clear
Monday December 18th, 2017 5:14PM

Repeal 'Obamacare,' but don't hurt consumers, Pence says

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump's "first order of business" as president will be to repeal and replace "Obamacare," but Republicans must avoid hurting consumers as they do it, Vice President-elect Mike Pence said at the Capitol on Wednesday.

President Barack Obama visited Congress, too, 16 days before leaving the White House, championing his landmark overhaul before Democratic lawmakers and urging them to remind voters of how the statute has helped them.

"Look out for the American people," Obama said as he left the meeting in response to shouted questions as to what he had told fellow Democrats.

"Keep up the fight," Obama told them at a strategy meeting, according to Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio. "Tell the stories about the people who have benefited from it. The more you can get that message through, the better off we're going to be."

Pence spoke to reporters after an hour-long session with House Republicans. Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., said GOP leaders want to get legislation dismantling the health care law to Trump for his signature by Feb. 20.

"The first order of business is to repeal and replace Obamacare," Pence said, using the overhaul's nickname. He said Americans "voted decisively for a better future for health care in this country, and we are determined to give them that."

Pence said Trump's team was already working with GOP congressional leaders on plans to undo Obama's law with both legislation and executive action the president and federal agencies would be able to take.

Pence did not specify what those actions would be. But House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told reporters they would involve "transition relief." That phrase has been used to describe help for consumers and insurers while Obama's law is being phased out and replaced with a GOP alternative, a process expected to take years.

Republicans are discussing delaying the timing for major provisions of the change to actually take effect, perhaps to 18 months or more. It is expected to take at least that long for GOP lawmakers to rally behind a plan.

Obama's and Pence's strategy sessions came on the second day of the new, GOP-led Congress. The Senate voted 51-48 Wednesday to begin debating a budget that, once approved, will prevent Democrats from using a filibuster to block future Republican legislation to scuttle the health care law.

Republicans control the Senate by 52-48, but it takes 60 votes to end a filibuster, a procedural roadblock that can kill legislation. The Senate was expected to complete the budget by next week, with House approval to follow.

Minutes before Obama and Pence met with lawmakers, Trump tweeted that voters are faulting Democrats for the health care law and its rising premiums, deductibles and other problems.

"Massive increases of ObamaCare will take place this year and Dems are to blame for the mess. It will fall of its own weight — be careful!" he wrote.

Pence told reporters that the president-elect was referring to the need to protect consumers during the transition period.

"Look, we're talking about people's lives, we're talking about families," Pence said.

Trump pledged during the presidential campaign to erase Obama's law, though he's now said he wants to retain popular provisions like ensuring coverage for people with pre-existing medical problems.

Plenty of questions remain, including the repeal bill's details, costs and when it would take effect. Republicans also face divisions over potential replacement legislation.

The budget legislation gives congressional committees until Jan. 27 — a blink of an eye for lawmakers — to write legislation repealing major parts of the health care law. Likely targets include the law's tax penalties for people who don't obtain insurance, its requirement that many companies cover workers and its tax increases on higher-earning individuals and many health care firms.

Aware they have no chance of quickly agreeing on replacement legislation, Republicans plan to delay when their repeal would actually take effect. A range of 18 months to three years — perhaps longer — has been under discussion.

Trump has provided few specifics about how he would revamp the nation's $3 trillion-a-year health care system. Steps he and congressional Republicans have mentioned include greater reliance on tax credits to help people afford coverage.

Republicans don't want to abruptly end health care coverage for millions of voters who live in GOP-represented districts and states, or cause chaos in health care markets and prompt insurance companies to stop selling policies. So they are considering including provisions in their repeal bill to protect consumers and insurers during the transition period.

___

This story has been corrected to show that GOP leaders, not Pence, want Feb. 20 deadline on repeal legislation.

