Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Sen. Bill Cassidy speaks during a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Louisiana Key Academy, a tuition-free charter school specializing in the education of students with dyslexia, Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015.

Washington — The Affordable Care Act has not solved the problems of health insurance cost and coverage it was supposed to address, U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., said Monday on the fifth anniversary of the day Democratic President Barack Obama signed the bill into law.

Not only that, the ACA is antithetical to Republican principles, Cassidy said at a news conference with four other Republicans also elected to the Senate in 2014.

“It tends to coerce the American people,” he said. “It is full of penalties, mandates and the occasional bribe, trying to force the American people to submit their liberty to the will of a bureaucrat.”

Many people buying insurance in the individual market have seen their premiums and deductibles skyrocket as a result of the ACA, known as Obamacare, Cassidy said. And there are still 30 million Americans without health insurance, he said.

“It’s time to cut the line, repeal Obamacare and tie on a new fly,” said Sen. Steve Daines, of Montana, reeling out a fishing metaphor.

The senators said they and their Republican colleagues are working on alternatives to the ACA. Obama would be expected to veto such a proposal if it passes the Republican-controlled Congress, and the Republican majority is not large enough to override a veto. But the Supreme Court is expected to rule in June on a challenge to a key section of the ACA, and if the court guts the law, that could change the dynamic, the senators said.