Although a repeal-and-replace healthcare bill stalled Friday in Congress, local Orange County representatives said lawmakers should continue to work on improving health care for the country either with new legislation or by reforming the current law.

President Trump begins to speak to a joint session of Congress. Image from CNN broadcast
“I am glad the (American Health Care Act) was abandoned,” said Rep. Lou Correa, D-Santa Ana. “The legislation would have raised healthcare costs and decreased coverage for millions of Americans. Moving forward, Democrats and Republicans must come together and do what is right for the American people. The (Affordable Care Act) works, but we must make it work for everyone.”

Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, agreed.

“I’m glad we can finally put `Trumpcare’ to rest and that enough of the GOP realized this was not a better plan than we already have,” Lowenthal said. “Now it is time for both sides of the aisle to come together and work on making the Affordable Care Act better.”

Rep. Ed Royce, R-Fullerton, said he wishes to continue working on a “bipartisan” solution to health care issues.

“Southern Californians are struggling with rising health care costs, and today’s events leave this fact unchanged,” Royce said. “I want to thank those — on all sides of this debate — who’ve reached out to share their stories. Rest assured, I will continue to work in a bipartisan and constructive manner on solutions to increase access to quality, affordable health care.”

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, said work should continue on improving health insurance access.

The millions of Californians who had their insurance plans canceled, lost access to their doctors, suffered premium increases and sky-high deductible hikes are depending on us to repeal and replace Obamacare once and for all,” Issa said.

“We must deliver relief from this law and return choice back to the people. However, the AHCA was an imperfect approach and I believe that we can do better,” he said. “We will go back to the drawing board and get this right for each and every American concerned with high costs in their health care and ever-dwindling choices and access to care.

“As part of that discussion, we should consider plans, like mine, to give all Americans access the same high- quality coverage as federal employees and their families, as well as other good ideas, from both sides of the aisle, to deliver solutions to these problems. I remain committed to advancing the reforms necessary to increase access and affordability to our health care.”

Rep. Mimi Walters, R-Irvine, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Earlier this month, however, she supported a version of the bill that stalled today as a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

We are keeping our promise to repeal Obamacare and implement a better system,” Walters said on March 7. “The plan put forward by Congressman (Greg) Walden will put forth real solutions that will allow Americans to have healthcare plans that work for them, not Washington.”

Democrats criticized Walters’ vote.

“The Republican repeal bill ended in a complete and utter failure, but it doesn’t change the reality that Rep. Walters cast a critical vote for this destructive plan,” said Evan Lukaske, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

“Walters voted to impose an age tax on older Americans, to increase premiums for hardworking California families and to kick more than 35,000 of her own constituents off their healthcare. Walters now owns this until Election Day.”

— City News Service

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