Florida's U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and his fellow Senate Republicans joined together in the middle of the night on Thursday not for a friendly sleepover, but to gut the Affordable Care Act
without offering Americans a clear replacement.
The New York Times
reports by a 1:30 a.m. vote of 51-48, the Senate approved a budget resolution that let Republicans start dismantling Obamacare without "the threat of a Democratic filibuster." Last year, 6.4 million Americans signed up for Obamacare, including a record 1.3 million
people from Florida. In fact, the Sunshine state lead all other states in people trying to get health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act by Dec. 19. During the election, President-elect Donald Trump and other Republicans vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, in spite of the fact that 20 million Americans now have health insurance because of the law.
In a statement
after his vote, Rubio says Obamacare has caused "rising premiums, a collapse of the individual insurance market and fewer choices for patients."
"The law is an absolute failure and its proponents insist it must be salvaged with a taxpayer-funded bailout of health insurance companies," Rubio says. "We've now taken an important first step to repeal this law and replace it with a patient-centered approach that expands access to providers and lowers costs of care. It is my hope and expectation that the transition to a replacement program can be done relatively seamlessly and minimize disruptions to patients."
Rubio's description of Obamacare's replacement, though, is pretty vague. House Speaker Paul Ryan didn't have a better answer, either, when Jeff Jeans
asked him to explain the replacement at a CNN town hall.
After the cancer survivor challenged Ryan on why Republicans are repealing the Affordable Care Act without a replacement, Ryan tells him, "We wouldn’t do that. We want to replace it with something better," according to Yahoo News
. When CNN moderator Jake Tapper asked Ryan to clarify whether the repeal of Obamacare and replacement would happen at the same time, Ryan told him, "Without getting into all the little legislative mumbo-jumbo, we want to do this at the same time, and in some cases, in the same bill."
Things could get ugly quick without a replacement because it could "throw insurance markets into chaos and leave millions of Americans without health insurance," according to Forbes