Former President Barack Obama is urging Congress to keep and expand the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
Kevin Lewis, spokesman to Obama, issued the following statement after the Senate voted down a "skinny repeal" of the healthcare law on July 28, according to NBC Politics on Twitter:
The Affordable Care Act has always been about something bigger than politics -- it's about the character of our country. It's about the twenty million Americans and counting who've gained the security and peace of mind of health insurance, and the tens of millions more who benefited from upgrades like free preventive care, such as mammograms and vaccines, and improvements in the quality of care in hospitals that have averted more than 100,000 deaths so far. It's about the dreams protected, and the untold misery and ruin prevented...
Obama's message came after Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska voted against party lines, siding with Democrats against the partial repeal of Obamacare, notes The Washington Post.
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The bill failed to attain a majority in the Republican-dominated chamber, with 51 senators voting against the repeal and 49 voting in favor of it.
"Today, it remains that way because of everyone who mobilized, organized and made their voices heard," Lewis explained in the statement, according to NBC Politics' Tweet. "The Affordable Care Act has made America stronger and healthier, but there will always be more work to do."
The skinny repeal legislation would have done away with the tax penalty for uninsured Americans, and would have suspended for eight years enforcement of the mandate requiring companies that hire more than 50 workers to provide them with healthcare plans, notes The Post.
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It would also have eliminated funding for some preventive care services and, as written, would have booted millions off of their insurance.
Despite the controversy surrounding the insurance mandates, President Obama is not ready to chalk up his healthcare law as a lost cause.
"President Obama has always said we should build on this law, just as members of both parties worked together to improve Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid over the years," said Lewis, according to NBC Politics on Twitter. "President Obama still believes that it is possible for Congress to demonstrate the necessary bipartisanship and political courage to keep delivering on the promise of quality, affordable health insurance for every American."
In the meantime, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, has not stated whether his party will continue to make the repeal a priority, notes The Post.