Lawmakers are concerned that the battle over Obamacare, a policy the Republicans are desperate to scrap and the Democrats are desperate to keep will dominate proceedings to the detriment of other policies.
The atmosphere is bipartisan and the concern is that other acts which would normally garner bipartisan support will be delayed. The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the pharmaceutical and medical device user fees are good examples of acts which will be affected.
Although the Republicans and the Democrats are at odds with one another over the Affordable Care Act (ACA) both agree that should it be scrapped other health priorities become more complex.
Rep. Gene Green speaking to the Hill, said, “In the first few months, the ACA battle will suck the air out of everything, and then we’ll look and see what we can do. I hope in our committee, we do try to work bipartisan, but I know [Republicans’] goal is to abolish the Affordable Care Act.”
The ACA was passed in 2010 without Republican votes. This has been a sore point for the Republicans ever since.
Rep. Bill Flores, said he wanted the Democrats to have an input, more than the Republicans had in Obamacare. He said, “They basically flipped Republicans the finger throughout the entire ObamaCare process and it didn’t work out well for them, so we’ll give them a chance to have input. If they take it, it can be constructive, and hopefully it will help the process. If they want to be obstructive they’ll have to deal with what the American people tell them in 2018.”
One of the problems the Republicans face is that to replace Obamacare they have to come up with a replacement first. This will delay things considerably.
The ACA is arguably the Obama administration’s finest achievement. Dismantling it will be seen as a slap in the face to that administration.