© 2024 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Portman Adds To Defeat Of Obamacare Repeal Without Replacement

Rob Portman speaking
Gage Skidmore
Flickr Creative Commons

On Wednesday, U.S. Senator Rob Portman joined seven other Republican lawmakers to vote against the GOP's most recent attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

After voting on Tuesday to advance to debate on the Senate health care plans, Portman said he would be open to supporting the most recent GOP bill. 

Wednesday's "partial repeal" amendment aimed to do away with many essential components of the law, including taxes and the individual and employee mandates. Had it passed, lawmakers would have had two years to develop a replacement.

Portman said before the vote he would have considered voting "yes" if the bill left Medicaid intact and allowed the Senate and House to hold a conference in order to build the replacement. But the bill did neither, and the bill failed 45-55.

All Democrats - including Ohio's Sen. Sherrod Brown - voted against the bill.

“I have said consistently that I support repealing and replacing Obamacare, and I voted to do so last night," Portman said in a statement Wednesday. "I’m not giving up on doing both of those things.

On Tuesday, Portman voted "yes" on a procedural vote on the "Better Care Reconciliation Act" that would allow it to overcome a parliamentary objection. That vote also failed, 43-57.

Portman has said many time that he will not support a repeal of Obamacare without a replacement. Doing so, he says, would only worsen the insurance market for Ohioans, where 19 counties will soon be without a single insurer in the exchanges

"Every expert I've talked to say if you just did repeal and didn't role up your sleeves and do a replacement more insurance companies would leave Ohio," Portman says. "There would be no relief for those 19 counties."

The Senate is expected to vote on a final version of the bill later this week.