For Immediate Release
June 30, 2017

Contact: James Wegmann
(202) 224-4224

Sasse Sends Plan B to Trump: If No Agreement Next Week, Repeal First and Spend August on Replace

Washington, D.C. - This morning, Senator Sasse urged President Trump to adopt a two-step strategy of repealing and then replacing ObamaCare – if an agreement is not reached by the day members return from the July 4th state work period. Sasse suggests that Trump call on Republicans to repeal ObamaCare through reconciliation upon return, and then to spend August crafting a replacement bill for a vote on Labor Day.

The full text of the Senator’s letter is found below:

Mr. President:

The Senate will next be in legislative session on Monday, July 10. If we don’t get to agreement on a combined, comprehensive ObamaCare repeal and replace plan by that day, I humbly suggest that you publicly call on the Congress to do two things: (1) to immediately repeal as much of ObamaCare as is possible under Congressional budget reconciliation rules, and then (2) to cancel the scheduled August state work period and instead to spend that month working through regular order, six days per week, writing a health reform package with a vote to be scheduled on Labor Day.

You campaigned and won on the repeal of ObamaCare.  So did every Republican senator. We should keep our word.  Also like you, almost every Republican senator believes that health reform was needed before Democrats passed ObamaCare in 2010, and fundamental reform is still needed today. While we strongly disagree with Democrats that health coverage and premiums would be improved by more federal intrusion into health finance and delivery markets – and the nation’s tragic experience with ObamaCare’s broken promises supports our view – true reform was nonetheless needed then and is still needed now.

On the current path, it looks like Republicans will either fail to pass any meaningful bill at all, or will instead pass a bill that attempts to prop up much of the crumbling ObamaCare structures. We can and must do better than either of these – both because the American people deserve better, and because we promised better.

Therefore, I write to ask that you call on us to do two things:  First, hold all Republicans accountable to our promise to repeal ObamaCare. With only one exception, every member of this Senate majority – moderate and conservative – has explicitly endorsed and/or already voted to repeal ObamaCare, most recently on December 3, 2015. And our newest colleagues, Senators Kennedy and Strange, who were not here at the time of that vote, have also campaigned on promises to repeal this disastrous law. We must keep our word.

Therefore, on July 10, if we don’t have agreement on a combined repeal and replace plan, we should immediately vote again on H.R. 3762, the December 2015 ObamaCare repeal legislation that the Congress passed but President Obama vetoed.  We should include a year-long implementation delay to give comfort to Americans currently on ObamaCare that a replacement plan will be enacted before expiration.

Second, please call on Congress to cancel the August state work period to instead work around the clock exclusively on a health replacement plan on which we can vote this Labor Day. After we gave our word to repeal and replace ObamaCare’s monstrosity, we should not go back to our states during August as the American people struggle under fewer choices and skyrocketing costs.  We should remain in DC at work.

This two-step plan to keep our two promises – both repealing ObamaCare and replacing it with a system that provides affordable and portable health insurance – seems like a no-brainer to this gym rat.  I’m hopeful that you will agree.

Thank you for your consideration,

Ben Sasse
United States Senator