The clash over healthcare between the outgoing Obama administration and the incoming Trump administration reached a crescendo on Capitol Hill Wednesday.
As President Obama rallied Democratic Members of Congress to defend his signature legislation on healthcare, Vice President-elect Mike Pence was also on Capitol Hill to restate the Trump administration’s promise that repeal of Obamacare “will begin literally on day one."
Pence spoke to reporters following a closed-door meeting with Republican lawmakers. Although no specific plans details emerged, it is clear from House Republicans who spoke to Newsmax that the GOP-controlled Congress will vote to repeal the complete Affordable Care Act in a matter of days once Donald Trump becomes president (when he is certain to sign the repeal measure).
Specific legislation to replace Obamacare, however, could come in a matter of months or as late as two years after the controversial legislation is repealed.
“We’re talking about two separate things here,” freshman Rep. Scott Taylor, R-Va., told Newsmax shortly after he was sworn in, “A lot of people are rightfully nervous about what comes after repeal, and I understand this. That’s why there is hesitation about what to replace Obamacare with. We have to be ready to roll [the replacement package] out.”
Another freshman Republican, Trey Hollingsworth of Indiana, told us that he “is fully committed to repealing Obamacare, as are all of the Republicans elected to Congress in 2016.”
But, the Hoosier businessman and graduate of Wharton School of Finance stressed that “there has to be a bridge of some kind to see that those Americans who acquired health coverage under [Obamacare] remain covered until we offer them a better option.”
Other Republican House members voiced confidence that repeal of Obamacare would leave Congress plenty of time to craft a new plan without anyone losing their health coverage.
“Yes, you can repeal Obamacare and a have new and finalized health care legislation a year later,” said Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va. “No one is going to lose their healthcare because they have already paid for it, including the increases in premiums.”
Brat suggested that the new Republican legislation should strengthen health savings accounts, noting that “when you park a few thousand dollars in an HSA, your healthcare will be way cheaper than anything that’s out there now.”
He added that Trump’s choice to be secretary of Health & Human Services, Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., “will wield huge powers in his Cabinet office in which he can implement reforms of health insurance by working with insurance commissioners of the states.”
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