- The Washington Times - Monday, March 23, 2015

Obamacare cut hospitals’ costs for treating uninsured patients by more than $7 billion last year, the administration said Monday in marking the fifth anniversary of the overhaul’s passage.

Health and Human Services Department said states that opted to expand Medicaid accounted for $5 billion of the $7.4 billion reduction, which also factored in people who found private plans on the law’s health exchanges.

The data is one side of markedly different views of the Affordable Care Act, which Democratic majorities muscled through Congress in early 2010 and remains a key repeal target for conservatives.

Democrats say repeal would undo five years of progress on multiple fronts, citing reports that 16 million Americans gained coverage and that health spending has slowed because of the law.

“Five years later, as more Americans enjoy affordable, quality health coverage, we know that the ACA works,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat. “Yet, House Republicans continue their obsession with destroying this law and the health security it is providing millions and millions of American families.”

While Mrs. Pelosi planned to rally with Democrats Tuesday on the Capitol steps, the Republican-majority Congress is trying to use an arcane part of the budget process to put a repeal bill on President Obama’s desk, forcing him to veto the will of Congress.

Both chambers must pass budget resolutions before they can use the procedure, known as “reconciliation,” and pass GOP-favored initiatives on a majority vote that avoids a Democratic filibuster in the Senate.

The party says repeal is necessary to save individuals and businesses from the law’s insurance mandates and rising costs.

“The American people have waited long enough for relief from the pain Obamacare is causing them,” said Sen. John Thune, a South Dakota Republican who chairs the Senate Republican Conference. “I look forward to finally repealing this fundamentally flawed law and replacing it with real reforms that will actually lower costs and increase access to care.”

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