Politics

Pence: Obamacare Repeal Is Top Priority

| by Robert Fowler

Vice President-elect Mike Pence has indicated that the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will be President-elect Donald Trump's top priority when the new administration takes office on Jan. 20.

On Jan. 4, Pence met with GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill to discuss Trump's plans to help speed along dramatic rollbacks of the ACA through executive actions. After the meeting, the vice president-elect told reporters that the incoming White House planned to work with Congress to repeal the massive health care policy, The Hill reports.

"It will be an orderly transition to something better … using executive authority to ensure it's an orderly transition," Pence said. "We're working now on a series of executive orders that will enable that orderly transition to take place even as Congress appropriately debates alternatives to and replacements for Obamacare."

Neither Pence or House Republicans offered specifics on which executive actions President-elect Trump would issue to roll back portions of the ACA. Currently, GOP lawmakers in the House are aiming to deliver legislation to repeal the health care policy to Trump by Feb. 20.

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Republican lawmakers have not outlined a comprehensive plan to dismantle the ACA without disrupting the health care market and maintaining the benefits of over 20 million Americans who currently receive their coverage through President Barack Obama's signature policy.

While GOP lawmakers have been vocal about their plans to repeal the ACA, they have not yet offered a plan for its replacement.

While Pence was meeting with House Republicans, President Obama met with Democratic lawmakers. During his remarks before his party, Obama reportedly chastised GOP lawmakers for pursuing a repeal of the ACA before offering a viable replacement.

"You don't tear down a house before having plans and building a new one," Obama told the audience, according to Policy Mic.

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G. William Hoagland, a former Republican budget official in the Senate and currently a senior vice president at the Bipartisan Policy Center, believes that GOP lawmakers are underestimating the political difficulty of uprooting the ACA.

"Repeal is not going to be as simple as some people might have thought," Hoagland told the Los Angeles Times. "There are a number of Republicans, particularly in the Senate, who are going to be very nervous about voting to repeal something without knowing what this process may ultimately produce … It could get a lot messier than people appreciate."

Sources: The Hill, Los Angeles Times, Mic / Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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