Congressional Republican aides and leaders have previously stated that they'd like to repeal Obamacare immediately but wait several years to pass their own replacement.
What has been described as a two or three year process may stretch out into a four year process according to congressional Republican aides who spoke to Bloomberg.
Aides involved in the deliberations said some parts of the law may be ended quickly, such as its regulations affecting insurer health plans and businesses. Other pieces may be maintained for up to three or four years, such as insurance subsidies and the Medicaid expansion. Some parts of the law may never be repealed, such as the provision letting people under age 26 remain on a parent’s plan.
House conservatives want a two-year fuse for the repeal. Republican leaders prefer at least three years, and there has been discussion of putting it off until after the 2020 elections, staffers said.
In other words, there will never be a replacement.
Two years. Three. Four. It doesn't matter. If they repeal Obamacare and do not immediately replace it, they never will. None of the alternative policy proposals floated by Republicans, such as creating health savings accounts and allowing the sale of insurance across state lines, will ever amount to a level of coverage ushered in by Obamacare.
Those policies are not a replacement. The only true replacement for Obamacare would be universal single-payer. There is no other possible replacement that would afford equal coverage and Republicans know this.
Undoing Obamacare would increase the number of non-seniors who are uninsured by 24 million over a decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Republican aides privately acknowledge that would give Democrats a potent political weapon to fight their efforts, but say their focus will be on lowering costs and expanding choice.
At some point over the next several years, this reality is going to assert itself. Republicans will either abandon their fantasy and keep a majority of Obamacare intact, or they will throw tens of millions of people off their healthcare. In any event, the time has come to shit or get off the pot.