Indiana legislators react to Senate vote that advances GOP health care bill

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The U.S. Senate voted in favor of a motion to proceed with debate on the GOP health care bill Tuesday afternoon.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell needed 50 out of 52 Senate Republicans to support the bill, along with Vice President Mike Pence, who issued the tie-breaking vote to allow the motion to proceed. All 48 Democrats and two Republicans, Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, voted against the motion.

It didn’t take long for Indiana lawmakers to react to the bill’s advancement.

Sen. Todd Young issued the following statement after voting in favor of the motion:

“Nearly everyone agrees that doing nothing is not an option. Insurers have fled the individual market and premiums continue to rise without any indication the law’s death spiral will stop. Ultimately, it is imperative that we fundamentally reform our health care system and my vote to proceed to debate allows us to begin that process.

“I will continue to work with my colleagues, on both sides of the aisle, to come up with a solution that provides long-term stability to our health care system and gives each and every Hoosier the opportunity to access quality and affordable insurance.”

Sen. Joe Donnelly, who voted against the procedural vote, issued this statement saying he’s disappointed that the Senate made improving health care a partisan process:

“I have said for years that there is bipartisan support for ideas to improve and strengthen the American health care system in a way that would reduce costs while improving access.  I’m disappointed that the Senate has decided to make this a partisan process in an attempt to jam through proposals that would threaten the health and economic well-being of millions of Americans.

“I am going to continue to do everything possible to fight for quality, affordable health care for Hoosiers, and that is why I will be leading an amendment to protect Medicaid, including Indiana’s HIP 2.0 program. I think we can all agree that our health care system can be improved, however that cannot be achieved by taking away health care from people or reversing the progress states like Indiana have made to provide affordable health care.”