___

Associated Press reporters Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Erica Werner, Mary Clare Jalonick, Richard Lardner, Stephen Ohlemacher, Kevin Freking and Andrew Taylor contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Health, AP Business, AP Business - Consumer News, AP Business - Corporate News, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Financial Services
© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Officials act to protect downtown Houston from Harvey floods
Officials are releasing more water from Houston-area reservoirs overwhelmed by Harvey in a move aimed at protecting the city's downtown from devastating floods
8:58AM ( 7 minutes ago )
The Latest: Louisiana seeks emergency declaration from Trump
The National Weather Service is warning that the catastrophic flooding that's overwhelming Houston will worsen in the coming days and will be slow to recede
8:52AM ( 14 minutes ago )
Winners of the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards
Winners of the MTV Video Music Awards, presented Sunday at the Forum in Inglewood, California
8:43AM ( 23 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: FEMA seeks volunteers to help in Harvey recovery
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is asking for volunteers to help Texas recover from Harvey
7:54AM ( 1 hour ago )
APNewsBreak: Abuse in nursing homes unreported despite law
APNewsBreak: A government audit finds that more than 1 in 4 cases of possible sexual and physical abuse against nursing home patients apparently went unreported to police.
7:25AM ( 1 hour ago )
Judge sends Indian guru to jail for 10 years for rape
A judge has sentenced a popular and flamboyant Indian spiritual guru to 10 years in prison on charges of raping two female followers
7:24AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
The Latest: Houston officials: Hunker down, stay off roads
Houston officials continue to urge people to shelter in place and stay off flooded roadways as Harvey continues to batter the nation's fourth-largest city
4:39AM ( 4 hours ago )
Trump expected to decide soon on fate of young immigrants
After months of delays, President Donald Trump is expected to decide soon on the fate of young immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children
4:27AM ( 4 hours ago )
Trump set to roll back limits on military gear for police
After concerns about militarized police forces led to limits on surplus military gear for local law enforcement, Trump prepares to roll back those restrictions
4:15AM ( 4 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Black-clad anarchists swarm anti-hate rally in California
An anti-hate rally was disrupted when scores of anarchists wearing black clothing and masks stormed the demonstration in Berkeley, California, and attacked several supporters of President Donald Trump, But police were able to head off any wider violence
2:20AM ( 6 hours ago )
Black-clad anarchists swarm anti-hate rally in California
An anti-hate rally was disrupted when scores of anarchists wearing black clothing and masks stormed the demonstration in Berkeley and attacked several supporters of President Donald Trump
2:13AM ( 6 hours ago )
Trump prepares to lift limits on military gear for police
Trump administration prepares to lift limits on providing surplus military equipment to local police
7:56PM ( 13 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Venezuela shuts 2 radio stations, holds military exercises
A radio executive in Venezuela says two stations that aired critical coverage of the government have been shut down
2:44PM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest: Maricopa County supervisor: Pardon 'a travesty'
Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Gallardo calls the presidential pardon of former sheriff Joe Arpaio "a travesty" and says the board has to look at ways of recouping taxpayer money, likely through lawsuits
10:11PM ( 2 days ago )
Venezuela's Maduro vows to punish opponents for US sanctions
The Trump administration is imposing sweeping financial sanctions on Venezuela, barring banks from any new financial deals with the government or state-run oil giant
9:01PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Online Congress News
A first: Drug lowers heart risks by curbing inflammation
For the first time, a drug has helped prevent heart attacks by curbing inflammation, a new and very different approach than lowering cholesterol
5:00AM ( 1 day ago )
Colorado bus aide sentenced for assaulting autistic student
A former Colorado school bus aide who pleaded guilty to assaulting an autistic student on his way to and from school was sentenced to 20 months in jail
4:58PM ( 2 days ago )
Study: Arsenic poisoning a risk for 50M in Pakistan
