Mike Lee to GOP: Repeal Obamacare now, don’t fear the “boogeyman”

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said his fellow Republicans should repeal Obamacare before agreeing on a replacement, and dismissed concerns of a potential backlash when current beneficiaries lose coverage as a fictional boogeyman designed to scare lawmakers away from delivering on repeal. Entering the new year, Republicans seemed to have had a clear strategy on Obamacare: pass a bill that repealed much of the law, while delaying its effective date for a few years to buy time to come up with a replacement. But a combination of mixed signals from the Trump administration and the blowback from the prospect of disrupting the insurance arrangements of millions of Obamacare beneficiaries has given many Republicans cold feet. As fissures break out over the details of a replacement plan, conservatives such as Lee are pushing back, arguing that the baseline should be to pass the same repeal bill that Republicans already passed in 2015, which was then vetoed by former President Obama. The 2015 bill would have repealed the mandates, taxes, and major spending in Obamacare, and also denied federal funds to abortion provider Planned Parenthood.

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