(KAIT/TALK BUSINESS & POLITICS) - The state's junior senator said this weekend that he plans to be "very active" in a debate about replacing the Affordable Care Act.
According to a report from content partner Talk Business & Politics, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-AR. said the debate and discussion over the issue will be key. Cotton said the debate in a closely divided Senate could create an opportunity for reform and helping Arkansans.
"I expect to be very active in it, obviously, for Arkansans. One of the biggest sources of day-to-day anxiety is the cost of health insurance as premiums go up, as co-pays and deductibles go up, making those insurance premiums less valuable. And while I'm not on the committees that may be writing it, the Senate's a small place, and a lot of the work gets done in individual interactions. And we have a small majority, so we can't afford to sacrifice too many votes, so we have to work towards the interest of every individual Senator, and I expect to be very involved in that and making sure that we get a solution that works for Arkansans," Cotton said.
Cotton said he also wants to work in the overall debate.
"I want to do healthcare reform right. I'm not as concerned about getting it fast, although this is a top priority of ours and I expect we'll move forward with legislation sometime in the next, you know, two or three months, at the minimum. But Obamacare has made our healthcare system worse. Before Obamacare, it had a lot of problems, it cost too much, not enough people had access to health insurance, and health insurance didn't give the kind of coverage that people needed. Obamacare supposedly solved those problems. In reality, it's made those problems worse for a lot of people. So, after we repeal Obamacare, I want to focus on solving those problems, on making healthcare affordable and personalized for everyone so that they can make the right choices for themselves and their families," he said.
The overall repeal may take some time, but Cotton said a transition period could help health insurance and other companies adjust, Talk Business & Politics reported.
"I don't like the kind of across-the-board draconian cuts that were imposed on Medicare providers: doctors, nurses, hospitals, and so forth," he said. "Medicaid, ultimately, is probably going have to be a part of healthcare reform because it was so tied up with Obamacare. And what I would like to see on Medicaid expansion is a much greater authority and discretion granted to our state governments, so our governor and our legislature can make the right decisions for Arkansans and the population that needs Medicaid in Arkansas."
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