Politics

Republicans Made ‘Big Mistake’ on Trying Obamacare First, Heller Says

Dean Heller is running against Rep. Jacky Rosen

Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Rep. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., are running against each other in Nevada’s Senate race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Dean Hellersaid Republicans in Congress made a “big mistake” when they tried repealing the 2010 health care law as their first legislative item of the Trump administration.

Republicans could have successfully repealed the law if they had passed tax and transportation legislation first, Heller told the Washington Examiner.

“We needed to get some wins,” he said. “We should have done transportation and the economy first, and then done health care after. I think you would have seen a very different result on health care.”

The party was not ready to deal with health care, Heller said, even though the party did eventually repeal the individual mandate part of the 2010 law signed by former President Barack Obama.

“It was a missed opportunity, without a doubt,” he said.

Heller also said he doubts Republican leadership will try to repeal the health care law again before the election in November.

Heller is in a tough re-election fight against Democrat Jacky Rosen, whom he has criticized for her support of the health care legislation.

“If you’re advocating — and my opponent was — if you advocate for the Affordable Care Act, all you’re advocating is higher premiums and less coverage,” he said. “That’s all you’re advocating for, and that has to change.”

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates Nevada’s Senate Race Toss Up.

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