Politics

GOP Obamacare Replacement Plan Remains In Flux

(Photo by Bill Clark-Pool/Getty Images)

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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The GOP policy retreat in Philadelphia wrapped up Wednesday and concrete decisions about how to move forward with the Obamacare repeal and replacement have yet to be made.

House Speaker Paul Ryan laid out an ambitious timeline for Congress to tackle in the first 200 days of the new administration, with Republicans hoping to pass legislation on the Obamacare repeal by April.

Members claim progress was made during their break-out sessions on health care, but a consensus has still not been reached.

“No decisions today, but very positive conversations,” Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means Kevin Brady told reporters Thursday.

Risch said he doesn’t know “in detail” exactly what the president is looking for in the replacement legislation, but believes he’s open to solutions that can pass both chambers of Congress and will bring costs down while expanding access to coverage.

“It’s incredibly complex, as you know, there are discussions already going down between the White House and Congress — it’s going to be very helpful when we gt Tom Price in as the secretary of Health and Human Services — once that happens I think this thing is going to go even quicker and better,” Sen. Jim Risch of Indiana told reporters. “We’re at a point where we’re still developing what this thing is going to look like and it’s going to take cooperation — and I’ve got to tell you, the feeling in Congress right now, particularly in the Senate is we’re getting great cooperation from the White House.”

In audio from the closed-door session leaked to The Washington Post, members expressed concerns over potential road blocks. GOP lawmakers repeatedly vow to keep popular provisions of the Affordable Care Act — including allowing dependents to stay on their parents’ health plans until the age of 26 and requiring insurers to cover preexisting conditions — in tact while bringing costs down.

“We’d better be sure that we’re prepared to live with the market we’ve created,” Rep. Tom McClintock of California said on the recording. “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.”

Repealing and replacing Obamacare was one of the main platforms Republican ran on during the 2016 election.

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