Congressional Republicans are still seeking consensus around how to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, though leaders are publicly saying that dismantling the law is a top priority.
Getting rid of the health care law is proving complicated, as lawmakers are wary of disrupting the insurance market and interrupting care for millions of Americans who are insured through the ACA marketplaces. “There’s no consensus,” Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) told POLITICO this week. “From my vantage point, there isn’t a consolidation around a particular thought yet.”
While there are at least a few replacement plans circulating on Capitol Hill, some members of Congress are expecting President Trump’s pick to lead the Health and Human Services (HHS), Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), to play an active role in coming up with a plan that Republicans can all get behind.
The difficulty in predicting a timeline for ACA repeal and replacement led President Trump to suggest on Fox News this week that health care reform may not happen this year. “Maybe it’ll take some time into next year, but we are certainly going to be in the process,” Trump said.
Top House Republicans are planning on rolling out several bills next week that would start the repeal-and-replace process, including Rep. Sam Johnson’s (R-TX) “Small Business Health Fairness Act,” a bill that would allow small employers to band together through association health plans (AHPs) to purchase quality health care at a lower cost. The bill would preempt state law to allow health insurance issuers to offer coverage to association members across state lines.