Speed Reads

repeal and ... ?

Secret recording of Republicans' closed-door meeting reveals fears about repealing ObamaCare

A secret tape of Thursday's closed-door Republican meeting about the Affordable Care Act revealed that not everyone in the House and Senate is as confident about the repeal as they outwardly appear. The authenticity of the tape's recordings was confirmed with lawmakers by The Washington Post, and it catches Republicans expressing fear about the hasty repeal process and defunding Planned Parenthood.

"We'd better be sure that we're prepared to live with the market we've created [with repeal]," said Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.). "That's going to be called TrumpCare. Republicans will own that lock, stock, and barrel, and we'll be judged in the election less than two years away."

Rep. John Faso (R-N.Y.) expressed similar concerns about the 2020 election: Defunding Planned Parenthood in the reconciliation bill, as proposed by House Speaker Paul Ryan, would be "arming our enemy," he said. "Health insurance is going to be tough enough for us to deal with without having millions of people on social media come to Planned Parenthood's defense and sending hundreds of thousands of new donors to the Democratic Senate and Democratic congressional campaign committees. So I would just urge us to rethink this."

Others expressed fears about the breakneck pace of the repeal process, which President Trump launched this week with executive action. "Our goal, in my opinion, should be not a quick fix. We can do it rapidly — but not a quick fix," said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.). "We want a long-term solution that lowers costs."

"We're telling those people that we're not going to pull the rug out from under them, and if we do this too fast, we are in fact going to pull the rug out from under them," agreed Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.).