President-elect Donald Trump has lit a fire of urgency beneath the feet of congressional lawmakers to speed up efforts to repeal President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act and replace it with another health law.
In an interview with The New York Times, Trump described Obamacare as a “catastrophic event” and called for Republicans in Congress to “get to business,” expressing concern about a scenario in which the sweeping healthcare law is repealed without a replacement to fill its spot.
GOP leaders in both chambers have prioritized the undertaking of repealing Obamacare – with the Senate likely voting on Thursday and the House following with its own vote on Friday – while Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) announced plans to introduce an Obamacare replacement this week.
Speaker Paul Ryan also indicated that the piece of legislation that repeals Obamacare would include some, but not all, of the language that would substitute for existing clauses in the Affordable Care Act. “It is our goal to bring it all together concurrently,” he said.
Currently, Republican lawmakers are shooting for a January 27 deadline by which the controversial healthcare law will be dismantled.
However, at least some Senate Republicans are hoping to delay Obamacare’s repeal until at least March, with Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) stating: “In an ideal situation, we would repeal and replace Obamacare simultaneously, but we need to make sure that we have at least a detailed framework that tells the American people what direction we’re headed.”