On Tuesday, U.S. Senator Rob Portman joined the majority of GOP lawmakers when he voted to start debate to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
Portman has long criticized the Affordable Care Act, claiming that premiums have increased, while options have shrunk. By next year, 19 counties in Ohio will be without an insurance provider in the exchange, making it one of the worst states in the country for coverage under the ACA.
Portman has also been reluctant to repeal the ACA without a replacement—700,000 more Ohioans now receive healthcare through Medicaid thanks to an expansion that was part of the ACA.
In a statement about his vote today, Portman says the newest Senate healthcare bill is an improvement on the previous version.
"The measure includes reforms that will help lower premiums on families and small businesses and provide $45 billion in new resources for states to address the opioid epidemic," Portman said
Portman says he is still concerned about how it affects Medicaid recipients. He says he has worked with his colleagues to improve the bill, including a plan to help those on Medicaid expansion and other low-income Americans get access to healthcare.
"I am pleased that I have received a commitment that the Senate will vote on this plan as a central part of this process," he said