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Fight for Obamacare; don’t help Republicans on passing replacement measures, Obama tells Democrats

As Republicans prepare to take over the reins of power, outgoing US President Barack Obama has urged fellow Democrats to save his legacy and the signature healthcare reform law.
India TV News Desk Washington January 05, 2017 18:28 IST
India TV News Desk

As Republicans prepare to take over the reins of power, outgoing US President Barack Obama has urged fellow Democrats to save his legacy and the signature healthcare reform law.

With less than three weeks left to end his eight-year stint at the White House, Obama met Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday on Capitol Hill with a mission to save his healthcare reform law as Republicans are moving quickly to unroll the Affordable Care Act. 

In a two-hour session, Obama urged fellow Democrats to not ‘rescue’ Republicans by helping them pass replacement measures, CNN quoted sources who attended the closed-door meeting as saying. 

He also floated this idea: Start referring to the Republican Party's new plan as "Trumpcare." 

As he walked by a group of reporters, Obama would only say this about the Democratic Party's message: "Look out for the American people." 

The healthcare law has extended health coverage to an estimated 20 million Americans. ObamaCare is a US healthcare reform law that expands and improves access to care and curbs spending through regulations and taxes. 

But some reports say the 2010 Affordable Care Act law has been hit by soaring premium costs and major insurers withdrawing from the scheme, leaving Americans with fewer choices for coverage. 

After the meeting, a White House aide said Obama used "Trumpcare" as an indication he was open to Trump taking credit for improvements. 

The feisty remarks from the outgoing President came as Republicans also huddled on Capitol Hill yesterday to chart their path forward repealing Obamacare. 

Vice President-elect Mike Pence visited with Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill in what became a morning of dueling meetings on Day Two of the new Congress. 

Pence told reporters following the meeting: "Make no mistake about it: We're going to keep our promise to the American people -- we're going to repeal Obamacare and replace it with solutions that lower the cost of health insurance without growing the size of government." 

Pence said they would bring about a "smooth transition to a market-based healthcare reform system". 

He said repealing and replacing Obamacare was "first order of business" for President-elect Donald Trump and Congress. 

House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan said Republicans - who have voted more than 50 times to try to repeal all or part of Obamacare - "have a plan" and "plenty of ideas." 

But Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer warned that scrapping the law would throw the insurance marketplace into turmoil and - in a play on Mr Trump's campaign slogan - "Make America Sick Again".