A member of the Senate Republican healthcare working group is working to build support for an alternative to the House-passed Obamacare repeal bill, one that allows for cross-state insurance purchases, and includes medical malpractice reform, health savings accounts and the expansion of association health plans.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, also wants to pass just one bill to get the job done, not two, as currently planned by House Republican leaders.
Cruz said he has been working for weeks with the now-thirteen member group of GOP senators on an Obamacare repeal and replacement plan that would eliminate the need for a second phase of legislation to replace failing healthcare law. Instead of a limited repeal and replace bill followed by another bill later, the GOP wish-list for replacing Obamacare would be packed into a single budget resolution to repeal Obamacare that could pass with only GOP support using a tool called reconciliation.
“I believe the only meaningful healthcare reform will be through reconciliation,” Cruz told the Washington Examiner in an interview.
Republicans have described a three-part plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, beginning with limited repeal and replace language passing under reconciliation.
The second phase would include the bulk of the GOP’s proposal to replace Obamacare, while the third phase would reform healthcare through changes carried out administratively by the Trump administration.
But Cruz worries the second phase might never make it into law because the legislation would require hard-to-get by necessary Democratic support in the Senate.