House Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said repealing Obamacare will be an early priority for the 115th Congress, but the timeline on its replacement is still up in the air Monday.
McConnell noted the current system is collapsing under its own weight, therefore lawmakers will need to get to work on a solution quickly after its repeal.
“Let me just make sure everybody understands this status quo is not sustainable. The notion that we could do nothing and allow the current law to implode is unacceptable,” he told reporters Monday. “So I hope no one believes no action is possible — or appropriate. Therefore, we will move right after the first of the year on an Obamacare replacement resolution. And then we’ll work expeditiously to come up with a better proposal than current law, because current law is simply unacceptable and not sustainable.”
A number of GOP senators have called for a three-year window to construct a replacement while conservatives in the House feel it needs to get done within the next two years. McConnell did not say if he has a preference on timing, but confirmed that talks on how to handle the transition period are in the works.
“We’ll be working with the various stakeholders to get their best advice about what comes next,” he said. “And with regard to the phase-in period, the timing of all of that, that is yet to be determined. But let me just say again, doing nothing is not an option because you have seen the headline all across America, all last year about this status quo.”
McConnell said in terms of making sure Americans are covered, Obamacare has been a flop, arguing the GOP replacement plan will make health care more accessible.
“Well, 85 percent of Americans have coverage, and still roughly 25 million who don’t,” he said. “So if coverage was the issue Obamacare was a failure. Surely, we can do better for the people.”
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