Several Republican senators have publicly stated they oppose repealing the Affordable Care Act before a replacement is provided, which could prevent prevent legislation to repeal the act from getting passed in the Senate.
And President-elect Donald Trump might agree with them.
Although repealing the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare, was one of Trump's most talked-about campaign promises and a common goal among many Republican politicians, outright repealing it without a replacement has many worried.
“If Congress fails to vote on a replacement at the same time as repeal, the repealers risk assuming the blame for the continued unraveling of Obamacare,” wrote Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky in an opinion article for Rare. “For mark my words, Obamacare will continue to unravel and wreak havoc for years to come.”
He added: “Don’t misunderstand me. We should repeal Obamacare, but partial repeal will only accelerate the current chaos and may eventually lead to calls for a taxpayer bailout of insurance companies.”
Paul said Trump agrees with him on finding a full replacement for the ACA before it's repealed.
“He called after seeing an interview that I had done [talking about] that we should vote on Obamacare replacement at the same time,” Paul said, reports Politico. “He said he was in complete agreement with that.”
A group of five Republican senators, including Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee, Rob Portman of Ohio, Susan Collins of Maine, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, wrote an amendment to the budget resolution containing the ACA repeal that would give Congress more time to write an Obamacare repeal bill so that a replacement can be created, reported Bloomberg.
“As President-elect Trump has stated, repeal and replace should take place simultaneously, and this amendment will give the incoming administration more time to outline its priorities," Corker said in a statement. "By extending the deadline for budget reconciliation instructions until March, Congress and the incoming administration will each have additional time to get the policy right."