Obamacare Repeal Plan Set in Motion

Repealing is easier than replacing, McCarthy says

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy discussed the plan for repealing the 2010 health care law on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Tuesday that the Republicans’ plan for repealing the 2010 health care law is moving forward with the anticipated use of an expedited budget process early next year.

The move would mimic a plan that Republicans used to try to gut the law in 2015 but that President Barack Obama vetoed. Though President-elect Donald Trump is expected to sign a repeal bill into law, McCarthy indicated that the process, known as reconciliation and designed to avoid Senate filibusters, would not be employed to develop a plan to replace the health law.

“Repealing is easier and faster because that can be a 51-vote,” the California Republican said in an interview with the Washington Post’s James Hohmann. “Replacing, that is going to be 60 votes.”

McCarthy declined to set a time frame for Congress passing a replacement plan, saying that it’s important to get it done right and that “it’s not going to be easy.”

As part of the effort, McCarthy said he is sending out letters this week to all governors and insurance commissioners for their thoughts on how to replace the law.

McCarthy compared choice in health care to choice in cable. The majority leader said he likes that there are a variety of cable companies and that he can tailor a package to fit his own needs.

“Why can’t we have health care in a manner that we can do something to that extent?” he said.

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