CHICAGO (CBS) — U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said Congressional Republicans seem to be falling apart in their efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, and it’s time to let Democrats come to the table to help fix the ailing health care system.
Durbin, the number two Democrat in the Senate, said with conservative Republican lawmakers going one way on health care reform and moderates going another way, the GOP seems to be crumbling on the issue.
Some leading Republican senators have said their party’s plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, seems to be dead, and there’s no momentum behind efforts to simply repeal it, so they don’t know what’s next.
“Republicans are in a tough position. If you go into a souvenir shop, the sign says ‘If you break it, you own it.’ If the Republicans break the health care system in America, to the detriment of families and businesses across this country, if premiums go up and fewer people are insured, they own it,” Durbin said.
Durbin acknowledged there are flaws with the Affordable Care Act, and said the nation would be best served if Democrats and Republicans get together to fix those problems, rather than having the GOP repeal it without a better plan to replace it.
“Here’s a simple answer: why don’t we get together? A bipartisan approach to strengthening the current system we can all invest in to make sure we reduce the costs of prescription drugs, number one. Number two, find affordable health insurance for those on the individual market. Number three, a public option,” he said.
There are Republicans on Capitol Hill who have privately suggested sitting down with Democrats, but so far that hasn’t happened publicly.