"Immediately, what we're saying, is we're not going to pull the rug out from under anyone. There's not going to be any changes in 2017. There's not going to be changes in 2018," Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY), the transition team’s congressional liaison, said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
"Those products have already been approved by the state insurance agencies, or for the 2018 time, are in negotiation right now," he went on, saying new plans won’t be available until “2019 or later.”
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) January 5, 2017
According to Collins, the repeal vote that the GOP-controlled Congress still plans to hold “quickly” is expected to affect provisions like Obamacare-related taxes, the individual coverage mandate and the mandate that companies with 50 employees or more have to provide workers with affordable insurance. There would be “absolutely no changes whatsoever” to the insurance plans held by individual Americans, he said.
Asked by “Morning Joe” panelist Mike Barnicle why, in that case, Congress was moving forward with the repeal vote now, Collins said they was “sending the message to America” that by 2019 “we are going to have a new plan.”
The New York lawmaker said the replacement plan would be made public by June or July, once Republicans work through the “five or six different versions” that the party is currently considering.
“So again, there’s no reason for any kind of panic and the sky is not falling,” Collins said.
Republicans, including Vice President-elect Mike Pence and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), have spent this week huddling on Capitol Hill and trying to reassure Americans that they won’t be disadvantaged by an abrupt repeal of the healthcare law while simultaneously insisting they will follow through with their longtime plan to replace it.
Health care experts warn that repealing the law without a replacement plan ready to go would throw the health insurance market into disarray, raising costs for all consumers.