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Paul: Trump backs health repeal, replacement at same time


    Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. addresses the crowd gathered at his election victory celebration in Louisville Ky. Paul says President-elect Donald Trump “fully supports” repealing President Barack Obama’s health law only when there’s a viable alternative to replace it.

WASHINGTON >> A Republican senator who challenged Donald Trump for the White House nomination says the president-elect “fully supports” repealing President Barack Obama’s health law only when there’s a viable alternative to replace it.

Republican leaders in the GOP-controlled Congress are moving toward a vote on repeal legislation in coming weeks, but they anticipate a transition period of months or years to a replacement. Some Republican lawmakers are expressing reservations about scrapping the law, which now covers 20 million people, without a near-term replacement.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who clashed with Trump during the GOP primary, said in a tweet late Friday that the two had a conversation and that Trump agreed with Paul’s approach.

“I just spoke to realDonaldTrump and he fully supports my plan to replace Obamacare the same day we repeal it,” Paul tweeted. “The time to act is now.”

Trump aides did not immediately respond questions about the conversation and how it had come about.

Nothing about revamping the nation’s $3 trillion-a-year health care system will come easy, but GOP leaders want congressional committees to have legislation dismantling much of Obama’s overhaul ready by late January. They’re hoping Congress can quickly send a measure to the incoming president that would phase out the law, perhaps a couple of months later.

Crafting a GOP replacement probably will take more time, thanks to Republican divisions and solid Democratic opposition. It would be a political nightmare for Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act and then fail to pass a new version of the law.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., told reporters Friday that Republicans might find themselves in a “box canyon” if they erase the law without a substitute in hand.

One part of Obama’s law Republicans are eager to repeal is its tax increases on higher-earning people and segments of the health care industry that help finance expanded coverage. Corker said that if those taxes are voided but Republicans temporarily continue subsidies to help people buy coverage, “that means Republicans would have to vote for a tax increase” to pay for them — usually a non-starter for the GOP.

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said Friday that if he had his way, “I would start bringing up those elements that start repairing the damage and I would start taking votes on those right now.”

Johnson also expressed concern that Democratic opposition could scuttle the effort. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has said that if Republicans void Obama’s bill, Democrats won’t help them pass alternative legislation.

Republicans probably will need just a simple Senate majority to approve their repeal bill, but for procedural reasons, later replacement legislation likely will need 60 votes. Republicans now hold a 52-48 edge in the Senate. That means a need for at least eight Democratic votes, though there will be pressure on 10 Democrats facing re-election next year from states Trump won in November.

“I take Minority Leader Schumer at his word that if we do this we’re not going to get any Democratic support. In order to actually pass a replacement, we need Democratic support,” Johnson told reporters.

After repeatedly trying to repeal Obama’s law since its 2010 enactment, Republicans are under tremendous pressure from their voters to annul it swiftly.

But GOP leaders have talked about their repeal not taking effect for perhaps two or three years. They’re discussing providing some type of revenue during that period to maintain coverage for people and perhaps for insurers so they won’t immediately abandon markets.

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., also called this week for a simultaneous effort to erase the health care law and rewrite it.

“I don’t think we can just repeal Obamacare and say we’re going to get an answer two years from now,” Cotton said Thursday on MSNBC.

He added, “We haven’t coalesced around a solution for six years, in part because it is so complicated. Kicking the can down the road for a year or two years isn’t going to make it any easier to solve.”


Colvin reported from New York.


Associated Press writer Richard Lardner contributed to this report.

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  • Your Comment Is Awaiting Moderation.
    ….anything will be better than the atrocity we presently have!

    The Republicans have warned the Democrats from the “Get Go” that this Bill was a failure,but NO! “You have to Pass The Bill To Know What’s Inside The Bill”.Remember that?
    I am confident The Trump administration along w/the Republican Congress will come up with a better plan coverage.And only then will they repeal and Replace the ACA!
    I wonder what the Republicans will call theirs?
    BTW…. Did you see the rise for health insurance in AZ? What was it 119%! Wow! Really folks ,who can afford this stuff? Bill Gates? It HAS become a choice whether; Do I need to Eat or do I need Medical Insurance?

    • Under Obamacare in hawaii the premiums have skyrocketed If you own your own small business or self employed the rates at Hmsa have almost doubled now that you have to get a ppo coverage through hmsa directly. And Kaiser an HMO is not any cheaper. The plans have to be made affordable for alll. The fix is not easy.

    • lol, just remember Moi, this was a republican invention. So why haven’t you now proposed anything better? That is the question you will now have to answer and you will have to do it quick.

        • Now that the focus has switched from election politics to the hard reality of governance, where have all the SA Trumpettes gone?

          Back to their fantasy fever-dreams where ObamaShariaCare is being shoved down their throats by “illegals”, I expect.

          It turns out the Republican plan to “Repeal and Replace” was actually “Repeal and Whine”, and now it’s become “Delay and Dither”.

          Pathetic losers.

