McConnell: Changes coming to ObamaCare next year

McConnell: Changes coming to ObamaCare next year
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Defense: Shanahan exit shocks Washington | Pentagon left rudderless | Lawmakers want answers on Mideast troop deployment | Senate could vote on Saudi arms deal this week | Pompeo says Trump doesn't want war with Iran Senators reach .5B deal on Trump's emergency border request Senators reach .5B deal on Trump's emergency border request MORE (R-Ky.) says major changes are coming for ObamaCare next year, no matter who wins the White House.

Pointing to rising costs and shaky insurance markets, McConnell said the next president will have to work with Congress to keep the situation from worsening, though he did not specifically say the healthcare law would be repealed.

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“It will be revisited by the next president, whoever that is,” McConnell said at an event Monday with the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. “No matter who wins the election, no matter who’s in control of Congress.”

The Kentucky Republican, who has long opposed President Obama’s signature healthcare law, did not specifically say Congress should try to repeal the law next year.

Instead, he pointed to rising premiums, co-payments and deductibles across the country, as well as “chaos in the private health insurance market.” This year, major insurers such as UnitedHealthCare and Aetna have decided to pull back from the ObamaCare marketplace, citing larger-than-expected financial losses.

“I don’t think there’s any question that ObamaCare is crashing,” McConnell told the crowd, according to a recording of the event.

GOP presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senator introduces bill to hold online platforms liable for political bias Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally MORE has vowed to repeal the healthcare law immediately if he is elected, though that would likely require Republicans to control both chambers of Congress.

McConnell and then-Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerTed Cruz, AOC have it right on banning former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists Ted Cruz, AOC have it right on banning former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists Rep. Amash stokes talk of campaign against Trump MORE (R-Ohio) in the past sent an ObamaCare repeal bill to President Obama’s desk, which was swiftly vetoed.

Six years into ObamaCare, most health experts say it is logistically almost impossible to eliminate the full law. Sixteen million people have gained coverage, and private health insurance markets have made major changes to conform to the new rules.  

If Democrats win the White House again in 2016, the GOP’s next chance to take aim at the law would be 2020 — a full decade after the law's passage.

This year, McConnell faces a tough task trying to keep control of the Senate. Republicans are defending 24 seats, compared to 10 seats for Democrats. Of those 10 seats, only Nevada — retiring Democratic Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidTrump weighs in on UFOs in Stephanopoulos interview Trump weighs in on UFOs in Stephanopoulos interview Impeachment will reelect Trump MORE's seat — is considered a pickup opportunity for Republicans.

Democrats need to gain five Senate seats — or four if they keep the White House — to win control of the chamber.