Today, Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16), co-chair of the fiscally-responsible Blue Dog Coalition, released the following statement about the U.S. Senate's early morning vote to defeat the passage of the Health Care Freedom Act, legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA):
"By not passing the Health Care Freedom Act, the Senate has provided us with an opportunity to get back to the business of governing, and governing well. As I have said time and time again, the Affordable Care Act needs work, but the only way to fix the ACA is through real and workable bipartisan solutions. This means we must listen to experts in the field to identify the health care problems Americans face in their daily lives, the causes of these problems, and possible answers, and then we must work together -- Democrats and Republicans -- to construct a well-founded and serious policy solution. We know Congress can work this way. We saw it last December when the WIIN Act became law, and we saw it this week in the House of Representatives with the passage of the Forever GI Bill.
"We must stop the childish game of vengeful one-upmanship that has been consuming Washington for decades now, and start serious policy deliberation. I commend Senators Collins, Murkowski, and McCain for having the courage to break with their party on this highly-partisan issue, and I thank them for giving us the chance to govern well and get this right.
"As a member of the Problem Solvers Caucus, a bipartisan group of representatives working to find a path forward for responsible governance, I have been part of an ongoing bipartisan effort to find real solutions for the problems with our current health care system. The next version of health care legislation must, at a minimum, do the following four things. First, it must create a permanent reinsurance program. Second, it must reduce copays and deductibles for low-income Americans by properly funding cost-sharing reduction payments. Third, it must promote coverage and ensure that everyone pays their fair share. And fourth, it must create more affordable options so all Americans have access to high-quality health care.
"The next piece of health care legislation that comes before Congress should contain these four components, and it must -- it must -- be a bipartisan effort. Only by joining together will we be able to make real and lasting improvements to our health care system. This is the good governance the American people want and deserve."