Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) on Tuesday joined nine other governors to urge Congress to “immediately reject” efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and focus instead on stabilizing insurance markets.
The bipartisan group — five Democrats, five Republicans and one independent — signed a statement in response to a call by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for a vote on rescinding the law with no plans for an immediate replacement.
“This could leave millions of Americans without coverage,” the governors said. “The best next step is for both parties to come together and do what we can all agree on: fix our unstable insurance markets.”
The statement came after the latest Republican effort to overhaul the national health-care system appeared to have fallen apart, effectively killing any chance of implementing a new plan in the near future.
Maryland Democrats had been pressing Hogan, who is expected to run for reelection in 2018, to weigh in more forcefully against GOP plans to repeal the ACA and undo other parts of President Barack Obama’s legacy.
For the most part, Hogan has been reluctant to publicly criticize President Trump or congressional Republicans, saying he is focused on running the state, rather than national politics.
But he has opposed some initiatives, including the GOP health-care plans, expressing concerns during meetings with officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Maryland’s congressional delegation.
On Tuesday, Maryland Democratic Party spokesman Bryan Lesswing dismissed the statement from the governors, saying Hogan “waited until the 11th hour” to take a firm stance.
The others who signed the statement were Republicans Charlie Baker of Massachusetts; John Kasich of Ohio; Brian Sandoval of Nevada; and Phil Scott of Vermont; Democrats Steve Bullock of Montana; John Bel Edwards of Louisiana; John Hickenlooper of Colorado; and Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania; and Bill Walker (I) of Alaska.
The statement called on congressional lawmakers to work with governors on finding a “bipartisan way to provide better insurance for all Americans.”