Politics

GOP Shouldn’t Expect Help From Schumer On Obamacare Replacement

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter

Congressional Republicans have already taken the first step toward repealing and replacing Obamacare, but top Democrats are not planning on assisting in the construction of an alternative.

Democrats have been vocal in their call to save President Barack Obama’s landmark health-care legislation — a long-shot as a Republican is about to take back the White House in addition to the GOP holding both chambers. A Democratic senator close to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told The Hill he has no plans to negotiate with his colleagues across the aisle.

“If they want to rip healthcare away from 22 million Americans, they don’t get to blame us for not cobbling something back together,” the source said according to The Hill.

Republicans are scrambling to put forth a replacement plan, with President-elect Donald Trump calling on lawmakers to quickly pass a replacement. While Republicans in both chambers managed to overcome the procedural hurdle to move forward with the legislation Friday, they will likely need Democratic support to get the replacement bill through the upper chamber.

Their current plan is to pass the repeal using reconciliation, a tool which allows them to pass the bill with just a simple majority in the Senate, while attaching as much of the replacement plan to the legislation as possible. A separate bill would then be brought forth with the rest of the replacement plan, which will be more difficult to get through as they need 60 votes.

Republicans have cited the rise in premiums and high deductibles Americans have faced since Obamacare’s implementation as the reason to move quickly with the repeal, saying Americans need immediate relief.

Schumer asserted on the House floor Wednesday the only way Democrats will support a measure is if it covers as many people and manages to bring costs down.

Republicans have vowed to keep popular provisions in place, including allowing dependents to stay on their parents’ plans and requiring insurers to cover preexisting conditions.

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