During a Republican retreat on Thursday, several legislators voiced concerns that repealing Obamacare could have disastrous effects for many in the 2018 mid-term elections. Concerns were also voiced about millions of voters taking to social media in defense of Planned Parenthood, causing Democrats to reap more campaign money to fight back.
The closed-door session was recorded by an anonymous source and handed over to The Washington Post and several other media outlets. According to The Washington Post, they have confirmed all the remarks made by either the lawmakers themselves, or through their offices.
Their concerns over health care were many. Some worry over having a replacement plan ready, some over the possible damage to the health insurance market, and if the middle-class will be able to afford the premiums.
Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif) told his colleges they had better be prepared “to live with the market we’ve created,” (due to a repeal). “Republicans,” he said, “will own it lock, stock and barrel, and will be judged in the election less than two years away.”
Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) said he had concerns over a proposed tax credit for health care. He said it wouldn’t do for middle-class families that may have to wait for a tax refund to pay their premiums. Rep. John Faso, (R-NY) voiced concerns about using reconciliation to repeal the Affordable Care Act and Planned Parenthood at the same time. “…I think we are creating a political minefield for ourselves – House and Senate,” Faso said.
The legislators were particularly concerned about using reconciliation, while still needing a Filibuster-proof 60 votes in the Senate to enact the replacement. If they repealed, there would be no guarantees that Democrats would let them off the hook with a quick replacement.
Committee chairs presented proposals about repeal and replacement, but were concerned they had no plan yet that would keep the markets viable while they required insurers to cover everyone that sought healthcare.
Despite Faso’s concerns about the backlash from defunding Planned Parenthood, Ryan told his colleges that he expected Planned Parenthood to be defunded through reconciliation this month.
Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) said he was concerned about 20 million American losing healthcare coverage. “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,” he said.