White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday that officials from the Trump administration have discussed restarting plans to repeal and replace Obamacare, but added there is no active planning underway on how to overcome the hurdles that sank Republicans’ first attempt at House passage last week.
The New York Times reported Tuesday that Republicans, pressured by conservative groups, have initiated discussions once again to undo former President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare legislation, the repeal of which has been a plank in Republican platforms across the country for more than seven years. Legislation to repeal and replace the law, also known as Obamacare, failed to make it to a full vote in the House last week, undone by a lack of support from both the arch-conservative and moderate wings of the GOP.
Asked at his Tuesday press briefing if the White House had engaged in a new round of talks to repeal Obamacare, Spicer said conversations had begun but were still in their formative stages.
“Staff has met with individuals and listened to them,” he said. “Have we had some discussions and listened to ideas? Yes. Are we actively planning an immediate strategy? Not at this time… So there has been a discussion and I believe there will be several more.”
Spicer said lawmakers from both parties have reached out to the White House on health care in the days since the repeal-and-replace measure’s collapse, although it remains unclear how the vote tally might shift. The press secretary acknowledged, as he has previously, that any healthcare legislation must strike a balance that does not concede so much to one faction of the GOP that another finds the bill too difficult to swallow.
“If we can find a way forward, we’ll do it,” Spicer said. “I’m not saying we’ve picked a strategy and we’re going to go with this group or that group.”