National News

Hawaii senators vote against GOP health care bill

Posted July 26

— US Senators representing Hawaii voiced their opposition toward the Republican Party's attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act

"This bill has earned the title, of-- most unpopular major bill in American history," said Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI).

Both Sen. Schatz and Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) are against on the GOP's health care bill.

"I am the poster child along with John McCain frankly, for the proposition that we are all only one diagnosis away from a major illness," said Sen. Hirono.

At a rally in Washington, Sen. Hirono gave a glimpse into her recent battle with kidney cancer, emphasizing the importance of affordable care.

"The great thing was-- I had health care, so I wasn't sitting there worrying about how I was going to pay for the care that I needed," said Sen. Hirono, "I could concentrate on the care that would make me well and keep me here on the steps of the capitol to fight with you guys because this is going to be for the long haul."

In a narrow vote Tuesday afternoon, Senate Republicans voted to advance to floor debate.

Senator John McCain (R-AZ), still battling brain cancer, returned to Capitol Hill to vote yes.

Vice President Mike Pence cast the tie breaking vote, but hours later, the Senate voted in a 43-57 vote to block a proposal that would repeal much of the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a more restrictive plan.

"What they're doing is cutting taxes and cutting Medicaid," said Sen. Schatz.

Both Hawaii Senators say getting rid of President Obama's plan would be devastating to millions, including those here in the islands.

"There are a lot of people in Hawaii who use Medicaid and there is some in the order of $800 billion worth of cuts to Medicaid," said Sen. Hirono, "and that is going to have a significant impact on Hawaii"

As lawmakers prepare for another day in Washington-- they say Tuesday is just the beginning of a long battle. Senators are expected to vote on a repeal only proposal tomorrow.

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