By Robert Donachie
President Barack Obama said he is willing to accept the Republican plan to “repeal and replace” Obamacare if their solution is better.
“If it works, I’m for it,” Obama told Vox during a Facebook Live interview Friday.
“I am saying to every Republican right now, if you in fact can put a plan together that is demonstrably better than what Obamacare is doing, I will publicly support repealing Obamacare and replacing it with your plan. But I want to see it first,” he said.
Obama told his fellow Democrats at a Wednesday meeting on Capitol Hill not to “rescue” Republicans on Obamacare, and to “look out for the American people.”
“If they think we’re going to come in and save their butts when they screw it up? No. If they are having trouble, work with us not to repeal ACA, but to improve ACA,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters. “We’re not going to sit down in a room with them once they repeal and say let’s figure out a joint plan. They have to show us what their alternative is, and there’s a small chance maybe it’s a good plan. Highly unlikely.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has been very vocal about her distaste for Republican plans to repeal Obamacare. Pelosi called on her fellow House Democrats to hold press events in their respective districts “to highlight the risks of repeal of the ACA and of ending the Medicare guarantee.”
“Republicans’ so-called ‘repeal and delay’ plan is code for ‘repeal without an alternative,’” House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer said.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said that the Republican Party’s first priority will be to repeal and replace Obamacare. “Well, the first bill we’re going to be working on is our ObamaCare legislation,” Ryan told “60 Minutes” in December. “I don’t know the answer to that right now. What we know is we have to make good on this promise. We have to bring relief as fast as possible to people who are struggling under ObamaCare.”
Republican leadership is signaling their intent to take things slow enough to ensure that any move to repeal and replace Obamacare is done correctly. “There’s just going to be hearings. The Democrats spent a lot of time screwing up the economy and screwing up healthcare, and it’s going to take us a lot of time trying to rectify it,” a leading House conservative, Rep. Raul Labrador, told reporters.