HHS Chief Warns Senate Democrats of ‘Chaos’ Under ACA Repeal

The nation’s top health official spoke with Senate Democrats Thursday about the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, warning that undoing the law without having a replacement ready could be disastrous.

“It’s very important to understand that a repeal and delay of a replacement is a situation where it is basically repeal and chaos,” Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell told reporters after meeting with lawmakers.

Burwell said she told Democrats to keep the quality of insurance at top of mind in any ACA replacement bill, focusing on whether coverage such as contraception and cancer screenings are required.

“That’s what we need to be thinking about as we enter this conversation,” she said.

Burwell’s successor will be Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), pending Senate confirmation. Price declined to tell reporters Thursday about his plans for leading the department, saying he was focused on the confirmation hearing process.

Jon Reid contributed to this report.

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