Dem blasts GOP alternative to O-Care

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) panned a Republican alternative to ObamaCare as “miserable.”

“I applaud Republicans for finally putting forward an alternative,” Murphy said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “But it’s a pretty miserable alternative.”

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On Monday, GOP Sens. Orrin Hatch (Utah), Tom Coburn (Okla.) and Richard Burr (N.C.) announced a framework for how Republicans would prefer to implement health insurance reform, but their plan would start by repealing mandates in the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare.

“At least for the first time we are beginning to see what the Republican vision for healthcare is,” Murphy said. “It’s a pretty scary future.”

The Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility and Empowerment (CARE) Act, would eliminate all of the healthcare law’s federal rules and allow insurers to once again discriminate against people with preexisting conditions. 

Murphy said the GOP alternative would also end healthcare subsidies for people make more than $34,000 a year and helps pay for coverage by taxing nearly half of employer provided care — currently employee contributions to their company healthcare plan are not taxed as part of their salary. He said that would “dramatically” increase taxes on the middle-class.

Hatch said Monday that the government should “trust the American people” to make the best healthcare choices for themselves.

“Frankly this approach should appeal to everyone,” Hatch said on the Senate floor. “ObamaCare is a disaster and everyday that it continues it will be more of a disaster. 

Democrats have said they are unwilling to accept a full-repeal of the healthcare law. Republicans argued this new approach is different because the GOP plan keeps some ObamaCare provisions such as allow dependents under age 26 to stay on their parents’ insurance coverage.