Lauren Fox

Lauren Fox is a reporter at Talking Points Memo.

Articles by Lauren

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) is having conversations with "four or five" Democrats he hopes will help him work toward a replacement for the Affordable Care Act, but he said that Democrats are still waiting to see if Republicans will get their act together before signing on.

"We have to show that we have our act together before they're going to risk it," Cassidy told reporters. "I'm okay with that."

Cassidy said he didn't know if other colleagues were trying to reach across the aisle at this point.

"I want this to be an American solution, not a Republican solution," he said. "I say that not rhetorically, but the only major social programs that have worked in our country have been bipartisan, and we need this to be bipartisan."

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Ben Carson, Trump's pick for HUD Secretary, refused to say that Trump and his family wouldn't profit from HUD.

In a tough line of questioning from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Carson said he was going to let "morals" dictate his decision making process not favors, but that didn't exactly eliminate the opportunity for Trump to benefit.

"Can you just assure us that one dollar with go to benefit the president elect or his family?" Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) began her line of questioning with Carson.

Warren– who has been a leading voice on Capitol Hill to force President-elect Trump to divest from his business interests– was making a point.

"It will not be my intention," Carson tried to respond. "I will manage things in a way that benefits the American people.That is going to be the goal."

Carson, however, said that if the program is good enough, he wouldn't mind that Trump's family was profiting.

"If there happens to be an extraordinarily good program that is working for millions of people and it turns out that someone that you targeted is going to gain $10 from it, am I going to say 'no the rest of you Americans can't have it? ' No, I think probably logic and common sense would be the best way," Carson said.

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On the campaign trail it seemed like everyone agreed on it: Republicans wanted to repeal and replace Obamacare.

But as members hammer out the nitty, gritty, tedious details of health care policy and face their new reality, there are schisms in the party over whether Obamacare should be repealed now or later, whether a replacement should take two years or a matter of weeks and whether Republicans should repeal Obamacare taxes or leave them in place to finance their own health care alternatives. That's just the short list.

As it turns out, overhauling health care comes with a myriad of choices, differences of opinion and internal disagreements and many Republicans want someone else to make the final call. Enter their President-elect, Donald Trump.

"I think it would be very helpful for him to weigh in and say exactly what he wants done because he is going to carry a fair amount of weight," said Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), who said he was looking forward to Trump speaking at an upcoming press conference Wednesday.

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A Senate committee chairman with Obamacare jurisdiction offered the most detailed plan we've seen since the election to repeal and replace the ACA, on the floor of the Senate Tuesday afternoon.

Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN), who has long advocated for a "simultaneous" approach to scrapping and replacing the Affordable Care Act, said that Republicans should be focused on repairing Obamacare's exchanges while building a new system to deliver health care to the American people.

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Republicans are torn about what to do on taxes.

The party is having internal discussions right now about whether Obamacare taxes should be repealed immediately or whether keeping some or all of them in place until an Obamacare replacement is ready would give them the revenue necessary to pay for their own replacement bill.

It is a key question (among many) that Republican leaders are working through right now, but it's significant because it pits two pillars of Republican orthodoxy against each other.

One the one hand, Republicans want to scrap as much of Obamacare as they can and as fast as they can do it. Obamacare taxes are part of what they've been railing against for these last six years. But, on the other hand, Republicans want to ensure their plans for replacing Obamacare are paid for and taking away taxes now only to raise them later on could lead to major backlash. Not to mention scrapping taxes could leave a big whole in the federal budget as Republicans move to transition away from Obamacare.

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