Leading conservative Republicans from the House and Senate say Congress is moving too slowly on efforts to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act. But their potential resistance to compromise — even with other members of their own party — underscores just how hard a task Republicans have set for themselves.
“We think it’s time to do something, and that’s to get rid of this law,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, told reporters at an event sponsored by the conservative Heritage Foundation. “The biggest problem with waiting is that’s not what we told the voters.”
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, one of the leading conservative voices in that chamber, said he will vigorously oppose efforts for Republicans to wait until they have a plan ready to replace the law before they repeal it. “There is a lot less agreement about what comes next,” he said. “If we load down the repeal bill with what comes next, it’s harder to get both of them passed.”
After getting off to a quick start, GOP efforts to dismantle the health law appear to have slowed considerably. House and Senate committees have already missed a deadline of Jan. 27 to write and pass their proposed repeal and replace provisions, although Senate leaders acknowledged early this year that marker would likely not be met. At a party retreat last month, Republicans still seemed uncertain exactly how and when they would proceed.
And in an interview that aired just before the Super Bowl, President Donald Trump for the first time acknowledged that the effort to remake the health law could last into next year.
Conservatives, however, are pushing back.