with references if you choose to take exception.

  • Free Parking July 26, 2015 at 11:56 am

    TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT

  • Pheo July 26, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    What a monster. Millions will lose their health insurance if this goes through, and then somehow they will successfully blame the Democrats.

    • BIG GUY July 26, 2015 at 6:37 pm

      PHEO, see my comment above. Only two million would lose coverage. And you naively assume that no new plan would take its place. I vote for Health Savings Accounts for all with the government providing the catastrophic coverage for expenses over $5000 per year. Those with modest incomes would get government money deposited in their accounts to spend on health related services only. The rest of us would fund our own accounts. Read up on HSA’s: good plans.

    • Harold S. July 27, 2015 at 2:50 am

      PHEO, you don’t know what you are talking about. Millions who had good healthcare insurance lost it when Obamacare went into effect. Insurance companies hiked up deductibles so high that it takes the average person eight to nine months to hit that outrageous deductible. Millions now only have insurance coverage for the last three months of the year and pay outrageous premiums while having no coverage at all until that high deductible is met. Millions of people have such a high deductible that they never even hit it, which means they do not have insurance at all and have to pay 100% of their medical expenses and the high premiums. Basically it is catastrophe insurance not your every day to day insurance coverage. Yah, Obamacare has really worked, what a joke!!!!

  • Free Parking July 26, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    THE DEMOCRATS DID It.!

  • Free Parking July 26, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    Yeah and the Democrats blame the Republicans blah blah blah so tell us something we don’t know

  • ladybugavenger July 26, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    #obamadontcare

  • fun bag July 26, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    REPEAT AFTER ME: “IT’S ALL OBAMAS FAULT. OBAMA AND THE LIBRULS.”

  • Free Parking July 27, 2015 at 3:57 am

    #FUNDRAISER

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