“There’s no disagreement among Republicans that we’re going to repeal Obamacare.” Those are the words of Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC 08) in an exclusive appearance on the “What Matters in North Carolina” podcast on January 5, 2016.
During the interview, Hudson affirmed that the mood among his colleagues is in fact that repealing the monstrosity officially known as the Affordable Care Act is a priority. Hudson continued,
We’re going to replace it with patient-centered health reform, with real health care that puts people in charge of making those decisions that drive down costs.
Of course saying that Obamacare is going to be repealed and replaced is just the starting point, but Hudson said it is a conversation that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) and President-elect Donald Trump began to have immediately following the election in November.
There are procedural questions and issues that will have to be navigated in order to undo a law that has been in place for nearly seven years. Hudson said, “Right now it’s a matter of timing and sequence. What you’ll see is a bill move very quickly through the House and Senate to repeal Obamacare, using a budget process called reconciliation. This is a process that allows a vote that can’t be filibustered in the Senate, so 51 votes can pass it.”
A similar bill was sent to President Obama last year which he vetoed. Hudson said that the Senate will likely start the process with their bill next week, and that a bill could be on President Trump’s desk in February. But, the process is not as cut and dry as it may seem.
Hudson said that because of Senate rules attached to budget reconciliation bills, a repeal and full replacement of Obamacare cannot be done in the same legislation. Hudson said that there could be some replacement language in the form of expanding Health Savings Accounts.
However, the tax penalties which have been so onerous to many Americans may be addressed in the repeal bill. Hudson said, “My hope is that you’ll see a zeroing out of those tax penalties.” Additionally, Hudson said that President Trump is set to begin unwinding Obamacare.
Hudson said, “Vice-President-elect Mike Pence spoke to House Republicans yesterday, [Wednesday, January 4, 2016], and he told us that President Trump is going to start immediately through the executive order process, through the administrative process of replacing Obamacare and doing the things they can do. For example, having an HHS Secretary remove some of the restrictions on insurance companies on plans, some of the requirements they can do administratively, they’ll start that right away, as well.”
Hudson, who serves on the House Energy Commerce Committee, said that the committee will start hearing before the end of the month on what a replacement to Obamacare will look like. Hudson said that HR 2300, which has been introduced the past three years is the basic blueprint for what replacement will look like.
Hudson said, “The basic components of it are, Health Savings Accounts, allowing insurance companies to compete across state lines, giving tax credits to individuals who buy insurance, transparency of cost so that you know what things cost before you go have a procedure, tort reform. These are all the things we’ll be doing and they’ll probably start as individual legislation.”
Pulling the rug out from under a massive law like the Affordable Care Act is ultimately not going to happen, as Hudson noted that the repeal that is likely to be on Trump’s desk in February will be a phased-in two or three-year repeal. Hudson said, “As Mike Pence said yesterday, we need to make sure we have an orderly transition so that we don’t disrupt markets, so that we don’t disrupt families. If there are folks out there that have health care through Obamacare they don’t need to have anxiety that they’re going to lose that coverage.”
Hudson added, “There will be a time period that we will have to put that new health care reform in place, before Obamacare goes away. But, Obamacare will be eliminated with that legislation that’s going to pass next month.” Ultimately Hudson said that they want to get it right, and have real conservative healthcare reform that will help people.
Click here to listen to the full interview on “What Matters in North Carolina” with Rep. Richard Hudson, including his thoughts on the bill he filed on National Concealed Carry Reciprocity.