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From “Repeal & Replace” to “Repair”

The Wall Street Journal reports there has been a subtle shift regarding the Affordable Care Act, with Republican lawmakers saying they are now considering moves to retain and support key parts of the ACA, while they consider larger changes...
February 6, 2017

The Wall Street Journal reports there has been a subtle shift regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA), with Republican lawmakers saying they are now considering moves to retain and support key parts of the ACA, while they consider larger changes.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), sent a proposed rule on shoring up the individual insurance market under the ACA to the Office of Management and Budget for White House review. The details of what the proposed rule would do still aren’t public, but people involved in the drafting of the proposal say it aims to help bolster the ACA exchange markets at least in the short term.

Any move to stabilize the current health-care system risks angering some conservative voters and lawmakers, who have spent years pledging to repeal and replace the law as soon as they gained power in the White House. But in the past week, the tone of discussions has changed.

“We want to repair the ACA. I have never favored a repeal without replacement,” said Rep. Leonard Lance (R., N.J.) said Thursday. “The goal of the ACA was a good goal. The question is how to achieve that goal in the most effective and efficient manner.”

“It is more accurate to say ‘repair Obamacare,’”said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee), chairman of the Senate health committee. “We can repair the individual market, and that is a good place to start.”  Report in Wall Street Journal(subscription).