First, get rid of Obamacare. Then work on a replacement during a transition period.
That’s the plan House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., offered Tuesday as he discussed congressional strategy to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Repeal and replace has been a major priority of President-elect Donald Trump as well as congressional Republicans. And Health and Human Services Secretary-designate Tom Price, now a congressman from Georgia, is a vocal proponent of repeal and replacement.
McCarthy urged repeal first, with no replacement in place. Doing so, he said, will force people to come up with new alternatives.
“I think once it’s repealed you will have, hopefully, fewer people playing politics and coming to the table to find the best policy,” he said.
He would not give a timeline, only that “I just want to make sure we get it right.”
While Republicans will have a big majority in the House of Representatives, they are expected to control only 52 of the Senate’s 100 seats, and it might take 60 to pass replacement plans.
McCarthy argued that Obamacare is so unpopular that “it cannot sustain itself. If it is repealed then you’ve got an ability to get the right policy.”
If “you know this is going away five months from now . . . you’re going to avoid it? Here’s a time to get it done, and when that day came you did nothing?” he asked.