Grassley says Republicans won’t repeal Affordable Care Act if they take back Senate

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Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) said this week that Republicans won’t try to repeal the Affordable Care Act if they regain the Senate in November’s midterm elections, the latest signal that the GOP abandon its long-running effort to scrap the health care law also known as Obamacare.

Grassley, 88, was among the most vocal opponents of the law when it was being debated by Congress more than a decade ago. At the time, some Republicans falsely claimed that an ACA provision would create “death committees” that would decide whether older Americans should live or die. At the time, Grassley didn’t push back against those claims and told Iowans they had “every right to fear” the health care law.

At a ceremony at the White House last week, President Biden and former President Barack Obama celebrated the 12th anniversary of the law, which has grown in popularity in recent years and is viewed favorably by 55% of Americans. according to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

About 31 million Americans have health care coverage by law, which also ensures that coverage cannot be denied for pre-existing conditions.

According to video Posted by the liberal news site Iowa Starting Line, Grassley was asked about the future of Obamacare at a town hall in Waukon, Iowa, on Monday. One participant mentioned that her two adult children are covered by the law.

“If you and the Republicans come back to power, is it still going to be repealed? And if you do, what is the Republican plan to provide affordable health care for my children? asked the participant.

Grassley replied, “It’s not about repealing the Affordable Care Act, if that’s your question.”

After the attendee pressed Grassley further on the matter, the senator suggested that he and other Republicans would not try to repeal the law.

“Yeah, I’m saying I wouldn’t — we’re not going to repeal the Affordable Care Act,” Grassley said. He then seemed to give himself some wiggle room, making it clear that there were 49 other Senate Republicans and he was speaking only for himself.

Grassley’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on his remarks.

Repeated attempts by Republicans to torpedo the law, in the courts and at the legislative level, have failed, including when Donald Trump occupied the White House and Republicans controlled the House and Senate.

In a nod to the high popularity of the health care law, former congresswoman Abby Finkenauer (D-Iowa), who fought to overthrow Grassley, last month criticized the senator on his efforts to repeal it.

“The Affordable Care Act was signed into law TWELVE years ago today,” Finkenauer tweeted. “Since then, @ChuckGrassley has voted to roll it back TWELVE times – and even voted to remove coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. Spoiler alert: he won’t stop these attacks until we knock him down. »

Finkenauer is appealing a judge’s ruling last week that she cannot run in the June Democratic primary because of issues with her petition signatures.

Despite Grassley’s comments, some Republicans have suggested their party should continue to try to repeal the law if it regains control of the House and Senate this year. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said in a radio interview last month that he wants to see the GOP repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has repeatedly declined to detail the platform Senate Republicans would follow if they regain the chamber, saying only that details would be discussed after the mid -mandate.

Amy B Wang and Donna Cassata contributed to this report.


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