A new study suggests some 50 million Pakistanis could be at risk of drinking arsenic-tainted groundwater
10:05PM ( 4 days ago )
AP Health
Thai police say Interpol has issued notice for Red Bull heir
Interpol has issued an international warrant for the billionaire heir to the Red Bull energy drink fortune
7:25AM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: 2 men, believed migrants, killed in Greece
Greek authorities say two people believed to be migrants who crossed the border from Turkey illegally have been killed after being hit by a passenger train in northeastern Greece
7:03AM ( 2 hours ago )
World shares mostly fall on euro strength, US storm damage
World stocks are mostly lower as the euro's gains sent European shares lower and investors wait for damage assessments from the storm that battered Texas' refinery-rich Gulf Coast and sent gasoline futures spiking
5:19AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Business
Pressured by government, Uber agrees to protect rider data
Ride-hailing service Uber has agreed to protect data and audit use of rider information to settle a complaint from the federal government that it deceived customers
2:11PM ( 1 week ago )
Consumers Reports pulls Microsoft laptop recommendation
Consumer Reports is pulling its recommendation of four Microsoft laptops after a survey found that users were complaining about problems with the devices
8:27AM ( 2 weeks ago )
Uber's airport service in Madrid under attack from town hall
The city of Madrid has asked Spain's anti-trust watchdog to investigate whether Uber's new airport transport service violates fair competition laws
9:03AM ( 1 month ago )
AP Business - Consumer News
Hamilton holds off Vettel's late move to win Belgian GP
Lewis Hamilton celebrated his record-equaling pole position with victory at the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday
3:55PM ( 17 hours ago )
Hamilton wins Belgian GP to trim Vettel's lead to 7 points
Lewis Hamilton celebrates his record-equaling pole position with his 58th career win to trim Vettel's overall lead to seven points.
11:50AM ( 21 hours ago )
Hurricane Harvey closes key oil, gas operations in Texas
Hurricane Harvey likely to drive up gas prices as key oil and gas facilities temporarily shut down
5:03PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Corporate News
Maine blueberry crop falls with disease, lack of pollination
Maine's wild blueberry crop is likely to be much less this year than in recent summers because the industry is contending with troubles such as disease and a lack of pollination
8:36AM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest: 1 person dead in flooding in Houston
One person has died in flooding in Houston as Tropical Storm Harvey dumps rain on Southeast Texas
12:43AM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest: Houston roads start to flood as Harvey stalls
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner says authorities are investigating the possibility that a motorist may have died in flooding as Tropical Storm Harvey dumps rain on Southeast Texas
11:37PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Industries
Yellen defends bank regulations passed after 2008 crisis
Federal Reserve Chair Yellen defends banking overhaul passed after devastating 2008 crisis
4:44PM ( 2 days ago )
Draghi urges cooperation to combat anti-globalization
ECB head says multi-lateral cooperation is important to combat fears of globalization
4:24PM ( 2 days ago )
Yellen defends banking overhaul passed after 2008 crisis
Federal Reserve Chair Yellen defends banking overhaul passed after devastating 2008 crisis
10:43AM ( 2 days ago )
AP Business - Financial Services
Officials act to protect downtown Houston from Harvey floods
Officials are releasing more water from Houston-area reservoirs overwhelmed by Harvey in a move aimed at protecting the city's downtown from devastating floods
8:58AM ( 8 minutes ago )
The Latest: Louisiana seeks emergency declaration from Trump
The National Weather Service is warning that the catastrophic flooding that's overwhelming Houston will worsen in the coming days and will be slow to recede
8:52AM ( 15 minutes ago )
Winners of the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards
Winners of the MTV Video Music Awards, presented Sunday at the Forum in Inglewood, California
8:43AM ( 24 minutes ago )
Houston convention center gives refuge to Harvey's survivors
Hundreds of people fleeing devastating flooding have arrived by boat, by bus, and by foot to Houston's showcase George R. Brown Convention Center
8:36AM ( 30 minutes ago )
The Latest: Official warns flooding will be slow to recede
The National Weather Service is warning that the catastrophic flooding that's overwhelming Houston will worsen in the coming days and will be slow to recede
8:23AM ( 44 minutes ago )