As the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals sits poised to overturn the Affordable Care Act, Republicans in Congress are scurrying to devise a plan to replace it, according to The Hill.
In the nearly ten years since President Obama’s healthcare reform was signed into law, Republicans have vowed to repeal it but offered nothing in the way of a replacement. Now, the situation has become more dire.
If the law is ruled unconstitutional and struck down in full, it could leave “millions of people with pre-existing medical conditions without insurance and disrupt coverage for others,” The Hill noted.
Previously, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said his chamber would not consider healthcare legislation ahead of the 2020 presidential election, but the Republican leader did an about-face on Tuesday.
“I think the important thing for the public to know is there’s nobody in the Senate not in favor of covering pre-existing conditions,” McConnell said last week as a potential crisis loomed. “We would act quickly on a bipartisan basis to restore” such protections, he said.
President Trump, who has attempted to fashion the GOP as the party of healthcare, tried earlier this year to force Senate Republicans to draft an ACA replacement, but to no avail.
Senator Mitt Romney (R-Uah) reportedly is heading up negotiations on a fix for the situation, should the court rule as anticipated.
The Hill reminded that as the governor of Massachusetts in 2006, Romney “implemented a health insurance law that later served as a template for ObamaCare.”
“If the 5th Circuit somehow comes to the conclusion that the entire Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional, the Supreme Court will take it up, which means next July we’ll need to be ready for some type of court ruling,” a Senate Republican aide said.
If the case goes before the Supreme Court, it will likely happen just ahead of the 2020 election.