House leaders on Thursday morning said they will hold a “first legislative Day of 2017” with their ObamaCare repeal legislation, despite concerns about how quickly they can pass it.
Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX), the chairman of the House Rules Committee, said on Fox News that he and Rep. Mark Meadows (R/SC) had a “very, very, very good” meeting Wednesday and that the two “had a very, really good understanding of what the process is and how we’re going to move forward.”
Flores told Fox that he expects “a very good working relationship” between the two lawmakers.
“They’re both conservatives,” Flores added.
“We’re going after the wrong people, and I think the American people, I think our constituents are going to support that.”
Meadows told Fox News he hopes the bill “can pass, but I don’t think we’re done with it yet.”
“I think we have a really good working and collaborative relationship with both sides of the aisle,” Meadows said.
“I think there’s a lot of room to move.
We’re all in the same place, but there’s room to do some things, as well.”
Mentoring Rep. John Fleming (R–GA), chairman of Rules, also welcomed the bipartisan approach to ObamaCare repeal, telling Fox News, “I look forward to continuing to work with the leadership on a bipartisan bill that we can all be proud of.”
The Republican bill would repeal a number of ObamaCare regulations, including a provision that requires insurers to provide coverage to all people without pre-existing conditions.
However, many Democrats and Republicans are opposed to the plan, arguing that it is overly complex, too costly and that it would allow insurance companies to deny coverage to people with pre-conditions.
Democrats have repeatedly criticized the Republican plan, saying it would lead to a government takeover of the healthcare market, which would likely lead to more people with preexisting conditions being denied coverage.
House Democrats and the administration have called on Republicans to drop the ObamaCare mandate that everyone buy insurance or pay a penalty, saying that repealing the mandate would leave a large pool of uninsured people with little incentive to buy insurance.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R –CA) also told reporters Thursday that he expected the Republican bill to be passed, though he was not certain of its exact path.
“We have a lot more work to do to get to a vote,” McCarthy said.
He added that “we’re going forward.”