One of the biggest advocates for the passage of the Affordable Care Act is vowing to lead the fight against efforts to repeal and replace the law, even as Republicans prepare to do just that as soon as they take power.
Ron Pollack, executive director of the advocacy organization Families USA, had been planning to retire, he said during a recent interview with Vox. But in the wake of the election results, he and other advocates formed the Coalition to Keep America Covered and are “really energized, even in their despair, about making sure the enormous benefits that have been achieved through the ACA are not eroded," he told the publication.
Pollack noted that even if Congress gets a repeal bill passed and installs an ACA replacement, the implementation of that could be delayed "quite significantly” since Republicans eyeing re-election in 2018 wouldn't want to deal with the political fallout of millions of people potentially losing coverage.
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Just how long could a delay last? “We think they’ll aim for around January 2019,” Pollack told Vox. That's why his coalition is mounting a multiyear campaign, he added.
Some Republicans in Congress, though, feel that the state of the ACA marketplaces merits quick action, Politico reports. Instead of repealing and replacing the law, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said that the GOP “could move forward in January on some aspects of repeal” while making sure these efforts don't inflict harm on people.
But Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) said people in his district haven’t been worried about the possibility of losing care. “In fact, they’re cheering for it to go away,” he told Politico.