WASHINGTON, D.C. — “We’re going to fix it,” said 3rd District Congressman Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) of the Affordable Care Act a day ahead of the first meeting of the 115th Congress in Washington, D.C.
“We’re not going to go to back to where we were, but Obamacare is broken and it needs to be repealed and replaced,” Jenkins said.
The U.S. House was expected to move forward as soon as Tuesday on a package of rules setting up the repeal and replacement of ACA, also known as Obamacare, within weeks, according to the New York Times.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has called the ACA repeal is a priority for 2017.
An “absolute disaster” is how President-elect Donald Trump describes the law President Barack Obama signed in 2010.
At this point, it’s not clear what form an ACA replacement could take.
“We’ve got, literally, dozens and dozens of ideas about how to improve health care. This is about empowering our patients, giving them choices, ensuring quality, but also controlling costs,” Jenkins said.
In West Virginia, under ACA, 173,000 low-income West Virginians are covered through the Medicaid expansion, 37,000 are covered with private insurance policies purchased on the exchange and 18,000 young adults remain on their parents’ health insurance policies, according to West Virginians for Affordable Health Care.
“Yes, we’ve got to do it in a smart way. Yes, I am conscious of the fact that we’ve got over 170,000 people on the Medicaid expansion (in West Virginia),” Jenkins said of the effects of the potential repeal.
“We have got to provide an affordable insurance product. We’ve got to take care of those that are most needy who need premium support. We have always had a Medicaid program in West Virginia for decades, so I think we are on the right track to get it right.”
Jenkins was a guest on Monday’s MetroNews “Talkline” from his office in Washington, D.C. ahead of Tuesday’s swearing in ceremonies for members of the new Congress.
Both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives convene Tuesday at 12 p.m.
This Wednesday, President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit Capitol Hill to meet with U.S. Senate and U.S. House Democrats.