Five Republican senators are pushing for opponents of the Affordable Care Act to replace the law when they repeal it, rather than repealing it and working to replace it later.
The provisions would give congressional committees until March 3 to come up with a proposal for repealing, de-funding or changing the ACA. The current version of the resolution would require the committees to complete their work by Jan. 27.
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In addition to Corker, the other senators backing the proposed amendment include Rob Portman of Oregon, Susan Collins of Maine, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
Corker and three of the other senators said in statements about the amendment that they would like to see the Senate vote to repeal and replace the ACA at the same time.
Murkowski said “repeal and replace need to coincide.”
Collins and Portman did not say that repealing the ACA and replacing it must happen at the same time, but they both said Congress must make sure people can keep their current coverage until they can get coverage under the new system.
A sixth Republican senator, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, said last week on MSNBC’s Meet the Press Daily that Congress must repeal and replace the ACA at the same time.
The Republican senators’ concerns about the “repeal now and replace later” strategy are important because Republicans now hold just 52 seats in the Senate.