On June 16th, the governors of seven states, three Republicans and four Democrats, wrote and signed a bipartisan letter addressed to Senate leaders Mitch McConnell (R-KY.) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY). In the letter, they urged the Senate to revert to a more bipartisan approach to health care reform, writing that “true and lasting reforms are best approached by finding common ground in a bipartisan fashion.” The governors attached an outline of guiding principles entitled “A Bipartisan Approach to Improving Our Nation’s Health Insurance System,” which focuses on reforms that would stabilize the individual insurance markets, give states additional flexibility, and ensure affordable coverage. The governors said they oppose the current bill, citing its proposed changes to the national Medicaid program.

The coalition of governors includes John Kasich (R-OH,) John Hickenlooper (D-CO,) Brian Sandoval (R-NV,) Charlie Baker (R-MA,) Steve Bullock (D-MT,) Tom Wolf (D-PA,) and John Bell Edwards (D-LA).

Congress enacted the Affordable Care Act exclusively along Democratic party lines in 2010, which perpetuated an ongoing issue regarding majority parties enacting temporary legislation that only lasts as long as the majority party is in power. In order to establish a sustainable health care system in America, members of Congress must work across the aisle. It is a disservice to the American people if congressional parties simply replace one divisive plan with another, and neglect to lay the foundation for a lasting health care system that can pragmatically be maintained across presidential administrations. Reforms to the ACA must be made through pragmatic bipartisanship coalitions.

“Our states — and all Americans,” the letter remarks, “deserve nothing less.”