Lauren Fox

Lauren Fox is a reporter at Talking Points Memo.

Articles by Lauren

On the campaign trail it seemed like everyone agreed on it: Republicans wanted to repeal and replace Obamacare.

But as members hammer out the nitty, gritty, tedious details of health care policy and face their new reality, there are schisms in the party over whether Obamacare should be repealed now or later, whether a replacement should take two years or a matter of weeks and whether Republicans should repeal Obamacare taxes or leave them in place to finance their own health care alternatives. That's just the short list.

As it turns out, overhauling health care comes with a myriad of choices, differences of opinion and internal disagreements and many Republicans want someone else to make the final call. Enter their President-elect, Donald Trump.

"I think it would be very helpful for him to weigh in and say exactly what he wants done because he is going to carry a fair amount of weight," said Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), who said he was looking forward to Trump speaking at an upcoming press conference Wednesday.

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A Senate committee chairman with Obamacare jurisdiction offered the most detailed plan we've seen since the election to repeal and replace the ACA, on the floor of the Senate Tuesday afternoon.

Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN), who has long advocated for a "simultaneous" approach to scrapping and replacing the Affordable Care Act, said that Republicans should be focused on repairing Obamacare's exchanges while building a new system to deliver health care to the American people.

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Republicans are torn about what to do on taxes.

The party is having internal discussions right now about whether Obamacare taxes should be repealed immediately or whether keeping some or all of them in place until an Obamacare replacement is ready would give them the revenue necessary to pay for their own replacement bill.

It is a key question (among many) that Republican leaders are working through right now, but it's significant because it pits two pillars of Republican orthodoxy against each other.

One the one hand, Republicans want to scrap as much of Obamacare as they can and as fast as they can do it. Obamacare taxes are part of what they've been railing against for these last six years. But, on the other hand, Republicans want to ensure their plans for replacing Obamacare are paid for and taking away taxes now only to raise them later on could lead to major backlash. Not to mention scrapping taxes could leave a big whole in the federal budget as Republicans move to transition away from Obamacare.

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