FreedomWorks, a conservative group, is backing President Trump's call for Republicans to repeal Obamacare first and then pursue a replacement plan later.
"Virtually every Republican has campaigned on repealing Obamacare for the better part of a decade," FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon said in a statement Friday. "In fact, almost every House and Senate Republican voted to repeal most of Obamacare in 2015. This is one aspect of this on which grassroots activists and Republicans agree. We can come back later and work on patient-centered, free market-based replacement provisions."
On Friday morning, Trump urged GOP lawmakers to separate repeal and replace if they can't pass a bill doing both.
"If Republican Senators are unable to pass what they are working on now, they should immediately REPEAL, and then REPLACE at a later date!" Trump tweeted.
If Republican Senators are unable to pass what they are working on now, they should immediately REPEAL, and then REPLACE at a later date!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 30, 2017
The healthcare plan revealed by Senate Republicans last week repeals parts of Obamacare and implements aspects of a replacement plan.
But GOP lawmakers in the upper chamber haven't been able to coalesce around the plan. Hours after the text was made public, Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Mike Lee of Utah, Ted Cruz of Texas and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin said the bill didn't repeal enough of Obamacare and wanted to see changes made to it.
Others, such as Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, opposed the bill because of its cuts of Medicaid.
As Republican opposition grew, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell delayed a vote on the legislation expected to occur Friday.
Senate Republicans set a Friday deadline for revising the bill, but negotiations have yielded no concrete changes, and conservatives and moderates are still unable to reconcile their differences.
But Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., broached the idea of repeal first, replace later with the White House on Friday, and sent a letter to Trump on Friday morning urging him to adopt the two-step strategy.
"The Senate will next be in legislative session on Monday, July 10," Sasse wrote. "If we don't get a combined, comprehensive Obamacare repeal and replace plan by that day, I humbly suggest that you publicly call on the Congress to do two things: (1) to immediately repeal as much of Obamacare as is possible under congressional budget reconciliation rules, and then (2) to cancel the scheduled August state work period and instead to spend that month working through regular order, six days per week, writing a health reform package with a vote to be scheduled on Labor Day."
Paul backed the strategy and said he had already spoken to Trump and Senate leadership about first repealing Obamacare, and then working on a replacement.
"I have spoken to @realDonaldTrump & Senate leadership about this and agree. Let's keep our word to repeal then work on replacing right away," he wrote on his Twitter account.