Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) reiterated the GOP’s commitment to taking away health care insurance from millions of Americans who are expected to receive coverage as part of the Affordable Care Act, if Republicans win Congressional majorities in November.
The senior senator from Kentucky, who himself enjoyes government-subsidized insurance as a federal employee, told the National Review on Tuesday that the party would do little to help the 129 million people who could be denied insurance because they suffer from a pre-existing condition should the law be repealed. “I’m not convinced that issue needs to be addressed at the federal level,” he said, before praising Republican governors for refusing to implement a provision of the law that expands health coverage to lower-income residents through the Medicaid program.
During the interview, McConnell also confirmed that he planned to repeal Obamacare’s main provisions — like the individual mandate — through reconciliation, a process that allows the Senate can pass budget-related bills with a majority vote:
MCCONNELL: Repeal of Obamacare will be the first item up in the Senate if I am majority leader. If we have a president who will sign the bill, we will do everything we can to get it off the books, and we’ll be looking for every angle that could be pursued. There has been a lot of talk about reconciliation. The Chief Justice said this is a tax, and we take him at his word, so that certainly makes this eligible for reconciliation. But that may not be the only avenue that we pursue.
But Republicans had lambasted Democrats for using the reconciliation process to pass the law in 2010, arguing that it would be “ripping a piece of the fabric of America off.”
McConnell himself bemoaned the practice. “Reconciliation has never been used to do anything as massive as restructuring 1/6 of our economy,” he said. For Democrats “to step in and use this little-used parliamentary device never intended to do something of this magnitude.” Now, his party is prepared to “undo” the measure and revert “1/6 of our economy” back to that status quo of unsustainable health care costs and limited access.