IN Focus: How will Senate deal with health care controversy?

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INDIANAPOLIS - Not long after the American Health Care Act passed the House on Thursday, lawmakers in the Senate began to question the bill's merits.

Even some Republicans in the Senate were critical of the legislation that was narrowly approved by the House.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said the bill "should be viewed with caution," while others said the AHCA could be 'dead on arrival' in the Senate - with major changes likely.

Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) issued the following statement about the bill after it passed the House on Thursday:

“Hard-working Hoosier families, including the more than 400,000 Hoosiers who have care through HIP 2.0 or the millions of Hoosiers with a pre-existing condition, deserve better than this disastrous legislation. This bill would make it tougher and more expensive for people – including those with pre-existing conditions – to get coverage, harder to access opioid and heroin treatment programs, and raise premiums on older Americans. We should be making our health care system better, not worse, and I remain focused on working together to improve health care coverage for Hoosiers.”

Donnelly spoke with CBS4 about the health care debate in an interview on Wednesday, which can be seen in the video above.

Sen. Todd Young's office did not respond to requests for a comment on the legislation.

All nine Indiana representatives voted along party lines, with all seven Republicans voting 'yes' and both Democrats voting 'no' on the bill.

In a statement, Rep. Luke Messer (R-IN) said the following about his vote:

"Today is an exciting day for those of us who have been working and fighting to end Obamacare’s reign over this country. After six years of promises to Hoosiers, we are moving forward to repeal Obamacare and replace it with something far better. This is a step away from more government control of our healthcare and our day-to-day lives, and a return to freedom for all Americans.”

Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN) issued the following statement:

“Whether piece by piece, or all at once, I will continue fighting to repeal the insidious Obamacare law because it has hurt so many people. Many, many more than it ever pretended to help. I'm proud to support President Trump and our collective efforts to fix the healthcare system for the American people. 
“Obamacare is hurting Americans, particularly small businesses and the middle class, by increasing premiums, reducing access to doctors, and creating a one-size-fits-all Washington dictated health care system, it is clear that we need a new direction.
“As Vice Chairman of the Budget Committee, I fought to include major reforms to Medicaid by ending the current open-ended system that encourages waste and fraud, and instead gives states the flexibility and authority to run their own programs.  These changes originate from my bill, the State Health Flexibility Act, which gives states complete control and sets funding levels for each year to cover nondisabled, nonelderly adults and children.” 
Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) issued this statement after voting on the bill:
"Today, we kept our promise to the American people. We repealed Obamacare and took the first steps towards achieving more affordable healthcare choices and coverage for Americans with passage of the American Health Care Act in the House. There has been some misinformation about what this bill does, and I want to correct the record. Most importantly, this legislation ensures that no one can be denied coverage, including people with pre-existing conditions. In addition, no one, regardless of health status, will be charged higher premiums if they maintain their coverage. Finally, this bill prohibits insurers from rescinding coverage based on a pre-existing condition.”
“This legislation should lower costs for Hoosiers and offers advanceable, refundable tax credits to help people afford healthcare coverage. It will increase competition and choice in the healthcare marketplace, repeal harmful taxes like the medical device tax, eliminate burdensome mandates and the IRS penalty, and put decisions about your healthcare back in your hands. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to put this bill on the President’s desk.”

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