McConnell, Paul At Odds On ACA Repeal Timeline

Jan 10, 2017

Both of Kentucky’s senators agree that the Affordable Care Act should be scrapped, but a rift is developing between the two over just how Congress should wind down the 2010 health reform law.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has famously advocated for a wholesale “root and branch” repeal of President Obama’s signature health law, reiterated his preference Tuesday for a speedy end to the healthcare experiment.

"The repeal resolution is the first step to bring relief to our hardworking Americans and to prevent health insurance markets from imploding," the GOP leader told colleagues. "Next we need to work together to replace Obamacare with healthcare policies that actually work for families."

That approach – sometimes dubbed “repeal-and-delay” – has an unlikely detractor in the state’s junior senator, Rand Paul. The former presidential hopeful has been sounding the alarm on the plan, telling MSNBC’s Morning Joe proceeding without a replacement could backfire in a big way.

"I think it's imperative that Republicans do a replacement simultaneous to repeal. If they don't, Obamacare continues to unravel and there are many healthcare analysts and experts who are predicting bankruptcy for insurance companies and a massive insurance company bailout within the first six months of repeal," Paul said.

A measure introduced by Paul to gut the ACA without adding nearly $10 trillion to the deficit was defeated in the Senate Monday.

In his remarks Tuesday, McConnell avoided offering specifics on a potential replacement, referred to the post-repeal period as a “stable transition period” where Republicans can deliver on promises to "lower costs, increase choices, and promote better care."