The Heritage Foundation, an influential conservative think-tank, is pushing Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act as quickly as possible without waiting for a replacement.
The GOP’s self-imposed Jan. 27 deadline for legislation that would repeal Obamacare is slipping by and plans for repeal are “murkier than ever” and headed in the “wrong direction” wrote James Wallner, the Heritage Foundation’s vice president for research, in the Daily Signal, a website created by Heritage.
“Given this, President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans should reiterate their commitment to the full repeal of Obamacare,” Wallner wrote. “And they need to get to work by taking the first step in the process, which should be passing legislation to repeal Obamacare as soon as possible.”
GOP lawmakers are in Philadelphia for their annual policy retreat this week, with health care reform at the top of the legislative agenda. Wallner said if lawmakers miss Friday’s deadline, Republicans “may be less committed to repealing Obamacare than previously expected.”
“Any further delay also makes it increasingly likely that the repeal effort is ultimately tied directly to the replace debate,” he wrote. “At that point, any changes to the existing system would then be considered in the legislative framework established by Obamacare.”
The Heritage Foundation has historically been influential with Republicans on Capitol Hill. But some leading conservatives are now arguing that ACA repeal should not happen with a replacement, including Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.).
Correction: A previous version of this story misidentified Meadows’ home state.