The GOP plans to shut down Obamacare’s health insurance exchange, but that won’t be easy
The House voted overwhelmingly Thursday to shuttered the nation’s health care exchange for 24 hours.
The legislation was a blow to President Donald Trump’s effort to repeal and replace Obamacare, and many Republicans in Congress had called on him to pull the plug on the program, which was designed to help Americans find affordable insurance through state-based marketplaces.
But the House voted for a two-year extension, which would allow the exchange to operate through Dec. 15.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Thursday that the move was necessary because Obamacare has been “a total disaster for millions of Americans.”
McCarthy’s comments came as Democrats and some Republicans in the House tried to hammer home their opposition to the plan.
Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said Thursday he wants to see an independent analysis of the health care law before making any final decisions about whether to support it.
“I’m not going to be swayed by the propaganda and political attacks that are coming from the White House and the Republicans, he said.
“This isn’t a time to take things lightly. “
We need to be thoughtful,” Rep. Peter King, R.N., said.
“This isn’t a time to take things lightly.
We need to look at this critically, and we need to do what we need do.”
Trump has vowed to keep the Obamacare exchanges open through the end of the year and urged Democrats and Republicans to come together on a plan to “fix” the law.
Democrats in Congress, who were eager to rally behind the president in the wake of the death of the country’s first black president, say he needs to go further.
Trump and congressional Republicans have made health care a major issue in their bid to dismantle Obamacare.
They want to repeal or significantly alter key parts of the law in order to save money and provide for coverage for millions who would otherwise not be able to get coverage.
But House Republicans have struggled to reach agreement on any of their proposed changes to the law, which they’ve argued would create an additional $1.4 trillion in federal deficits over the next decade.
Democrats say Trump’s failure to get Republicans to agree on any plan to replace Obamacare is evidence that he doesn’t have a plan for fixing the law or making it work better.
The vote to reopen the exchange came after the House and Senate both passed short-term spending bills, which were passed in a matter of days, and the House will now take up the House’s $1 trillion debt ceiling proposal on Thursday.
Democrats said Thursday they would be voting against the legislation if they are able to block the funding.