TPM News

If Republicans go through with their plan to dismantle the Affordable Care Act using a similar model as their failed 2015 Obamacare repeal, the number of uninsured would double, a new report by the Urban Institute report warns. Taking into account the two or so year delay GOP lawmakers say they will include in the repeal bill, the non-partisan think tank estimates that in 2019 the number of uninsured nonelderly people would rise from about 29 million to nearly 59 million. The report also notes that since the 2015 version of the legislation repealed the individual mandate right away while delaying other repeal aspects, some impacts of the version the GOP might pass could be felt right away.

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Donald Trump's unprecedented phone call with the president of Taiwan last week was the culmination of a lengthy lobbying effort by former Sen. Bob Dole (R-KS) to help Taiwanese officials gain access to Trump and his advisers.

Documents filed with the Justice Department and reviewed by the New York Times show that Dole spent several months lobbying Trump officials for the Taiwanese government and arranging meetings.

His efforts with the firm Alston & Bird led to the call between Trump and the president of Taiwan that prompted a warning from China. The disclosure documents were submitted about a week ago, before the phone call, and Dole later confirmed that he played a role in setting up the call.

"It’s fair to say that we had some influence,” Dole told the New York Times on Tuesday. “When you represent a client and they make requests, you’re supposed to respond."

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Incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told the Washington Post that he will not help Republicans replace the Affordable Care Act if they follow through with a strategy to repeal the law immediately and then replace it down the road.

“We’re not going to do a replacement,” Schumer told the Washington Post. “If they repeal without a replacement, they will own it. Democrats will not then step up to the plate and come up with a half-baked solution that we will partially own. It’s all theirs."

Schumer's comments come as Republicans remain divided on the best strategy to replace the health care law. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced that the Senate would repeal the law as their first order of business in 2017, but it is unclear how Republicans plan to come up with and implement a replacement. It is very likely that Republicans will need 60 votes to implement a replacement, and thus Democratic help, according to Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), the chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

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