Senate GOPer: We’re Going To Need Dem Help On Obamacare Replacement

A Senate Republican tempered expectations of what Republicans could do alone to repeal and replace Obamacare, and acknowledged that GOP lawmakers will need Democrats’ help to avoid hurting constituents in their overhaul of the health care system.

“From my standpoint, I’ve been talking about repairing the damage and then transitioning into a system that actually works. That takes some time. It’s way more complex than simply ‘repeal and replace’,” Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) told CNBC’s Squawkbox Thursday. “It’s a fun little buzzword, but it’s just not that accurate.”

Johnson said that prior to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the phrase repeal-and-replace “was appropriate,” because the process would have been more feasible.

“You could have put something in place. Nobody would have been harmed. You didn’t have already the tentacles of Obamacare, you didn’t already have the damage, the destruction, the harm created by Obamacare driving premiums up, distorting health care markets and health insurance markets,” Johnson said.

He added that he believed that “more and more people” are on his page in how “daunting” a task “repairing the damage of Obamacare” is, and “realizing that it’s not particularly easy.”

“We’re going to need Democrats to help us, because we can repeal a big chunk of Obamacare — the taxes, the subsidies — what’s not necessarily on the table right now are the market reforms,” Johnson said, referring to the so-called reconciliation process lawmakers plan to use to repeal Obamacare that avoids a Democratic filibuster but is limited to provisions that affect the budget.

“My thought process is let’s start working with Democrats, let’s transition to a system that’ll actually work that Democrats are talking about. They want to fix it, well let’s fix it for the benefit of the American public,” Johnson said.

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