With majorities in the House and Senate, Republican lawmakers have promised to make repealing and replacing Obamacare one of the top priorities of 2017.
We expect this process to take some time, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has promised that replacing Obamacare will occur “very quickly” after the law is repealed.
“I just spoke to @realDonaldTrump and he fully supports my plan to replace Obamacare the same day we repeal it. The time to act is now,” said Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.
Republicans are rushing towards a repeal before finalizing an alternative, arguing that those in the individual insurance market need relief from rising costs and dwindling options.
Many are nervous about moving forward without a clear alternative in place, however, and McConnell hasn’t said whether everyone covered by Obamacare would qualify for coverage under the new plan.
Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) argues that Republicans are abandoning the millions of people who rely on Obamacare. If Republicans have a plan to cover these people, then “show me what it is,” he said.
Incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Preibus admits that “it may take time to get all the elements of the replace in place…such as allowing people and companies across state lines, allowing for open pricing, allowing for healthcare pooling.”
“The full replacement may take more time than an instantaneous action,” said Preibus. “Our intent is to make it happen as quickly as possible.”
Editor's note: The discussions have been heated, but Trump is determined to meet his campaign promises.