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Rep. Kind Calls For Bipartisan Approach To Health Care

After Failed Senate Vote, Kind Says Republicans Need To Focus On Solutions

Ron Kind
In this June 4, 2013 file photo, Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wisconsin, appears at a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Charles Dharapak/AP Photo

As Republicans in Congress recover from last week’s failed health care vote, Wisconsin Congressman Ron Kind said the time is right for a bipartisan plan to fix the Affordable Care Act.

At an event Monday in La Crosse, Kind, a Democrat, said Congress needs to come together to stabilize the health insurance marketplace before working on ways to fix the ACA.

“Through greater cost-sharing subsidies, reinsurance programs, exactly what the individual plans have been calling for to give them certainty so that they can stay in the game and be able to provide these health insurance plans,” Kind said. “Right now the administration is playing games with it and creating a lot of uncertainty, and it’s leading to many of these health plans just to withdraw completely from the marketplace.”

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Kind said Congress also needs to help individuals who don’t qualify for subsidies and address rising prescription drug prices.

Republicans have promised to repeal the ACA for years, but Kind said he believes his colleagues are interested in a bipartisan approach.

“I’m confident that there are a majority of votes in both the House and Senate to pass exactly this (proposal) right now,” Kind said. “It would be more Democrats than Republicans, but enough Republicans to form a majority to get this done if they’re willing to proceed.”

But Kind said the future of these proposals will depend on how congressional leadership and the president respond to last week’s failed vote.

On Saturday, Gov. Scott Walker called on Congress to give full responsibility to state governments to decide requirements for health care and health insurance coverage.

But Kind said he’s opposed to that plan.

“If I had more confidence that the governors would do that right thing, that would be certainly worthy of discussion,” Kind said. “But when you have a governor like Scott Walker who already threatened to start discriminating against people once again who have pre-existing conditions, that to me is a major step backwards.”

On Monday, Walker was at the White House for a meeting with Trump administration officials and other governors to discuss a health care overhaul.