NJ Democrats fight against health care vote

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With the health care debate coming to a head in Washington next week, New Jersey’s Democratic representatives in the federal government say that they will refuse to vote for any plan that repeals the Affordable Care Act without replacing it.

“The last version [Republicans] tried had 32 million people without health care,” says Sen. Bob Menendez. “The number instead of declining in their proposals, keeps increasing.”

Menendez says that his Republican colleagues are in the dark about what plan they may vote on next week. He says that a repeal would create chaos in the marketplace.

The Senate majority leaders indicated that he believes that he has the most support for a straight repeal vote. If passed, it would end Affordable Care Act coverage in two years, giving lawmakers time to make a replacement plan.

“If that’s what they do, that’s the equivalent of jumping off a cliff and saying, ‘We’ll send you a parachute along the way,’” Menendez says.

President Donald Trump has told Republicans this week that inaction is not an option on the health care bill. He has accused Democrats of sinking Republican plans to reform what he calls the “failing Affordable Care Act.”

Democrats say that they want the repeal option taken off the table.

“If it wasn’t for the president the Republican leadership in the Congress would be perfectly fine just working with Democrats on the Affordable Care Act. And not move to repeal it,” says Rep. Frank Pallone.

Republicans need 50 votes to pass a repeal.

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