PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey conceded that Republicans and Congress, along with the Trump administration, cannot fully repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act without help from Democrats.
Toomey, during an interview on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT with Chris Stigall, stated Democratic opposition in Washington is fully on board with stopping any efforts to supplant the existing legislation.
“There is no mechanism to completely repeal every last bit of Obamacare. Many parts of it would require 60 votes and despite the fact that it’s been a complete free fall, it’s in a complete collapse, there is no Democrat that will vote to get rid of this approach and go in a different direction.”
His hope now is that the GOP can find a way to change the circumstances around healthcare coverage in the short term to force Democrats to participate in the process.
“There are some things that would require legislation, like tort reform, like allowing insurance across state lines, like completely eliminating some of these ridiculous regulations. Those are going to require 60 votes and our hope is after we get this repealed in whatever form this final takes. I don’t think the current form is the final form. After we get the administration to push back as much as it can through their regulatory powers, and then we have a new reality on the ground, at some point, we’re hoping that there’s eight Democrats that will work with us on some of the remaining pieces.”
Toomey also, while discussing fierce opposition to the proposal from the most conservative members of Congress, said the version released by House Republicans earlier this week is likely not the ultimate form of the bill that will be voted on.
“This shouldn’t be the end point. We’re still going through this. I’ve been running around when this came out, we’re going through trying to understand exactly what is in this. I’m quite sure that we’re going to want to make some changes, which, I think, are still entirely possible. This is not the final product.”