GOP Hits Friction in Bid to Repeal ObamaCare

Ryan says plan is now to repeal and replace at same time
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 10, 2017 12:37 PM CST
Ryan: GOP Will Repeal, Replace ObamaCare Simultaneously
House speaker Paul Ryan meets with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, to discuss efforts to replace the Affordable Care Act, following a closed-door meeting with the GOP caucus.    (J. Scott Applewhite)

Republicans will work on unraveling and replacing ObamaCare at the same time, House speaker Paul Ryan said Tuesday as GOP leaders struggled to align their zeal to rapidly erase one of President Obama's proudest achievements with Congress' legislative and political pitfalls. The AP reports that Ryan spoke to reporters amid growing concern among Republican lawmakers about erasing Obama's overhaul—which expanded coverage to 20 million people—without having an alternative to show voters. Republicans have been divided for years over how to replace the statute, and the process of crafting replacement legislation they can unify behind is likely to take months or longer.

"It is our goal to bring it all together concurrently," Ryan said. "We will pass as much as we can [initially]." He said Republicans would then produce a second bill to "show you the full scope of what a real replacement effort looks like." Trump has said he supports erasing Obama's law and replacing it simultaneously. Congressional leaders had said in recent weeks that they would quickly repeal the statute with a delayed effective date, and then work on replacing it. According to Rep. Dennis Ross, Ryan told Republicans Tuesday that "he had a conversation yesterday with Donald Trump, and they're on the same page." GOP leaders have made dismantling ObamaCare their premier 2017 priority. But at least six GOP senators and some House members have expressed qualms about repeal without having a substitute. (More ObamaCare stories.)

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