Dems Warm to Obamacare Replacement, With Caveats

By Published on December 17, 2016

Congressional Democrats are less than thrilled with the Republican pledge to repeal and replace President Barack Obama’s landmark healthcare legislation as soon as President-elect Donald Trump takes office. But despite their reluctance to do away with the bill, a number of Democrats in the upper chamber are warming to the idea of working on a bipartisan solution.

As GOP lawmakers begin to craft their replacement plan, they have invited members across the aisle to share their input. With a number of members up for reelection in 2018, the incentive is high for Democrats to make concessions on the issue.

Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri remains skeptical the GOP will construct a plan both parties can support, but hasn’t ruled out the possibility of crafting bipartisan legislation.

“If it makes sense, I think there’ll be a lot of Democrats who would be for it,” she told Politico. “For six years, I’ve looked [for Republican replacement plans] in closets, I’ve looked in committee rooms, I’ve looked under desks. …They’ve had six frickin’ years to figure it out.”

Independent Sen. Angus King of Maine, who caucuses with Democrats, also said he would be open to voting for a replacement plan if it contained provisions he supports, saying he’s be open to some adjustments.

“If they want to change things around the edges, fix some of the things we agree ought to be fixed and call it TrumpCare, that’s okay,” he told the publication.

Republicans have argued Obamacare is collapsing under its own weight, and that changes need to be made to expand coverage options and bring costs down.

The party is currently at odds over the length of time it should take Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare, with a number of Senate lawmakers calling for a three-year window, while House conservatives argue that it needs to be completed during the 115th Congress.


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