As Republicans eye a rapid repeal of the Affordable Care Act, insurers and the interest groups that represent them are begging Congress to take it slow and come up with a replacement.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) says he doesn’t care what insurers think at all.
“Insurance companies are the people who signed up to Obamacare. They have no relevance to me. I don’t want to hear from ’em,” McCain told reporters. “We’ll devise our own replacement. We don’t need the insurance companies to sign on or AMA.”
McCain said if Congress passes a law, insurers “have to obey it,” but “they are not at the table in negotiating.”
McCain said that because insurers supported “what has been a miserable failure, I am not interested in hearing their recipes for fixing it.”
In December, America’s Health Insurance Plans, the industry trade group, took an unusual step of releasing their needs for a health insurance overhaul. Among their stipulations: keep paying out subsidies for insurers to keep them in the marketplaces and create a long transition period before changes to Obamacare take effect. They also want any major changes to be made in the beginning of a year, not the middle, to avoid uncertainty in the marketplace.
Then, in an open letter Tuesday, the American Medical Association released a letter warning Republicans not to repeal Obamacare until they had a clear replacement.
“Patients and other stakeholders should be able to clearly compare current policy to new proposals so they can make informed decisions about whether it represents a step forward in the ongoing process of health reform,” the letter said.
Other health groups have also warned against repeal.