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Reaction: Walden vows to press on; Merkley urges GOP shift


After Friday’s move to withdraw the House Republican’s plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, one of the leaders of that effort, Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon, said he will press ahead with health care reform efforts, while Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., called on the GOP to shift its focus to improvements that will benefit, not hurt Americans.

“We all know there are problems in the health care system,” Walden said. “We put forward a plan to try and address those. Obviously, when you try to do this nationwide, there are puts and takes.

“But look, we know in Oregon, we have issues that we need to address. I’m fully committed to that. I’ve been an advocate for health care reform, improvement — for fixing the problems that we have and moving forward in an innovative, state-based way. And I’m going to continue that work,” the lawmaker said.

But Merkley said, “Following today’s TrumpCare failure, it’s time for Republicans to cease and desist in their plans to destroy American health care.

“Rather than continuing to try to twist arms to pass a plan that will raise costs, lower coverage, and take health care away from 24 million Americans, they should drop this destructive strategy and instead focus on what Americans actually want us to work on: lowering costs and making health care more affordable for working families across America.” the senator said..

“Republicans have already done great damage to the health care system, and need to fix the problems they’ve created,” Merkley continued. “There are plenty of ideas already on the table that would make health care more affordable for working families, from a public option, to prescription drug negotiations, to offering older Americans the chance to buy into Medicare.

“I’m happy to work with anyone, from either side of the aisle, to explore these or any other ideas that would improve health care for working Americans. But first, Republican leaders must fully absorb the message sent loud and clear by grassroots America and echoed in today’s failure: Stop messing with our health care,” the senator concluded.

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