WALLACE: Senator Thune, if Republicans blocked the bill this week, either don’t vote to begin the debate or begin the debate and then go against whatever is on the floor, is that the end of repeal and replace?
THUNE: It’s not. But it is a vote I think for the status quo.
But what will happen, and if and when that were to occur, is we’ll go back to the drawing board and we’ll get a bill up. We are going to vote to repeal and replace ObamaCare. The question is not — it’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when.
My argument, Chris, is that we need to do it sooner rather than later, which is the argument that the president made, because this thing is spiraling out of control. ObamaCare is in a death spiral. You have seen, since 2013, premiums in this country in the individual marketplace have more than doubled. You’ve got markets that are in a free fall, in a collapse, and something has to be done sooner. And I think that’s why we need to get on the bill and start this debate. And then if people want to amend it, it is an open amendment process. There will be unlimited amendments that can be offered and in the — and the United States Senate will have an opportunity to work its will. But that can’t happen. We can’t change the status quo less w get on the bill.
And I think we have a responsibility and a duty to the American people that we committed and promised that we would repeal and replace ObamaCare with something that’s better. And so they need to hold us accountable. And I think the sooner we get on the bill and debating these issues, the more quickly we will get a — we will get a result, which takes us in a better direction with lower premiums and stable markets and liberating people —
THUNE: From all these mandates and regulations and taxes that they have an ObamaCare today.