With the House poised to pass a budget resolution that would be a key step toward repealing the Affordable Care Act, Republicans continue to grapple with intraparty divisions that threaten to complicate their healthcare policy plans.
For one, the House Liberty Caucus is urging its members to reject the budget resolution, citing the fact that it will grow the national debt by more than $9 trillion over the next decade. In fact, the caucus' Executive Director Matt Weibel wrote in a statement posted to the group’s Facebook page, it “may be the worst budget ever seriously considered by Congress.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan, however, touted Republican unity during his weekly press briefing. GOP lawmakers, he said, are on a “rescue mission” to prevent the damage from the ACA from getting worse. “And, working with the new administration, taking action step-by-step, that is what we will do,” he said.
Ryan’s comments come in the wake of Trump’s remarks this week that he does not want a delay between repealing and replacing the law, contrary to what some Republicans in Congress had planned. “It won’t be repeal and then two years later go in with another plan,” he said.
But looking ahead to when Republicans seek to pass an ACA replacement, the leader of the House Freedom Caucus told The Hill that he thinks resistance from Democrats would make such an endeavor “likely to fail.” That’s because in order to reach the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster in the Senate, Republicans would need to win the support of at least eight Democrats.
Indeed, "repealing and replacing Obamacare is a big challenge. It isn't going to be easy," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, according to the Associated Press. He set no timetable for replacing the law, but said Republicans would take on the task in “manageable pieces.”