Tags: james lankford | GOP | obamacare | repeal

Sen. Lankford: Work on Obamacare Replacement Must Start Soon

(Fox News/"Fox & Friends")

By    |   Tuesday, 18 Jul 2017 08:23 AM

While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has decided to seek a vote on a simple repeal of Obamacare, Sen. James Lankford said Tuesday he believes senators will eventually vote in a "skinny version of what we couldn't vote on this time."

"We will focus on what can be eliminated from this," the Oklahoma Republican, one of the senators meeting in the White House with President Donald Trump Monday night, told Fox News' "Fox & Friends" program.

However, Lankford said, "we have got to be able to repeal as much as possible . . . we need to get started on replacement as soon as possible."

Monday night, McConnell abandoned efforts to pass the Senate Republicans' Obamacare replacement bill, saying he'll seek a repeal that would be delayed by two years to allow lawmakers more time to hammer out a replacement measure.

In 2015, the House and Senate both passed a bill to repeal Obamacare, but President Barack Obama did not sign it. This time around, said Lankford, the Senate will need 60 votes to do a full repeal of Obamacare.

"We have to deal with what can we get done and how far can we go to protect people," said Lankford. "I don't want to lose track of the fact this is something that has to be done.

"Just in my state in Oklahoma, insurance rates went up last year 76 percent in one year. We have thousands of people that used to have insurance that can no longer afford healthcare insurance anymore."

It's true that some people have fallen in a "safety net," he continued, "but we have thousands who used to have insurance and pay for it and no longer can. This has to be fixed."

There are many factions among the Republican Party in the Senate, but Lankford said he is still optimistic they can consolidate and pass legislation.

"This is kind of a no fail moment that you have to be able to resolve all these issues," he said. "My focus for weeks has been, let's get all the people that disagree in one room and let's hammer this out in one moment.

"For whatever reason we have not been allowed to do that, to get all the different factions into one room at one time. We have all been negotiating one at a time. If we can get everybody together at one time and finish this, I think we can get it done."

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While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has decided to seek a vote on a simple repeal of Obamacare, Sen. James Lankford said Tuesday he believes senators will eventually vote in a "skinny version of what we couldn't vote on this time."
james lankford, GOP, obamacare, repeal
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2017-23-18
Tuesday, 18 Jul 2017 08:23 AM
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