Ohio's Sens. Portman and Brown Talk About New Obamacare Replacement Plans

Jul 13, 2017

Both U.S. Senators rejected the first draft of the bill, citing issues with the opioid epidemic and uninsured citizens.
Credit STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

As senators in Washington continue to grapple with how to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, Ohio’s contingent explain why they have not embraced plans that have been introduced so far. They talk about what needs to be done to win their support.

Republican Sen. Rob Portman didn’t support the initial plan in the Senate because it could have hurt the state’s fight against opioids.

“Particularly for those who are impacted by the opioid epidemic in Ohio because Medicaid is an important payer for treatment,” he said.

Portman says he hasn’t had a chance to look at details of a new plan coming out of the Senate. But Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, who also didn’t support the earlier plan, says he won’t back anything that takes away health-care services in exchange for tax cuts for wealthy people.

“You don’t fix the Affordable Care Act by a $7 million a year tax cut to the 400 richest families in America. You don’t fix it by writing a bill that the drug and insurance companies will get huge tax cuts,” he said.

While both Portman and Brown say they think there need to be changes to the health care law, they don’t necessarily agree on which changes should be made.