Could GOP defectors threaten ACA repeal?

Congressional Republicans have expressed growing skepticism of their party's initiative to repeal the ACA without a replacement plan prepared, which could threaten its chances, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Divisions within Republicans in the House and Senate over strategy illuminate the obstacles they face as they attempt to reconcile their desire to quickly implement a conservative agenda with the time necessary to draft complicated legislation.

President-elect Donald Trump and congressional Republicans have stated that repealing the ACA is the new administration's first priority. The Senate took the first step last week to pass a budget that would enable the GOP to cut much of the law. It needs 60 votes to clear the Senate, where Republicans hold 52 seats. Unity in the party is essential to passing such bills, but division here has already emerged.

Sen. Rand Paul, MD, R-Ky., voted against the budget Jan. 4, based on its spending levels, leaving no room for further Republican defections, according to The Wall Street Journal. However, at least five other Senate Republicans have indicated they hold concerns and reservations about repealing the ACA without a replacement plan on hand, including Bob Corker (Tenn.), Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), who also serves as chairman of the Senate health panel, Susan Collins (Maine), Tom Cotton (Ark.) and John McCain (Ariz.).

President Barack Obama spoke out against Republican efforts to repeal the ACA without a replacement plan in a live-streamed interview with Vox Friday, saying the American people deserve to know the details of a replacement plan first.

"It is a much more complicated process to repeal this law than I think was being presented on the campaign trail, as my Republican friends are discovering," President Obama said, according to the report.


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