House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said on January 10 that repeal and replacement of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) will be concurrent. At the same time, some Democratic lawmakers questioned what will be included in any ACA replacement.
“We will use every tool at our disposal through legislation and regulation to bring it (repeal and replacement) about concurrently,” Ryan told reporters in Washington, D.C. According to Ryan, some parts of ACA repeal will be made through the reconciliation process and some parts through regular order. He did not describe which components of ACA repeal would be address by reconciliation and which elements would be address by regular order.
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., who joined Ryan at the news conference, said that “no one who has coverage because of the ACA today will lose that coverage.” McMorris Rodgers said that ACA repeal and replacement “will protect coverage for people with preexisting conditions” and “children can stay on their parents’ health insurance until 26.”
Democrats have asked if Republicans have an ACA replacement plan. “Republicans never expected actually to face a vote where they really could repeal and replace it (the ACA),” Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said on January 9. “They never had any intention about a replacement because they never thought it would happen,” Brown added.
Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., said on January 9 that the GOP is “trying to come up with a way to both repeal the ACA and save the good things.” Schumer added that, if Republicans want to keep the ACA, Democrats will work with them on improvements.
Also on January 10, media outlets reported that President-elect Trump had called for Congress to vote on repeal of the ACA as early as the week of January 16 and that Trump indicated a replacement would be “very shortly thereafter.” During a conference call with reporters on January 10, Sean Spicer, press secretary for Trump said that more details about ACA repeal and replacement will be revealed. “As we move forward, we’ll have additional details on the plan. It’s something that involves a lot of coordination and a lot of planning,” Spicer said.