House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told reporters Tuesday on Capitol Hill that his preference is for the new Congress to move immediately to repeal Obamacare, and then deal with passing a replacement plan later.
"My personal belief and nothing has been decided yet. I would [move through] and repeal and then go to work on replacing," McCarthy said. "I think once it is repealed you will have, hopefully, fewer people playing politics."
McCarthy argued that Democrats may be incentivized to come to the table then, but he didn't say what the time frame for replace the Affordable Care Act would be..
"Look we are going to start on this right away. I don't want to get into timeline," McCarthy said.
The one thing McCarthy did say was that he didn't see an opportunity to repeal Obamacare before January 20.
McCarthy's comments echo those from other House Republicans who have called for immediate repeal, possibly with some sort of delayed effective date, and for the replacement plan to come later. But as the No. 2 Republican in the House, McCarthy's words carry extra weight.
Health care policy experts warn that any sort of delay between repealing Obamacare and replacing it could jeopardize the entire individual health insurance market and send insurers fleeing the market.