Bipartisan effort needed

Published 11:12 am Friday, July 21, 2017

This week, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, announced that he will not back the repeal-only proposal regarding the Affordable Care Act put forward by his party’s leader in the chamber, Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky.

McConnell’s proposal to scrap the health care legislation, signed into law by President Barack Obama, would end the ACA in two years, but does not include a replacement bill.

Portman has said he favors a repeal-and-replace of the ACA and, now that two Republican replacement bills have failed in the Senate and McConnell is solely backing repeal, he will not vote with his party.

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Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, has opposed a repeal of the ACA and has called on both parties to work together to fix the existing law.

Regardless of one’s thoughts on the ACA, the repeal-and-replace plans were devised behind closed doors, with little to no input from the opposition.

The health care law, as it currently stands, has its flaws to address and leaders of both parties could easily fix them, if they would drop the partisanship.

Whether through amending the ACA or coming up with a bipartisan replacement plan, there are several options that can address the nation’s health care needs.

Simply repealing and hoping something comes together, with no guarantee, in two years is not an option. Nor is President Donald Trump’s proposal of “let it fail” in regards to the existing law.

We commend Portman for taking a stand against an ill-conceived approach to health care, as well as Brown, for his call for bipartisanship. Let us hope that Ohio’s two U.S. senators can lead the way to resolving the partisan deadlock on the issue.