Vice President-Elect Mike Pence met with congressional Republicans this week to discuss strategy for repealing the Affordable Care Act without alienating millions of Americans who may find their health coverage disrupted.
“It’s important that we remind the American people of what they already know about Obamacare – that the promises that were made were all broken,” Pence told reporters.
Meanwhile, President Obama huddled with Democrats on the Hill and urged them not to aid Republicans in their efforts to repeal Obamacare and blame Democrats for the resulting conditions.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) bestowed congressional Republicans’ plan to repeal the ACA with a new slogan – “Make America Sick Again.” Schumer said Republicans are dismantling a law that has extended coverage to 20 million Americans, many of whom have pre-existing conditions and will be endangered if the law is repealed.
“They want to repeal it and then try to hang it on us,” Schumer said. “Not going to happen. It’s their responsibility, plain and simple.”
Senate leaders plan to pass repeal legislation through reconciliation, meaning they can pass it without needing 60 votes. But a substantive replacement package – whatever that looks like – will likely have to earn Democratic votes in the Senate in order to pass.
The Republican plan is to pass the repeal bill in the first month of President-Elect Trump’s term, but delay the effective date to avoid disrupting coverage while congressional Republicans come up with a workable replacement. The delay could last anywhere from two to four years, according to reports.
Pence said a replacement could encourage greater use of personal health savings accounts and make it easier for insurance to be sold across state lines.