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Democratic leaders heaped criticisms on Republicans Monday in anticipation of the GOP’s efforts this week to start repealing Obamacare, saying their plan isn’t logical.

Striking President Obama’s healthcare law from the books without replacing it “is an act of cowardice” and cynical, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer told reporters. If Republicans want to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, they’ll have to do it solo — and they’ll bear the blame for the fallout, the Democrats said.

“It’s the whole thing of a bull going into a china shop,” Pelosi said. “You break it, you own it.”

Once they return to Washington Tuesday, House Republican leaders plan to vote rapidly on a package of rules that will set in motion the process of repealing big parts of the healthcare law. They intend to use the budget reconciliation process, which involves sending instructions to the committees of jurisdiction, who then report back on which parts of the law they want to dismantle.

The entire process will take a number of weeks, but Republicans hope to have voted on Obamacare repeal by spring. Their plan is to phase out the law over two to four years to buy time for crafting a replacement.

At stake is health coverage for about 20 million Americans, although Republicans have said they won’t suddenly deprive people of their plans.

Democrats are deeply dismayed at the repeal efforts, stressing that the law has provided millions of previously uninsured Americans with coverage they can afford through the help of government subsidies.

Asked whether Democrats would work with Republicans on a replacement plan, Pelosi indicated that Republicans will have to go it alone on any policy that contracts health coverage from its levels under Obamacare.

“Will we be accomplices in the dismantling of the health and economic security of the American people?” Pelosi said. “No.”

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Republicans won’t be able to ditch all of the law through the reconciliation process, since every component in that legislative tool must affect federal spending. But they can gut its income-based subsidies for buying private health coverage, its Medicaid expansion and its individual mandate to buy coverage, all important pillars of the law.

Republicans say they have good ideas to replace the law, but it’s not clear how many people their reforms might cover or whether they will be able to achieve inter-party unity on what a plan should include.

Rep. Frank Pallone, top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said repealing the law instead of trying to improve it “is not logical.”

“I really think Republicans are blinded to the successes of the Affordable Care Act,” Pallone said. “Repealing the ACA is not logical, it’s simply ideological.”

Health groups urge caution on repealing Obamacare

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Four leading medical associations are urging Congress to protect people’s access to health benefits.

01/02/17 12:30 PM

Health groups urge caution on repealing Obamacare

Top Story

Four leading medical associations are urging Congress to protect people’s access to health benefits.

01/02/17 12:30 PM



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