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Local GOP Congressmen Weigh In On Repealing, Replacing Obamacare

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- President Obama was on Capitol Hill to meet with Democrats on Wednesday while Vice President-elect Mike Pence did the same with Republicans.

The topic -- the Affordable Care Act.

"The Republican plan to cut health care wouldn't make America great again. It would make America sick again and lead to chaos," claimed U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Democratic Senate Leader.

Democrats accused Republicans of not having a plan to replace Obamacare, leaving Americans in the lurch.

"They have no replacement plan because they can't agree," said U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic House Leader.

Lou Ann Jeremko, at the Consumer Health Coalition, said working Pennsylvanians without employer health insurance could become uninsured.

"They're working individuals or individuals with some sort of income that puts them over the poverty level that would make them eligible for medical assistance."

What worries consumer health advocates is that the Republican Congress will repeal the Affordable Care Act without replacing it with something that provides health insurance for the one million Pennsylvanians currently covered by it, and without maintaining some other important provisions that benefit all of us.

Those provisions include coverage for those with pre-existing conditions like cancer, or family insurance for children under 26, or mandated preventive services like mammograms.

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But local Republican lawmakers say most of that will not change.

"It doesn't mean on the morning of Jan. 21, [the day after President Trump takes office] you no longer have health care," U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly told KDKA political editor Jon Delano. "Everything is going to stay in place. They're not going to have the rug yanked out from underneath them."

But there will be changes, says U.S. Rep. Keith Rothfus.

"We're going to have a different model, one that moves away from Washington mandates to expanded patient and consumer choice," he said.

And, hopefully, says U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, it will be a bipartisan fix.

"Let's work on this together. That's the way to find solutions. I would think all Americans would hope that we would do that," he said.

But no sign yet that both sides will work together.

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