President-elect Donald Trump's plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act won't change peoples' insurance plans until 2019, according to one Republican congressman.
Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., said on MSNBC that although Republicans will begin repealing Obamacare immediately, there won't "be any changes in 2017. There is not going to be changes in 2018.
"Those products are already — have already been approved by the state insurance agencies or for the 2018 time are in negotiation right now. So we are talking about new plans in 2019 or later that will be more affordable and let patients pick their doctors and we will have to figure out exactly how we make sure that Americans are not disadvantaged and that is a promise we have made."
"The plans for 2017 are locked in stone," Collins said, meaning that no one insured under Obamacare in 2017 is in danger of losing their coverage if the law is repealed. "There are going to be absolutely no changes whatsoever in 2017."
Republicans, Collins said, "are sending the message to America that as we move in beyond, say, a two-year window, we are going to have a new plan. We don't have it finalized yet."
When asked why Republicans have made repeal and replace a top priority if the replacement won't take effect for two years, Collins gave two reasons.
"It goes back to things like the medical device tax, the health insurance tax on the insurance company, the employer mandate and the employee mandate, will be repealed immediately. Those are going away but that does not impact the individual that you indicated has got someone with a chronic disease that needs treatment.
"The repeal is going to be dealing with some of these owners, parts of Obamacare that have been job killers, that have impacted employers and penalized workers, you know, on the 30-hour versus 40-hour workweek.
"Those very, very negative aspects of Obamacare will be going away but it's not going to impact patients seeing their doctor and the coverage that they have. That is the difference."
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