Connecticut Breathes Sigh of Relief Following Health Care Vote

By:  Max Reiss
NBC Connecticut

Hundreds of thousands of people in the state have healthcare because of the Affordable Care Act with those signups occurring through either the marketplace Access Health Connecticut, or through the expansion of Medicaid.

More than 104,000 people are covered through plans purchased through the marketplace, and another 208,000 receive care through Medicaid expansion, a key tenet of the Affordable Care Act.

After the votes to repeal the entire law failed early Friday, Sen. Richard Blumenthal now says it's the president's responsibility to ensure the system works.

“He cannot conduct this vendetta with the sacrifice of some people’s lives," Blumenthal said. "The collapse or explosion of the exchanges will cost lives and the president should be bolstering and supporting the insurance exchanges and making the present system work as well as possible.”

On Twitter, and in public statements, President Donald Trump has talked about impending failure of the healthcare market, which he says would be the fault of Democrats.

Trump tweeted early Friday morning, shortly after a proposal to repeal the individual mandate and part of the employer mandate failed, "3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!"

Senator Chris Murphy hopes Republicans work with Democrats to fix the law.

"They know if the health system goes belly-up that politically they are going to bear the responsibility and so they are better off working with us to shore up the Affordable Care Act rather than letting Donald Trump undermine it," Murphy said.

Jonathan Miller, from Meriden, had a marketplace plan for years to help him cover bills for Cystic Fibrosis. He describes the Affordable Care Act as a lifeline since he was born with a pre-existing condition.

“I needed that access to the marketplace and without it, I would not have been able to afford my treatments," he said.

Miller was relieved that GOP efforts to repeal the law failed, but said Congress still has to address the costs that lead so many to struggle to pay for healthcare.

"I needed that access to the marketplace and without it, I would not have been able to afford my treatments," Miller said.