Republicans, led by President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan, promised to repeal and replace Obamacare, but the difficulties of doing so have some key GOP lawmakers calling more modestly for a mere repair, The Hill reported Wednesday.
"I think it is more accurate to say repair Obamacare because, for example, in the reconciliation procedure that we have in the Senate, we can't repeal all of Obamacare," Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., Health Committee Chairman told The Hill. "Obamacare wasn't passed by reconciliation. It can't be repealed by reconciliation. So, we can repair the individual market, which is a good place to start."
Audio leaked from a Republican retreat in Philadelphia last month revealed some worries within the party about the ability to fix the troubled healthcare law, The Washington Post reported.
Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., echoed the sentiment there are parts of Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act, which are working and will be difficult to replace, while keeping a promise to not take healthcare away from Americans who benefited from former President Barack Obama's signature legislation.
"I'm trying to be accurate on this that there are some of these provisions in the law that probably will stay, or we may modify them," Walden told The Hill. "But we're going to fix things. We're going to repair things.
"There are things we can build on and repair. There are things we can completely repeal."
The shift in talk irks some Republicans set on following up on campaign promises of repeal and replace, per the report.
"I'm hearing a lot of members say that they want Obamacare-lite," Rep. Raúl Labrador, R-Idaho, told The Hill. "That's not what we promised the American people."
Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., rejected the catchy, alliterative slogan to CNBC's "Squawk Box" last month, suggesting the "damage of Obamacare" needs to be "repaired" before a "transition" to a replacement.
"It's way more complex than simply 'repeal and replace,' Johnson said. "That's a fun little buzzword, but it's just not accurate."
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