MacArthur: GOP ‘a couple of weeks’ away from having an Obamacare replacement plan

The U.S. Capitol building at dusk in Washington (Evan Vucci/AP, file)

The U.S. Capitol building at dusk in Washington (Evan Vucci/AP, file)

A New Jersey congressman said Republicans could have an Obamacare replacement ready to vote on with a couple of weeks. 

Tom MacArthur, a Republican representing N.J.’s 3rd congressional district, said he’s working to move the latest Republican bill forward, proposing amendments to give states more flexibility to bring down premiums and increase the number of insured.

MacArthur said only a few specifics of the measure need resolution before it goes to the House floor for a vote.

“We’re down to the end. There’s just a couple of remaining things to be settled and we’re either going to get this done or we’re not. I don’t think this is going to continue on forever. So, we’ll see. The next couple of weeks will tell the story.”

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He’s fearful what will happen if Congress doesn’t pass it.

“Insurers are not only leaving our state, we’ve gone from six to two in 18 months, but a third of counties in the United States now only have one choice, and that’s with subsidies a federal court has declared are unconstitutional. If those subsidies end, the whole marketplace will fall apart.”

MacArthur said he believes the fate of the health care bill will determine how aggressively Congress tackles tax code changes.

“If this heath care reform fails, I think it gets very hard to do anything that moves the envelope a lot in tax reform because there’s going to be an aversion to having another stumble. So, I think how this goes really affects a lot of the agenda.”

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