News ID: 197507
Published: 0550 GMT July 28, 2017

Obama to GOP: Show 'political courage' and save Obamacare

Obama to GOP: Show 'political courage' and save Obamacare

Former US President Barack Obama’s spokesman has urged Republican lawmakers to show “political courage” and save his signature health insurance program, which covers some 20 million Americans.

In a statement on Friday, Kevin Lewis emphasized that Obamacare law has made America “stronger and healthier.”

“President Obama has always said we should build on this law, just as members of both parties worked together to improve Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid over the years,” Lewis said.

He expressed Obama’s hope that Republicans and Democrats would work together in the future, after the Senate rejected a Republican-drafted healthcare bill aimed at repealing Obamacare.

“President Obama still believes that it is possible for Congress to demonstrate the necessary bipartisanship and political courage to keep delivering on the promise of quality, affordable health insurance for every American," Lewis said.

The legislation, dubbed the “skinny repeal” bill, failed to pass on the Senate floor 49-51 after hours of intensive debate early on Friday, dealing a major blow to GOP leadership and US President Donald Trump, who had campaigned relentlessly on a pledge to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act approved under his predecessor in 2010.

The Republican bill is aimed at fulfilling Trump's pledge to repeal the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

If approved, the Trump administration’s health care bill would repeal most of the taxes that paid for Obamacare. The bill faces an uncertain passage in the Senate, where Republicans have a very narrow majority. 

According to a report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the GOP plan would leave 22 million more Americans uninsured over 10 years.

The report has created serious problems for the Republicans seeking to pass their legislation.

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