Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he will take up a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare if Senate proponents can come up with at least 51 votes to pass it.
Senate Republicans will have only a one-seat majority in 2018.
“My view is, as soon as we have the votes to achieve it, I’d like to do that,” McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters Friday
Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Bill Cassidy, R-La., said they are working again to try to bring up legislation to repeal and replace the law after Republicans blocked an earlier version of their bill this year.
Congress repealed Obamacare’s individual mandate in the tax bill, which will eliminate the fine for those who do not purchase health insurance beginning in 2019.
“That was one of the pillars of Obamacare,” McConnell said. “I’d love to see other changes and we are going to be moving to bills that have enough votes to pass. I encourage them to continue working on it.”
McConnell downplayed the chances of passing significant welfare reform legislation because, he said, it would require bipartisan support that is unlikely to materialize in 2018.
“The sensitivity of entitlements is such that you almost have to have a bipartisan agreement to achieve a result,” McConnell said, adding that reform is “a desperately needed thing,” that could have happened under the Obama administration, when government was divided.