Coalition to Fight Repeal of Obamacare 12/09 06:22
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Supporters of the 2010 health care law will launch a
political coalition Friday to block its repeal. They're targeting Republican
lawmakers whose constituents may now be at risk of losing health insurance.
The initial goal is to stop Congress from repealing the law without
simultaneously passing a replacement for some 20 million people covered through
subsidized private health insurance and expanded Medicaid.
Called "Protect Our Care," the group brings together organizations that
helped pass the Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare."
On the list are the NAACP, liberal advocacy groups like Families USA and the
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Service Employees International
Union, which represents many health care workers, and the Center for American
Progress, a think tank closely aligned with the Obama White House.
Coordinating the group's activities will be Leslie Dach, a former Wal-Mart
lobbyist who served as a top adviser to Health and Human Services Secretary
Sylvia Burwell in the Obama administration.
"Repeal and Delay is no better than repeal. American families deserve to
know what will happen to them before Congress acts," the coalition said in a
Republicans, who are considering first voting on repeal and then passing a
replacement later, say their goal is a smooth transition to a system that will
provide access for all Americans with fewer government requirements. The
effective date of the repeal legislation would be delayed by months or years to
give lawmakers time to figure out a replacement. But after six years trying to
undo President Barack Obama's signature law, Republicans have not reached
consensus on what their replacement would look like.
"It is highly irresponsible to move forward with repeal alone," said Ron
Pollack, head of Families USA, and an organizer of the coalition.
A recent poll found that only about 1 in 4 people want President-elect
Donald Trump to entirely repeal the health law. The post-election survey by the
nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation underscored the nation's deep political
divisions over health care. Thirty percent want to expand what the law does, 26
percent want it completely repealed, 19 percent say it should be implemented as
is, and 17 percent say it should be scaled back.
The poll found some skepticism about repealing the law first and replacing
it later. Forty-two percent of those who want the law repealed said lawmakers
should wait until they figure out the details of a replacement plan before
A study earlier this week estimated up to 30 million people would be at risk
of losing coverage, because a repeal-only approach could destabilize the entire
health insurance market for people who don't have job-based coverage, not just
those who buy their policies through HealthCare.gov.
Republicans say there's no turning back for them.
"Obamacare isn't fixable," House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady of
Texas said in a recent interview. But he added that Republicans want a
replacement that provides affordable health care, and will allow an appropriate