The Senate's final version of its bill on health insurance reform will not be a total repeal of Obamacare, according to two GOP senators from Iowa, The Gazette reported.
"It's not going to be torn up by the roots in one piece of legislation," Sen. Chuck Grassley said following a congressional forum sponsored by the Altoona Area Chamber of Commerce. "It's going to take two pieces of legislation to accomplish the goal."
"I wish that we could repeal it fully and figure out a different way forward. We're in a world of hurt right now. I wish we could go back in time. We can't do that. All we can do is move forward with what we have right now," Sen. Joni Ernst said at the event.
She emphasized that they will have to use the Senate's reconciliation process to "tinker around the edges" to repeal the worst parts of Obamacare while also trying to protect Iowans who face the loss of individual health insurance options.
The Congressional Budget Office released projections last week that as many as 23 million people could lose their health insurance in the next decade if the GOP healthcare bill passed by the House becomes law.
Grassley stressed that the Senate is not working off the House bill, which he said "doesn't do anything for the 70,000 Iowans that probably in a month won't be able to go to the exchange and buy any insurance."
"One-size-fits-all from Washington, D.C. just doesn't work and it took us about four or five years to find out," Grassley said. "We have to make sure that we have a program that is accessible and affordable for people."
Iowa may become the first state to lose all commercial firms selling individual health insurance policies in most of its counties due to the uncertainty about the future of Obamacare and its marketplace exchange.
A Senate GOP healthcare working group has been dealing with how to make sure marketplace exchanges do not collapse before next year, Axios reported.
Ernst has been one of those pressing for a solution based on what is happening in Iowa.
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