Health

GOP Backs Away From Quick Obamacare Repeal

| by Lauren Briggs

Republicans promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act as soon as possible, but the logistics of ending Obamacare, while ensuring that millions of people do not lose their health insurance, is slowing them down considerably.

"It's in the process and maybe it will take till sometime into next year, but we are certainly going to be in the process," President Donald Trump told Bill O'Reilly during a Feb. 5 interview with Fox News, after promising during his campaign to repeal and replace Obamacare immediately after his inauguration. "It's very complicated. Obamacare is a disaster. You have to remember, Obamacare doesn't work, so we are putting in a wonderful plan … We're going to be putting it in fairly soon. I would like to say by the end of the year, at least the rudiments."

Lawmakers are facing a similar struggle, as they work to develop a bill to fit their promises that will not get shot down in a Democratic filibuster, notes NPR. Since tax and budget laws are not eligible to be blocked by filibusters, Republicans might be forced to develop a new plan that tweaks some laws but ultimately works within the framework laid out by the Affordable Care Act.

"We can repair the individual market, which is a good place to start," Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee suggested on Feb. 1, according to NPR. Alexander said that he is open to fixing the existing individual market legislation, then repealing parts of the law.

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Others say that they do not wish to water down the bill and would like to get it out as soon as possible.

"I don't know that there's any new revelations that are going to come up by waiting 60 to 90 more days," said Republican Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, according to CNN. "We're making the whole idea of repeal and replacement far more complex and laborious than it needs to be and I think it's time that we just make some decisions and move forward with [the repeal bill.]"

Trump has said in the past that he would make sure that there is "insurance for everybody," even those who cannot afford it, notes the Washington Post. He said that he does not like single payer healthcare, but would come up with a "simplified," "less expensive" plan that would "take care of people."

Sources: NPR, Fox News, Washington Post, CNN / Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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