GOP senator: Outline ObamaCare replacement before repeal

Republican Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate GOP poised to go 'nuclear' on Trump picks Overnight Health Care: CDC pushes for expanding HIV testing, treatment | Dem group launches ads attacking Trump on Medicare, Medicaid cuts | Hospitals, insurers spar over surprise bills | O'Rourke under pressure from left on Medicare for all Dem group launches ads attacking Trump's 'hypocrisy on Medicare and Medicaid cuts' 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 CorkerTrump keeps tight grip on GOP Brexit and exit: A transatlantic comparison Sasse’s jabs at Trump spark talk of primary challenger MORE (Tenn.), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulHillicon Valley: Mueller delivers report, ending investigation | FEMA exposed info of 2.3M disaster survivors | Facebook asks judge to toss DC privacy lawsuit | Trump picks his first CTO | FCC settles lawsuit over net neutrality records Transparency advocate says government agencies face 'use it or lose it' spending Republicans need solutions on environment too MORE (Ky.) and Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonSenate rejects border declaration in major rebuke of Trump Hillicon Valley: Doctors press tech to crack down on anti-vax content | Facebook, Instagram suffer widespread outages | Spotify hits Apple with antitrust complaint | FCC rejects calls to delay 5G auction Senate votes to confirm Neomi Rao to appeals court 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 McConnellConservatives wage assault on Mueller report Overnight Energy: Interior reverses decision at heart of Zinke criminal probe | Dem divisions deepen over approach to climate change | GM to add 400 workers to build electric cars Trump: Green New Deal 'the most preposterous thing' and 'easy to beat' 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 RyanFormer Dem candidate says he faced cultural barriers on the campaign trail because he is working-class Former House candidate and ex-ironworker says there is 'buyer's remorse' for Trump in Midwest Head of top hedge fund association to step down 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.