UPDATE: President-elect Trump during a press conference on Wednesday stated ACA repeal and replacement should happen "essentially simultaneously," Bloomberg reported. No details on what a replacement would actually look like were given. “This presumably ends the Republican congressional leadership’s irresponsible attempt to repeal the ACA without any guidance about what would replace it," Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, was quoted in Forbes. "This no doubt reflects the growing concerns among many people, including a growing number of Republicans, about the dangers of the ‘repeal and delay’ approach."
- President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday called for an immediate repeal of the ACA alongside a quick replacement, The New York Times reported.
- The news comes after GOP lawmakers have begun to question the merits of a repeal and delay ACA strategy.
- "We have to get to business," Trump was quoted in The Times. "Obamacare has been a catastrophic event."
Trump's urging could add fuel to the confusion surrounding ACA reform. Industry stakeholders, worried that an all encompassing repeal could upend the market, encourage Republicans to give pause and thought to a repeal and seek a more thoughtful delay strategy. It is becoming more evident that a replacement for the ACA may be easier said than done.
Showing that consensus around a replacement is still not fully realized, five GOP senators on Monday introduced an amendment to the budget resolution that includes instructions for repealing parts of the ACA via budget reconciliation to extend the deadline for a repeal bill from Jan. 27 to March 3.
Trump has tweeted about healthcare reform recently but these comments send a message that he wants to see the deed done sooner rather than later. "Long to me would be weeks," Trump was quoted in The Times. "It won’t be repeal and then two years later go in with another plan ... the replace will be very quickly or simultaneously, very shortly thereafter."
His comments could put pressure on the GOP to quickly create a replacement. Such an event could allow Republicans to "own" healthcare reform failure, a move they have been careful to try and avoid.
As for the "death spiral" of the individual market, newly released CMS data noted more than 11.5 million Americans have signed up for coverage via the health insurance marketplace as of Dec. 26, 2016, an increase of 286,000 individual compared to the previous year.