Speed Reads

mythical plans

Republican senator calls GOP's 3-step plan to replace ObamaCare 'just political talk'

Junior Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton (R) skewered his party for its three-step proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act on Tuesday, calling such aspirations "mythical" and their chances of success nonexistent. "There is no three-step plan," Cotton told radio show host Hugh Hewitt. "That is just political talk. It's just politicians engaging in spin."

The Republicans' plan consists of phase one, writing the health-care legislation; phase two, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price making regulatory changes; and phase three, writing legislation to allow companies to sell insurance policies across state lines.

Cotton broke the steps down in conversation with Hewitt. "Step one is that a bill can pass with 51 votes in the Senate. That's what we're working on right now," Cotton explained. "Step two, as yet unwritten regulations by Tom Price, which [are] going to be subject to court challenge, and therefore, perhaps the whims of the most liberal judge in America. But step three, some mythical legislation in the future that is going to garner Democratic support and help us get over 60 votes in the Senate. If we had those Democratic votes, we wouldn't need three steps."

Cotton added: "That's why it's so important that we get this legislation right, because there is no step three. And step two is not completely under our control."