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Katko concerned about lack of Obamacare replacement plan, will attend inauguration

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — U.S. Representative John Katko (R–Camillus) says he’s concerned that “we don’t have a full plan” yet to replace the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, in Congress.

“I hear aspects and bits and pieces,” Katko said when asked what he’s heard about a possible replacement for the health-care law from the incoming Trump administration.

He spoke to reporters on Wednesday ahead of his remarks at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown on New York State Canal System’s designation as a national historic landmark.


“Until we get one, I’m going to be holding firm on my current position,” he added.

Katko, who represents New York’s 24th Congressional District, on Jan. 13 voted against the first measure in the U.S. House of Representatives that could jumpstart the repeal process.

The budget resolution, which passed both the House and U.S. Senate, will allow Republicans to use a process known as “budget reconciliation” to roll back major parts of the health-care law having to do with the federal budget with a simple majority vote. It prevents a filibuster in the Senate.

Katko was one of just nine Republicans in the House who voted against the measure. Central New York’s other three GOP House members — Elise Stefanik, Claudia Tenney, and Tom Reed — all voted yes.

Katko explained his vote in a statement his office issued later that day, saying he voted no “because there has been no clear plan laid out to replace Obamacare.”

“I completely agree with President-elect Trump that repeal and replacement should occur at the same time. This is a view that is shared by a clear majority of Americans. I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to come up with a clear, viable, and effective replacement plan. When that happens, hopefully in the coming weeks, I will happily join my party in repealing Obamacare.”

Katko went on to say that he has been “very clear” on his stance since he started campaigning for Congress.

“I have always maintained that it should either be radically restructured or replaced. Obamacare is a deeply-flawed law that has led to rising premiums and fewer options for consumers. If left unreformed, it will collapse in the coming years. However, I believe before this flawed law is repealed, a viable plan must be ready to replace it in order to ensure that millions of Americans do not lose coverage overnight,” he said.


Attending inauguration

The Syracuse Congressman plans to attend Friday’s inauguration of Donald Trump as the nation’s 45th president.

“I’ve never been to an inauguration, so I’m really thrilled and honored. My family’s excited about it as well,” Katko told reporters.

He also doesn’t have any concerns about attending the event, but he hopes people “on both sides … will put down the swords and just rally around the fact that he’s going to be our president … and hope that he’s successful for the good of the country.”


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