In a closed-door meeting in the House basement Wednesday with the whip team, a Republican rank-and-file member rose to convey his deep fear that Republicans were making a big mistake by repealing the Affordable Care Act without any concrete plan to replace it with.
According to one source in the room, the member rose and got the room's attention.
"You lose all leverage once you repeal this thing. There will be people on the left who will never help you replace it and there will be people on the right who aren't going to help you either," the member said. "We will own this thing and there will be consequences."
The focus in the House at the moment has been on how to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The goal is to have a repeal bill on President-elect Trump's desk by the end of February. Repealing Obamacare, after all, is what Republicans have been campaigning on for the last seven years. But the problem is that repealing Obamacare now and replacing it later could come with a myriad of policy and political baggage.
The House isn't the only place where members are sounding the alarm. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), whose own state expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, said earlier this week that Republicans will be making a mistake if they repeal the Affordable Care Act without replacing it at the same time.
The concern is that by moving rapidly to repeal President Obama's signature accomplishment, Democrats may never work with Republicans on a replacement. That could leave Republicans with two options, either they could change Senate rules and jam through their replacement or they will never get one.
While Republicans say they want a two- to three-year transition to protect people who have benefited from Obamacare from losing their insurance, health care experts have warned that even with a transition, a repeal bill without a clear replacement could lead the insurance market to devolve into chaos.
It's why some rank-and-file Republicans have been clear that they'd feel more comfortable if leadership had a strong plan in place before they ripped up the ACA.
Read More →