Tags: Obamacare | Critic | Greg Walden | GOP | Effort

Obamacare Critic Rep. Greg Walden Leading GOP Effort to Replace It

Image: Obamacare Critic Rep. Greg Walden Leading GOP Effort to Replace It

(AP)

By    |   Thursday, 19 Jan 2017 07:33 AM

Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., spent years attacking Obamacare — now he has to help figure out how to replace it.

Politico notes Walden is now chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, which oversee healthcare policy. It will be his responsibility to steer House Republicans in their attempts to replace the Affordable Health Care Act that he's been so critical of.

He was named committee chairman partly because of his efforts to get Republicans elected when he oversaw the National Republican Congressional Committee during the 2014 and 2016 elections, according to the website.

But now, even as he's referred to as the "Obamacare attack dog," he appears to have softened his approach to changing the law, Politico noted.

"I don't care what you call it. It needs to be fixed," he said. "We need to work aggressively on the repairs to the individual market, to Obamacare. Some might call that replacement. I call that a rebuild. I call it repair."

The carefully chosen words could help Republican efforts to win over moderate Democrats needed for GOP's efforts to change Obamacare.

But Walden said he's ready for Democrats to fight back.

"Anything they can do to blame us, hand it to us, they'll do," he told Politico. "If we do good public policy, it'll be good politics. And if we take our time to get it right, then we'll have a better product."

But he said his days campaigning for fellow Republicans have convinced him people are not happy with Obamacare.

"Obamacare was pretty unpopular," he said. "I also know people really want to make sure they and their loved ones have access to health care when they need it … that's the principle for me, my takeaway. That's what really motivates me."

Despite a recent small protest in his home state of Oregon, Walden has pledged to move ahead with his efforts, KTVZ-TV reported.

"All over Central Oregon, I've heard a clear message: health care options are too expensive and too limited. We need to give all Oregonians access to more affordable health options and better choices, and we're working with the incoming administration to make that a reality."

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Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., spent years attacking Obamacare - now he has to help figure out how to replace it.
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2017-33-19
Thursday, 19 Jan 2017 07:33 AM
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