GOP senator: Outline ObamaCare replacement before repeal

Republican Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsMcConnell: 'Whoever gets to 60 wins' on immigration GOP senators turning Trump immigration framework into legislation Longtime Clinton confidant blames Comey for 2016 loss MORE (Maine) said Friday that lawmakers should, at the very least, release a framework of their plan to replace ObamaCare before repealing the law. 

"I think we need a detailed framework that tells the American people, including those who depend on the Affordable Care Act for their coverage, and the insurance industry ... what direction we're headed," Collins told The Hill.

She said that in an "ideal situation" lawmakers would repeal and replace ObamaCare simultaneously, but, "absent that," they should release an outline instead of repealing and then making a replacement plan later. 

Collins is one of a growing number of Senate Republicans who are voicing concerns about nixing the healthcare law without a replacement plan.

Both the House and Senate are expected to vote next week to lay the groundwork for repealing the law, with committees having until late January to hash out their repeal bills.

ADVERTISEMENT
In addition to Collins, GOP Sens. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerPentagon: War in Afghanistan will cost billion in 2018 K.T. McFarland officially withdrawn as nominee for ambassador K.T. McFarland withdraws as nominee for ambassador MORE (Tenn.), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulPentagon: War in Afghanistan will cost billion in 2018 Overnight Finance: Senators near two-year budget deal | Trump would 'love to see a shutdown' over immigration | Dow closes nearly 600 points higher after volatile day | Trade deficit at highest level since 2008 | Pawlenty leaving Wall Street group Rand Paul calls for punishment if Congress can't reach a long-term budget deal MORE (Ky.) and Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonThis week: Trump delivers State of the Union amid immigration fight Ingraham: White House yanked immigration plan defense from show After shutdown surrender, why should progressives ever trust Chuck Schumer again? MORE (Ark.) have each signaled this week that they believe ObamaCare repeal and a replacement plan should be moved together. Paul also met with members of the House Freedom Caucus this week.

"To me it is problematic if we have a transition period but wait until the end of the transition period to unveil a replacement, because it won't give the markets time to adjust and it raises questions about what happens in the meantime," Collins added Friday.  

Senate GOP leadership has backed voting to repeal ObamaCare immediately but including an "off ramp" that would delay the repeal, though GOP leaders haven't locked down an exact timeline. Asked about the details of a replacement plan during a weekly press conference, Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDems confront Kelly after he calls some immigrants 'lazy' McConnell: 'Whoever gets to 60 wins' on immigration Overnight Defense: Latest on spending fight - House passes stopgap with defense money while Senate nears two-year budget deal | Pentagon planning military parade for Trump | Afghan war will cost B in 2018 MORE (R-Ky.) signaled lawmakers were focused on first repealing the law.

Collins has also raised concerns over linking a fight to defund Planned Parenthood to the repeal bill, saying she "is not happy" about House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanMcConnell: 'Whoever gets to 60 wins' on immigration Overnight Defense: Latest on spending fight - House passes stopgap with defense money while Senate nears two-year budget deal | Pentagon planning military parade for Trump | Afghan war will cost B in 2018 House passes stopgap spending measure with defense money MORE's (R-Wis.) plan. 

Republicans have 52 seats in the Senate and will need 50 senators to support repealing the bill. No Democrat has said they will support repeal, instead warning that Republicans will face political backlash if they move forward without a replacement plan.