The easier road, mathwise, that Republicans face in getting repeal passed at first led to the idea of doing that first — then worrying about a replacement plan later, as long as several years later.

But that strategy has been challenged as health-insurance experts and others have warned that large numbers of people could lose insurance coverage and prices could rise sharply if a replacement is delayed by several years, as some Republicans have suggested.

That in turn has raised fears that Republicans could suffer politically if they repealed Obamacare without replacing it.

In recent days, a number of senators have wavered on the idea of of “repeal-and-delay.”

On Monday, five Republican senators, including Corker, submitted an amendment that would delay the deadline for Senate committee to draw up a repeal bill from Jan. 27 to March 3.

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, one of those five lawmakers, said that while he supports repeal, “Congress also should thoughtfully consider how we replace Obamacare, and we can do so by ensuring we go through the committee process.”

“As we do so, we must ensure that Americans are able to retain their health care during the transition to a new system,” Portman said.”This amendment will ensure that we move forward with a smart, responsible plan to replace the law as quickly as possible.”

Also Monday, Trump’s incoming chief of staff Reince Priebus, his Treasury Department secretary-designee Steven Mnuchin and senior Trump advisers Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner huddled with House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan in Ryan’s office to discuss repeal and replacement.

“Still thinking it through,” Bannon said, according to a tweet from Associated Press reporter Erica Werner.

Priebus was overhead saying, as he left the Capitol, “We have a huge challenge here, it was better tonight,” according to another tweet from Werner.


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