Apr 5, 2017

McCarthy: "Let history measure what we will achieve"

Chuck Kennedy

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said at an Axios/NBC News event this morning that he believes a revamped plan to repeal Obamacare would be coming soon — though there is "not a time set" — and it will "be more successful than anyone will give [the GOP] credit for."

The latest developments on repeal: McCarthy said Republicans spent a lot of time at last night's meeting talking about high-risk pools. That's a sign that they may be open to getting rid of Obamacare's pre-existing condition coverage, because they think they can take care of sick people through the risk pools. Freedom Caucus members want that, but other Republicans are wary of eliminating Obamacare's guarantee that all health plans will cover sick people.

Read on for more highlights from the event.

McCarthy's reasoning for Trumpcare's first failure: Members of Congress felt that a date for repeal was "certain" — and that put pressure on them to wrap it up quickly. He hopes to move forward with more "explanation."

His goals for health care: "Greater choice and greater flexibility." McCarthy compared it to a cable package with different options.

Kathleen Sebelius on the House GOP talks: The former Health and Human Services secretary said McCarthy's comments on high-risk pools described the old health care system "that left millions and millions of people out."

Sebelius on the danger of an Obamacare market meltdown: "Unfortunately, the uncertainty over what's going to happen … is creating, I think, a fleeing from the marketplace, not stability."

Toby Cosgrove on what should be done: The Cleveland Clinic CEO said Obamacare didn't really deal with the root causes of rising health costs — chronic disease, obesity, smoking, etc. Legislation that refocuses on costs would get "bipartisan support."

Sebelius goes there: "I'm way too familiar with websites. Stay away from them." (She was in charge when the early Obamacare website kept crashing.)

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