Two Republican Senators floated their proposal for an immediate replacement for Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act, on Monday 23 January.
"I'm hopeful that we have come up with a proposal that could attract bipartisan support," said Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins. She proposes The Patient Freedom Act drafted by Louisiana Senator and physician Bill Cassidy as a replacement.
"While the ACA provides very valuable assistance. The system created by the law is under significant financial stress," Collins said, citing an average increase in insurance premiums of 25% across the 50 US states. In Arizona health insurance premiums have risen 100% since the ACA was enacted and 22% in Maine.
The bill would not be a full repeal and replacement of the ACA. Rather it would allow states to keep the Affordable Care Act "if it's working for their residents," Collins said. Under the law, Medicaid health insurance for poor Americans was extended to 14 million people. Senator Cassidy originally tabled the Patient Freedom Act in 2015.
Several Republican Governors, including Ohio's John Kasich are pushing to keep aspects of the Affordable Care Act. Last week Kasich and a number of other Republican governors met with the Senate Finance Committee which controls healthcare spending about plans to repeal the law.
Collins said that their aim with their new Act is to "maintain the consumer protection provisions that are in the ACA, including allowing young people to stay on their parent's health insurance policy until they are 26 and a rule that insurance companies cannot discriminate against people with preexisting conditions.
"Ours is the only bill that has the unique combination of allowing states to keep the affordable care act," Collins said.