Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) told reporters Tuesday that Republicans are eyeing a “partial repeal” of Obamacare and plan to keep some of the law’s elements intact.
“It’s a partial repeal first of all, it’s not a total repeal,” Perdue said. “Let’s get that out of the way. It’s a partial repeal, and I think there are pieces of it in there that have to stay in place for awhile and that is what we are going to be working on.”
When asked which parts of the law, specifically, would stay, Perdue said “we’ll get into the specifics of it in the next few days.”
Ever since Donald Trump was elected earlier this month, Republican senators have been trying to figure out how to make their Obamacare repeal dreams a reality. For years, Republicans have campaigned on fully repealing Obamacare.
Senate Republicans have signaled that they plan to use the budget reconciliation process, which allows them to repeal the budgetary components of Obamacare with a simple majority vote. That process would leave some key pieces of Obamacare in place, including protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions as well as a provision that allowed people to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26. President-elect Trump has also signaled that he supports keeping those provisions in place.
Perdue told reporters that he supports repealing Obamacare before a fully fleshed out plan to replace it is available.
“It’s collapsing under it’s own weight now so the quicker we do that, the quicker we get onto what we’re going to do to fix it,” he said.
The senator added that there would be a “transition” period where Obamacare would phased out and a replacement plan could be found.
“I think the first thing we got to do is pass the budget to get to reconciliation and we’re talking right now about what the transition will look like,” Perdue said. “There’s got to be a transition. And, we got to make sure that the people who had difficulty getting insurance will be covered in the transition so that is what we’re talking about right now.”
However, without a mechanism to push healthy individuals towards enrolling like the law’s individual mandate, which is among the GOP’s top targets in its repeal effort, insurance risk pools will likely grow sicker and more costly. Insurers would be forced to raise premiums or even cut bait on the individual market entirely.
Perdue said that he was confident that Democrats would work with Republicans to replace Obamacare. Democrats have not signaled yet how invested or involved they would be in helping Republicans put a plan together after a repeal of President Obama’s signature legislation.