President-elect Donald Trump says that he wants to both repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act quickly, a position that contradicts what Republican leaders in Congress have planned for the healthcare law.
Trump said Tuesday that he wants a repeal vote some time next week, according to the New York Times, with either a very quick or simultaneous replacement. “It won’t be repeal and then two years later go in with another plan,” he said.
In brief comments during his first post-election press conference, Trump added that he wants his administration to submit an almost-simultaneous repeal and replacement plan as soon as his pick for Department of Health and Human Services Secretary, Tom Price, is approved.
He also said Republicans are doing Democrats a "tremendous favor" by taking on an overhaul of the ACA, noting that "the easiest thing would be to let it implode" in 2017.
However, congressional Republicans are a long way from settling on a replacement plan, the Times noted. The Republican Study Committee floated a replacement bill last week, but it has not been endorsed by Republican leadership. House Speaker Paul Ryan said Tuesday that some replacement elements might be included in an ACA repeal measure, but provided no further details, according to The Hill.
Trump may get his wish for a speedy repeal, however. The Senate is expected to vote today on a resolution that would clear the way for repealing the ACA through the budget reconciliation process, the article said. The House could vote on the measure as early as Friday.
On Monday, a group of five Senate Republicans introduced an amendment to the measure would extend the deadline for congressional committees to write an ACA repeal bill from Jan. 27 to March 3, saying it will “ensure a responsible process” for repealing and replacing the law.
President Barack Obama and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell have also been critical of repealing the ACA before replacing it, arguing it will increase marketplace uncertainty and potentially leave consumers vulnerable.
But while some healthcare industry groups have urged policymakers to take a cautious approach when repealing the ACA, they haven’t been exceedingly vocal out of concerns about getting on the wrong side of the Trump administration.
Editor's note: This article has been updated to include new comments from President-elect Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan.