CINCINNATI -- Any savings from repealing Obamacare would be needed for setting up a replacement, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman told Republican colleagues in a closed-door meeting this week.
According to a report from The Washington Post, Portman and other GOP lawmakers raised several concerns about efforts to quickly repeal the Affordable Care Act, including how to keep premiums affordable for middle-class families and whether they'll have a replacement plan in place soon enough.
The conversation, held at a Republican policy retreat in Philadelphia, was recorded and sent anonymously to the Post, which verified the quotes with the lawmakers themselves or their offices.
The recording gives insight into Republicans' private concerns about how to repeal a signature achievement of former President Barack Obama's administration -- and one GOP lawmakers have vowed to dismantle for years.
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Republicans estimate a repeal of Obamacare could save nearly a half-trillion dollars. But Portman, one-time budget director to former President George W. Bush, warned them the money would be needed to set up a replacement.
"This is going to be what we'll need to be able to move to that transition," he said.
Rep. Tom McClintock, of California, cautioned his colleagues that they'd better be ready to take ownership of what he called "Trumpcare" during the 2018 midterms.
"Republicans will own that lock, stock and barrel, and we’ll be judged in the election less than two years away," he said.
Rep. Pete Sessions, of Texas, worried that a refundable tax credit isn't viable for middle-class families who can't afford to prepay their health insurance premiums and wait for a refund.
Read about Republicans' other concerns at The Washington Post.