        • @ DannyBoy
          Where are you losers on the Joe Biden ELECTORAL VOTE CONFIRMATION article?
          You LOST in a LANDSLIDE! Eat CROW!

          January 20 #MAGA

        • Keoni doesn’t seem to realize that the whole point of elections not winning and losing, it’s about choosing representatives who are capable of good governance. Then when the election is over, it’s about the details of governance (solving problems and providing opportunity for the people). This is what is happening now.

          The more Keoni and the other Trumpettes harp about Clinton losing and Trump winning, the more ignorant and immature they appear.

          It’s probably not a coincidence that irresponsible Republicans also confuse politics with governance.

          #MAGA? (Make America Goo-goo-gaga Again?)


        • @ DannyBoy
          “..whole point of elections not about winning or losing”
          Ohhhhhhhh Got It!
          So the rest of all your spin is all about nothing?
          Ohhhhhhhhh Got It! lol

          January 20…13 days to MakaAmericaGreatAgain
          Ohhhhhhhh Yeahhhhh!!

  • HMSA expensive in Hawaii? What isn’t? Food, drink, automobiles, housing, Dentists, clothing, schools etc, etc. Trump need to open up competitive shipping rates from the mainland.

  • Republicans want to ignore our health care problems and just repeal the bill.

    Such children. So impulsive. Let them do it over Democrat opposition and watch millions lose their health insurance and many die from lack of medical care.

    • Let’s wait and see.

      I think that Obama care was poorly designed and the individual mandate is an unnecessary evil tax on being alive.

      One positive aspect was in getting rid of pre-existing conditions, a feature which Trump has repeatedly agreed with.
      (Please don’t state the individual mandate is necessary to allow this to be included, because there is evidence that it is not).
      Trump also publicly repeated that he will not just leave people without access to medical care.

      There are examples around the world that might be used to help design something new, which Trump referenced early in his campaign.
      I do not think that we are just another advanced industrial nation like Canada, Australia, etc, and have some unique problems.
      For example, I read that 29% of the population of California is currently getting completely free health care. In British Columbia, Canada I read that it is 17%.

      Let’s wish the new Administration the best in coming up with something new that works.

  • Trump will be playing QB in the real game called the “US Super Bowl”! The pre-game lip service is over and it’s now time to perform. The real game is on!

  • Let’s be clear. The Republican controlled Congress has had 6 years to research, propose, debate abs pass an alternative to Obamacare. They had 6 years to demonstrate responsible governance for the American people. They failed to do so, and instead focused on repeated theatrical repeal (with no replace) for political purposes. Now they are in a political “box canyon” with no plan and no one to blame.

    Pathetic do-nothing whiners.

    No wonder well-run progressive Blue states have to subsidize the irresponsible, mismanaged Republican Red states.


    • IRT Danno: You sure seem to know a lot. Unfortunately so much of what you know is wrong. You lose more credibility with each post.

      From the non-partisan Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

      Ranking the States by Fiscal Condition 2016 Edition


      Kentucky, Illinois, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Connecticut rank in the bottom five states, largely owing to the low amounts of cash they have on hand and their large debt obligations. Oh yeah, California, Hawaii, Maryland, New York and Maine round out the bottom 10. With the possible exception of Kentucky and possibly Maine all are your beloved progressive blue states.

      Now what’s pathetic.

      • Incarceration Rate per 100,000
        1 Louisiana (1,420)
        2 Oklahoma (1,300)
        3 Mississippi (1,270)
        4 Alabama (1,230)
        5 Georgia (1,220)
        6 Texas (1,130)
        7 Arizona (1,090)
        8 Arkansas (1,010)
        9 Florida (990)
        10 New Mexico (980)
        11 Delaware (960)
        12 Tennessee (960)
        13 Kentucky (950)
        14 Missouri (950)
        15 Alaska (940)
        16 Nevada (930)
        17 Indiana (910)
        18 Virginia (910)
        19 South Carolina (880)
        20 Idaho (860)
        21 Pennsylvania (850)
        22 Wyoming (840)
        23 South Dakota (820)
        24 Colorado (790)
        25 Michigan (790)

        43 Hawaii (510)

        Murders per 100,000
        1 Louisiana (10.3)
        2 Mississippi (8.6)
        3 Missouri (6.6)
        4 South Carolina (6.4)
        5 Maryland (6.1)
        6 Nevada (6)
        7 Delaware (5.8)
        8 Florida (5.8)
        9 Alabama (5.7)
        10 Georgia (5.7)
        11 Tennessee (5.7)
        12 Alaska (5.6)
        13 Arkansas (5.6)
        14 Michigan (5.4)
        15 Illinois (5.3)
        16 North Carolina (5.1)
        17 Indiana (5)
        18 New Mexico (4.8)
        19 Pennsylvania (4.8)
        20 Arizona (4.7)
        21 Oklahoma (4.5)
        22 California (4.4)
        23 Texas (4.4)
        24 Virginia (4.1)
        25 Ohio (4)
        26 West Virginia (4)

