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RNC Chairwoman Visits Denver Amid Health Care Fight

By Shaun Boyd

DENVER (CBS4) - The Chair of the Republican National Committee says President Trump's commitment to repeal and replace Obamacare is one of the reasons the RNC is seeing record fundraising in a post-presidential year.

Ronna Romney McDaniel made the remarks while in Denver to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.

The comments came on the same day the president signed an executive order to start unwinding the Affordable Care Act.

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"I was aware this was something the White House was looking at, and I've heard it from other senators that they thought it was a great idea," McDaniel said.

The idea is to make it easier for small businesses, trade associations and labor unions to band together across state lines and buy less expensive, less comprehensive policies.

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"Small businesses haven't had the same leverage as bigger companies," McDaniel said, "So this is going to give them the opportunity to lower the cost of health care for their employees. It is a great thing and I applaud the president for taking this action."

But, Democrats say the bare-bones plan will draw young, healthy people out of exchanges, causing premiums to skyrocket and the marketplace to collapse.

Colorado's Democratic Senator Michael Bennet says the order "will weaken consumer protections, resulting in skimpier plans and higher health care bills for people with preexisting conditions."

Bennet sits on a health committee which is in the process of drafting legislation to stabilize the marketplace.

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McDaniel says more needs to be done, "The president hasn't given up on repeal and replace and neither has Congress. We still have next year under reconciliation to look at that."

She wouldn't comment on whether the party would punish lawmakers who voted against the legislation.

It could take up to six months for the administration to implement the order.

Cabinet agencies will need to write rules and the changes will be subject to public comment.

Some Democratic attorneys general are also threatening to sue over the order.

RELATED: 'We Are Relieved': Hickenlooper Reacts To Latest GOP Health Care Failure

Shaun Boyd is CBS4's political specialist. She's a veteran reporter with more than 25 years of experience. Follow her on Twitter @cbs4shaun.

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