Repealing and replacing Obamacare is a "big priority" for Congress, the Trump administration and the American people who "have been suffering" under the law for years, and the Senate is looking forward to getting a bill from the House that it can work with, Sen. John Thune said Thursday.
"The product will come to the Senate, and the Senate has its own process," said Thune on Fox News' "Happening Now" program, before the vote confirming the bill was approved in the House.
"We will undertake work to try and produce a bill through the Senate that we can go to conference with in the House or get back to the House and be able to put something on the president's desk."
The South Dakota Republican said he hopes the legislation will entice insurers to return to markets they've abandoned, as there are many states around the country where insurance marketplaces have collapsed.
In addition, premiums, deductibles and co-pays are skyrocketing, and "something's got to give," said Thune. "We think we can put reforms in place that will create more competition, more choice out there and that will have a positive impact, start bringing prices down, start getting insurance companies to compete in a market that is functioning and working again. That is ultimately the goal."
Meanwhile, there is a lot of "give-and-take" involved, and Republicans have a slim 52-member majority in the Senate, meaning Vice President Mike Pence will likely have to cast the deciding vote, said Thune.
"We want to make sure in the end that we get this right rather than getting it fast," said Thune.
"The Senate will take its time and we will look at the House product and look for ways that we can strengthen it and improve it and ultimately, get something to the president that will have a desired effect and that's a more competitive insurance market. "
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