Congressional Republicans are coalescing around a plan to vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act in early 2017, but delay the effective date for that repeal for as long as three years.
That plan would hopefully satisfy long-time conservative critics of Obamacare, while giving Republican leaders time to come up with a workable replacement bill before 20 million Americans currently insured as a result of the healthcare law find themselves without coverage.
“It’s going to take us a while to make that transition from the repeal to actually replacing it with more affordable health coverage, which provides people better access,” said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX). “There is a lot to do so it’s not going to happen overnight.”
While many GOP leaders are anxious to repeal the ACA, they also recognize there are provisions in the law – such as protections for individuals with pre-existing health conditions – that are extremely popular. President-Elect Trump has already said he would like to keep some components of the law in place, including the protections for pre-existing conditions and for young adults to stay on their parents’ health insurance plan until they turn 26.
As Republicans debate the timeline for repeal-and-replace, a new poll came out this week from Kaiser Family Foundation showing that only one-quarter of the public wants to repeal Obamacare completely.
The Kaiser poll finds that 26 percent of the country wants to repeal the entire law, while 30 percent want to expand the law. Nineteen percent of those surveyed want to keep the law as is, and 17 percent want to scale it back.