Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) assured worried citizens that the Affordable Care Act will not "end overnight" in a Fox News op-ed designed to alleviate concerns and clarify Republican plans. "There will be a stable transition period, and once repeal is passed we will turn to replacement policies that cost less and work better than what we have now," McConnell went on.
The incoming Donald Trump administration has made repealing ObamaCare a public priority, with Vice President-elect Mike Pence calling the issue "step one" and vowing executive action on Jan. 20, Trump's first day in office.
But rather than turn the issue into a case of us vs. them, McConnell appealed directly to Democrats for help and input:
We plan to take on this challenge in manageable pieces, not another 2,700-page bill like ObamaCare. Some Democratic senators have mused publicly about their role in that process. I hope they'll work with us. We want their ideas to improve our health care system. We want to find ways to work together on this important issue. That's the best way forward. That's the way I prefer. Democrats can join us in taking one very important step forward this month by confirming President-elect Trump's nominees to head health-care agencies like the Department of Health and Human Services. There may have been 2,700 pages in the ObamaCare bill, but there are tens of thousands of pages of ObamaCare-related regulations, which is why nominees like Tom Price and Seema Verma can get to work bringing relief and stabilizing the health-care market. [Fox News]
One major issue could stand in the way of such cooperation: Republican congressional efforts to defund Planned Parenthood that could be tacked onto the same legislation used to repeal ObamaCare. On Friday, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) blocked Planned Parenthood supporters from delivering 87,000 petitions asking him not to defund the women's health organization.