Dem senator: 'Very good chance’ we save ObamaCare

Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyDemocratic White House hopefuls push to expand health care in US territories Democratic White House hopefuls push to expand health care in US territories Hillicon Valley: Assange hit with 17 more charges | Facebook removes record 2.2B fake profiles | Senate passes anti-robocall bill | Senators offer bill to help companies remove Huawei equipment MORE (D-Ore.) says the odds favor Democrats in their fight to block Republican repeal of ObamaCare.

“I think we have a very good chance of keeping the [Affordable Care Act] in place,” he said on CNN’s “New Day” early Thursday. "The reason why is the basic elements.”

“Now this is what the Republicans are struggling with,” Merkley told host Chris Cuomo. "They’re at a loss with what to do.

ADVERTISEMENT

“They have set up this false story about a government takeover and it turns out that the actual elements one by one are quite popular with America.”

Merkley cited free preventive tests and tax credits for low- and middle-income Americans, adding that scrapping President Obama’s namesake healthcare legislation would hurt the nation.

“Taking down ObamaCare would take down healthcare for more than 20 million Americans and would decrease the integrity of insurance policies for the rest of America,” said Merkley, who endorsed 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonYoung Turks founder says Democrats should avoid repeat of 2016 and pick a progressive Young Turks founder says Democrats should avoid repeat of 2016 and pick a progressive Trump highlights polls that showed Clinton beating him by double digits MORE over President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpDC board rejects Trump Hotel effort to dismiss complaint seeking removal of liquor license on basis of Trump's 'character' DC board rejects Trump Hotel effort to dismiss complaint seeking removal of liquor license on basis of Trump's 'character' Mexico's immigration chief resigns amid US pressure over migrants MORE

Trump on Tuesday urged Republicans to quickly repeal ObamaCare, adding a replacement model should be implemented “very shortly” afterward.

The Senate early Thursday, meanwhile, took the first step toward such a move by passing a budget resolution that is being used as a vehicle to roll back the law.

The House is expected to vote on a similar measure Friday, despite significant Republican division over when and how to replace ObamaCare.