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Secret Recording: GOP Worries About Replacing Obamacare

Several Republicans were recorded voicing their worries about repealing and replacing Obamacare on Jan. 26 during a closed-door meeting in Philadelphia.

This apparent Republican anxiety seems to contrast with previous assurances from Vice President Mike Pence, who told CNN on Jan. 18, "We're getting very close. We expect to have that plan come forward in the early days of the administration."

The Washington Post obtained the recording through an unidentified source, and notes that the lawmakers, or their offices, confirmed the comments made.

Republican Rep. Tom McClintock of California voiced his worries about the 2018 midterm elections:

We’d better be sure that we’re prepared to live with the market we’ve created. That’s going to be called Trumpcare. Republicans will own that lock, stock and barrel, and we’ll be judged in the election less than two years away.

"Our goal, in my opinion, should be not a quick fix," Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee added. "We can do it rapidly -- but not a quick fix. We want a long-term solution that lowers costs."

Republican Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas expressed concern that the tax refund replacement plan proposed by the GOP may not work for middle-class Americans who can't pay their medical costs upfront and wait for the refund.

Republican Rep. John Faso of New York worried about repealing Obamacare and defending Planned Parenthood at the same time:

We are just walking into a gigantic political trap if we go down this path of sticking Planned Parenthood in the health insurance bill. If you want to do it somewhere else, I have no problem, but I think we are creating a political minefield for ourselves -- House and Senate.

Republicans plan to use the budget reconciliation process to repeal Obamacare, which only requires 51 votes, but a GOP replacement plan would need 60 votes, which the Republicans don't have, to pass a Democratic filibuster in the Senate.

Republican Rep. Tom MacArthur of New Jersey warned that 20 million Americans now ensured with Obamacare could lose their coverage if the GOP moves too fast: "We’re telling those people that we’re not going to pull the rug out from under them, and if we do this too fast, we are in fact going to pull the rug out from under them."

Sources: The Washington PostCNN / Photo Credit: Erik Drost/Flickr

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