LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - United States Senators Tom Cotton and John Boozman, who have previously avoided public comment on the Senate health care bill, have said they would support a bill that would repeal the Affordable Care Act with a two-year delay to allow for a replacement.
On Tuesday morning, Cotton joined local radio station KARN to talk about the failure of the Senate Republican health care bill and the potential plan to repeal "Obamacare."
Cotton told KARN host Kevin Miller that some have benefited from the Affordable Care Act, but claimed many more have been "hurt" by it.
"We certainly can't drop health care though," Cotton said. "It's too important to too many Arkansans to just walk away from it."
The senator also voiced his disappointment that Republicans couldn't work together to bring the proposed bill to the Senate floor in order to debate its potential merits or faults. He said it was "hard to thread the needle" between far-right GOP members and the "more liberal Republicans."
In a written statement, Boozman said the inability to pass the bill shouldn't "be taken as an indicator that our commitment to provide relief to the millions of Americans who have been hurt by Obamacare has weakened by any means."
Boozman also joined Cotton in supporting Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act without an immediate replacement. That proposal would be similar to a 2015 repeal bill which was passed by Congress but ultimately vetoed by then President Barack Obama. Both Cotton and Boozman have said they want a "transition period" where senators can work on replacing "Obamacare."
"So we can work together to replace this failed program with market-based solutions that will bring changes that Obamacare, and all its broken promises, simply cannot deliver," Boozman said.
Governor Asa Hutchinson said that Congress should not give up on finding a bipartisan solution to change current the health care law. Arkansas expanded Medicaid under that law with a hybrid program and more than 300,000 Arkansans are on that program.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.