WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Sen. Rob Portman has announced his opposition to the current Senate health care bill after days of political pummeling that ended with the vote delayed.
The Ohio Republican issued a statement Tuesday after the Senate delayed its vote and after he had been subjected to baseball game flyovers, demonstrations and other pressures to oppose the bill.
Portman says he continues to have concerns about the Medicaid policies in the bill. He specifically pointed to those that impact drug treatment at a time when Ohio is facing an opioid epidemic.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wanted to bring the bill to a vote before the July 4th recess. He said Tuesday afternoon he would delay a vote while GOP leadership works toward getting enough votes.
In a statement, Portman said:
As I’ve said many times, the Affordable Care Act is not working for many Ohio families and small businesses. I am committed to creating a better health care system that lowers the cost of coverage, provides access to quality care, and protects the most vulnerable in our society. The Senate draft before us includes some promising changes to reduce premiums in the individual insurance market, but I continue to have real concerns about the Medicaid policies in this bill, especially those that impact drug treatment at a time when Ohio is facing an opioid epidemic.
For months, I have engaged with my colleagues on solutions that I believe are necessary to ensure that we improve our health care system and better combat this opioid epidemic. Unfortunately, the Senate draft falls short and therefore I cannot support it in its current form. In the days and weeks ahead, I’m committed to continue talking with my colleagues about how we can fix the serious problems in our health care system while protecting Ohio’s most vulnerable citizens.