Senate

Corker warns against repealing ObamaCare without replacement

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) is joining a growing number of Senate Republicans voicing concerns about the GOP’s strategy to repeal ObamaCare without a replacement plan. 

“[It] would be best for our country to go ahead and replace it with something that works and repeal at the same time,” Corker told reporters Friday at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast. 
 
Corker, who chairs the Foreign Relations Committee, noted that President-elect Donald Trump voiced support during the campaign for moving the two together and told “60 Minutes” in November that he backed repealing and replacing ObamaCare “simultaneously.”
 
“I think the president-elect’s position is the right position. And again, if you look again at some of his quotes recently, he continues to offer caution,” Corker said Friday, adding moving the two together is the “prudent course of action.” 
 
Trump also weighed in on Capitol Hill’s ObamaCare debate this week, tweeting that Republicans “must be careful in that the Dems own the failed ObamaCare disaster.”
 
{mosads}Both the House and Senate are expected to vote next week to pave the way for repealing ObamaCare, despite deep divisions about how to replace the law. 
 
Corker, who supports getting rid of ObamaCare, acknowledged there is a “tremendous desire by Republicans to just repeal immediately.” 
  
He urged Democrats to come to the table to work on a replacement deal, including swapping out the employer and individual mandates with auto-enrollment and giving governors more flexibility on Medicaid. 
 
“At some ways you can look at what’s happening and say this is risky businesses,” he said. “I know much of the repeal piece is about making a political point.”
 
Corker is the latest Senate Republican who has raised concerns about the party’s strategy to move forward on a repeal without a replacement. 
 
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has been leading the push in the Senate to move a replacement plan along with a repeal vote. He met with members of the House Freedom Caucus to pitch them on his plan, as well as concerns about the GOP budget resolution.
 
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) also told MSNBC that moving a repeal without a replacement would “not be the right path,” while moderate Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) has signaled she also has reservations. 
 
Republicans have a 52-seat majority in the Senate. They need 50 votes — expected to have to be all Republicans — to pass both the resolution including the rules for ObamaCare repeal and the separate repeal bill. 
Tags Bob Corker Donald Trump Rand Paul Susan Collins Tom Cotton
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