Politics

GOP Senator: Obamacare Repeal Will Take Years

Perdue says Republicans will vote quickly to dismantle Affordable Care Act but will slow-walk phase-out

Full repeal of the Affordable Care Act will take time, and even after the legal repeal happens, implementation of new health policy could take years, according to a conservative U.S. senator from Georgia.

Republican Sen. David Perdue said Thursday on “The Laura Ingraham Show” the GOP Congress is wary of rushing through substantial new policies as President Obama did in 2009 and 2010 when the Democrats had full control of Washington.

“If this doesn’t work, [the people] may be coming up to Washington with pitchforks.”

Yet the repeal of Obamacare is not something Republicans can put off indefinitely. President-Elect Donald Trump repeatedly said he was for full and fast repeal and replacement of Obama’s signature health care law.

Republicans in Congress have tried to repeal Obamacare no fewer than 60 times since Obama signed the law in March 2010.

But now that the Republicans will soon have both the White House and Congress for the first time since 2006, there is talk of slowing down a repeal — ostensibly to ensure a replacement can be implemented smoothly.

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Politico reports that both the White House and congressional Republicans will vote to repeal the law in early 2017, “but delay the effective date for that repeal for as long as three years.”

Perdue said the “implementation of the replacement” won’t take place immediately. In other words, the GOP could phase in something new — but over time.

“We want to get input from the medical community,” Perdue told LifeZette Editor-in-Chief Laura Ingraham. “We want to get input from the insurance community. We want to get input from the Democrats … We’re not going to make the same mistake the Democrats made in ’09 and 2010 when they didn’t do that. They got behind closed doors with a supermajority and came up with their plan.”

Perdue said the new plan will be a major economic driver.

“This is so important. It’s bigger than any party,” Perdue said. “This is something that will drive our economy for the next 100 years if we get this right, and provide better health care at a lower cost.”

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Perdue said he is keenly aware of what just happened in the 2016 election, and that the people rose up and demanded change. But Perdue told Ingraham the GOP doesn’t want people to lose their health insurance in the interim caused by change. A major failure of Obamacare was when people lost their insurance and had to pay for more expensive policies.

Ingraham told Perdue she is concerned big pharmaceutical companies and other lobbyists will try to protect their turf from market-based reforms.

Perdue said he is more worried about what the voters think.

“I look at this as probation for two years,” Perdue said of Republicans’ majority tenure in the next cycle. “If this doesn’t work, [the people] may be coming up to Washington with pitchforks.”

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Political reporter, LifeZette. Indiana University journalism grad. Boston U. business grad. Former Indiana, Alabama statehouse reporter, Daytona Beach editorial writer.

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