WATCH | President Trump gave Congress its marching orders to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. He hinted at aspects he wants lawmakers to include in their replacement plans, but many were hoping for more clarity.
Glimpses of a plan
Trump outlined what he wants Congress to include in its Obamacare replacement plan, including protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and tax breaks and subsidized health savings accounts to help low-income Americans afford insurance.
But with multiple replacement bills floating around on Capitol Hill and no clear plan in sight, some Republicans were hoping for more direction from the president.
“He didn’t say what the final version should look like. I’m sure more details will be forthcoming," said Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO).
Lambord said he thinks Trump wants to give lawmakers freedom to come up with their own replacement alternatives.
Rep. Paul Mitchell (R-MI) said Republican lawmakers want to get the repeal done quickly so they can move on to other issues, like tax reform.
"I hope we resolve it before the Easter break," Mitchell said.
Skepticism on the left
Democrats say they don't think Republicans will come up with anything better than Obamacare.
“I’m not going to vote to repeal until I see an improvement in a plan to replace, which, we’ve seen nothing," said Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR).
DeFazio said Republicans have fought against some of the same components Trump says he wants to see in a GOP replacement for Obamacare.
For example, Trump said during his speech that the U.S. must reduce the cost of prescription drugs, but Republicans have blocked legislation that would have allowed Medicare to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies on drug prices.
Democrats also worry that opening up insurance markets to allow people to purchase plans across state lines would do more harm than good.
"If their plan is everybody buys a crummy policy out of Missisippi that doesn’t cover anything... No way. That would be a fake plan and that would destroy lives," DeFazio said.
Republicans say they are determined to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, and that Democrats should be willing to negotiate with them.
“I would love to see Democrats come to the table, because if they’re not at the table then the people they represent aren’t at the table," said Rep. Scott Taylor (R-VA). "We need to put our big boy pants on," and work together to reduce healthcare costs for Americans, he added.