        46 Hawaii (1.8)

        Percent of Households in Poverty
        1 Mississippi (21.90%)
        2 New Mexico (20.60%)
        3 Louisiana (19.90%)
        4 Alabama (19.20%)
        5 Kentucky (19.00%)
        6 Arkansas (18.70%)
        7 Georgia (18.40%)
        8 District of Columbia (18.40%)
        9 West Virginia (18.30%)
        10 Tennessee (18.20%)
        11 Arizona (18.20%)
        12 South Carolina (17.90%)
        13 Texas (17.20%)
        14 North Carolina (17.20%)
        15 Oklahoma (16.60%)
        16 Florida (16.60%)
        17 Oregon (16.40%)
        18 California (16.40%)
        19 Michigan (16.20%)
        20 New York (15.90%)
        21 Ohio (15.80%)
        22 Missouri (15.50%)
        23 Nevada (15.40%)
        24 Montana (15.20%)
        25 Indiana (15.20%)

        42 Hawaii (11.50%)

      • CEI Claim: the Mercatus Center at George Mason University is “non-partisan”.

        FACT: The Mercatus Center was founded by Rich Fink as the Center for the Study of Market Processes at Rutgers University. After the Koch family gave more than $30 million to George Mason University, the Center moved there in the mid-1980s. It took its current name in 1999. It is entirely funded through donations, including corporate donations from Koch Industries and ExxonMobil. In 2011, 58% of its funding came from foundations, 40% from individuals, and 2% from businesses.

        CONCLUSION: The Mercatus Center is a mouthpiece for right wing extremists, as is CEI. Coincidence?

        • The main focus of good governance is to manage “social ills” so that people can realize the American Dream. Because right wing politicians can’t govern properly (they focus mainly on blaming others and enriching themselves), the American Dream doesn’t look too good for people living in Red States.

        • Danno: Maybe you should give your good governance lecture to the city fathers of progressive blue Chicago. There is no American Dream in that city, only death and misery.

      • Which States are the Takers vs the Makers?
        (Federal Spending minus Federal Taxes per capita)
        1. New Mexico $9,441
        2. Hawaii $9,075
        3. Virginia $8,855
        4. West Virginia $7,994
        5. Mississippi $7,965
        6. Alaska $7,678
        7. Maryland $7,509
        8. Maine $7,418
        9. Alabama $7,412
        10. South Carolina $6,289
        11. Montana $5,635
        12. Vermont $5,405
        13. Kentucky $5,200
        14. Arizona $4,839
        15. Idaho $4,613
        16. Michigan $3,510
        17. Florida $3,432
        18. South Dakota $3,336
        19. Nevada $3,332
        20. North Carolina $3,219
        21. Washington $2,858
        22. Missouri $2,790
        23. Oklahoma $2,729
        24. New Hampshire $2,711
        25. Tennessee $2,649
        26. Oregon $2,498
        27. Iowa $2,275
        28. Georgia $2,257
        29. Wyoming $2,243
        30. Louisiana $2,099
        31. Pennsylvania $2,031
        32. Utah $1,630
        33. North Dakota $1,310
        34. Colorado $1,285
        35. California $1,276
        36. Wisconsin $1,065
        37. Arkansas $1,056
        38. Kansas $787
        39. Indiana $608
        40. Rhode Island $518
        41. Texas $443
        42. New York -$339
        43. Massachusetts -$711
        44. Ohio -$845
        45. Illinois -$1,476
        46. Connecticut -$1,637
        47. Nebraska -$2,300
        48. New Jersey -$3,285
        49. Minnesota -$6,454
        50. Delaware -$14,036

        *Note that Federal spending exceeds revenues, likely due to deficit spending.
        **Note also that the biggest taker is the District of Columbia which is run, almost exclusively, on Federal taxes.

        • Blame CEI for polluting this space with misinformation that covered up the clear pattern of Red state. The fact that CEI persistently disregards readily available facts indicates that she is either lazy, purposely ignorant or a liar.

          For the sake of others who could be mislead by CEI’s propoganda, I felt obligated to correct CEI’s claims with pertinent facts.

          #MAGA? (Make America Gooberish Again?)

      • The Blue states pay more Federal taxes because they have a better economy….

        They also spend a lot to benefit their residents. It’s not surprising that Blue states need more financing.

        Red states don’t pay for anything that their people need. They’d rather let the Feds do it for them. That’s called WELFARE.

        Red state economies are down in the dumps. And they like it that way. Their budget balances. Nothing in and nothing out.

    • No earmarks in bills anymore….

      But now that Republicans are in control, perhaps that will change – if they want Democrat votes.

      Hirono and Schatz are already working with their Republican colleagues and always have. No need to make big changes here.

  • Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said,“I don’t think we can just repeal Obamacare and say we’re going to get an answer two years from now.”
    He added, “We haven’t coalesced around a solution for six years, in part because it is so complicated. Kicking the can down the road for a year or two years isn’t going to make it any easier to solve.”

    Repubs have done NOTHING for 6 years, no replacement plan, NOTHING, yet have harped repeal on day one the entire time. Idiots.

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