Senators Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Susan Collins of Maine unveiled what they described as an “Obamacare Replacement Plan” on Tuesday, establishing a framework for new legislation intended to do away with the previous president’s healthcare plan, the Affordable Care Act.
The new plan, however, doesn’t require the complete dismantling of Obama’s controversial healthcare legislation, but instead offers individual states an increased say in their own healthcare policy – to include keeping Obamacare if they so choose.
“Republicans think that if you like your insurance, you should keep it. And we mean it,” Cassidy said. “They could opt to stay in Obamacare or they could opt for no federal help. So, California and New York, you love Obamcare? You can keep it.”
While the plan has not yet garnered support from party leadership, it is indicative of the GOPs growing concerns about having a viable replacement for Obamacare in place before bringing down the executioner’s ax on a program many Americans are currently insured through. It also speaks directly to growing criticisms levied toward the GOP for fighting so feverishly to repeal the law without having the foresight to establish a plan for a viable replacement.
An estimated twenty million people are currently insured through the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, and Collins, a moderate Republican, has voiced her concerns to her party in the past. She has called on fellow conservatives to wait on voting to repeal the program until a replacement plan exists and cited concerns about “needless and avoidable gaps in coverage” that could result for Americans if lawmakers are too quick to pull the trigger.
“We recognize that our bill is not perfect. It is still a work in progress. I expect that we will get many ideas from my colleagues for further refinements and we are completely open to that,” Collins said.