The following statement, about the failed effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is by Sam Brooke, deputy legal director for the SPLC:
“We are thankful that the Senate’s misguided efforts to disrupt our health care system failed. First, senators attempted to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act through a bill written in secret that would have cut Medicaid support for the poor and destabilized a primary funding source for rural hospitals. When they realized they did not have the votes to pass it, they attempted to take a new path – repealing the ACA and replacing it later – which would have deprived 32 million people of health care coverage. Fortunately, this heartless option was also rejected by the senate membership.
“While we must remain vigilant about any future plans to repeal the ACA, we should celebrate the fact that millions of Americans will be able to keep their health care coverage.
“The ACA is working, and is responsible for tens of millions of people gaining stable insurance for the first time, notwithstanding repeated efforts by many to undermine or block its positive effects. It is not perfect. But it has profoundly improved the lives of the most disadvantaged in our country.
“If President Trump is serious about further improving health care, he must start working with legislators from both parties to fulfill his campaign promise: health care for everyone. That is possible. But only if the policymakers show compassion for those who need the most help.”