Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton of Arkansas joined their Republican colleagues in voting to begin debate on repealing and possibly replacing the Affordable Care Act.
In written statements released after the vote Tuesday afternoon, both were cautious in their support with so much unknown about what will be presented. Boozman said it was "just the first step," while Cotton said he will be "carefully monitoring any legislative changes that are proposed."
Two other Republicans in the Senate voted against it, with Vice-President Mike Pence breaking a tie vote.
In his statement, Boozman said:
Arkansans have been calling for a repeal ever since Obamacare was forced upon them. Today, we moved closer to making that a reality. Obamacare is not sustainable and preserving the status quo is not an option. This is just the first step. While much work remains to be done, this vote signals to the American people that we remain committed to repairing our health care system by putting into place a system that ensures access to affordable, quality care for every American.
Senator Tom Cotton said:
Obamacare continues its downward spiral, sending premiums through the roof and leaving people with far fewer choices. We owe it to Arkansans to finally give them some relief from this law. It's what we promised, and what they deserve. This vote is the first step toward solving the problems created by Obamacare. And as the Senate continues to deliberate, I will be carefully monitoring any legislative changes that are proposed. It's important we get this right, so that we create a health-care system that works for Arkansans.