President Obama will meet with congressional Democrats next week to discuss efforts to preserve portions of his signature healthcare law despite the incoming administration's promise to repeal it.
House and Senate Democrats will huddle with the president at 9 a.m. Wednesday in what is likely to be the last opportunity many will have to speak with Obama before he leaves office on Jan. 20.
Obama will discuss the "dangers posed by congressional Republicans' stated strategy to repeal the [Affordable Care Act] before proposing any replacement, creating chaos in the health system in the short run – and holding hostage Americans' health care – while Republicans develop their plan," a White House official said.
Obama also will talk about ideas he has to strengthen Obamacare, which are likely to get little attention in the GOP controlled-Congress.
President-elect Trump has vowed to work with Republicans on Capitol Hill to fully repeal Obamacare, though he has signaled he may be willing to keep parts of the sweeping healthcare law such as its pre-existing conditions clause.
The incoming administration has said it will work with Congress to "make sure we have a series of [healthcare] reforms ready for implementation that follow free market principles and that will restore economic freedom and certainty to everyone in this country."
Any repeal bill would sail through the House, which will have a majority of nearly 40 seats.
Getting through the Senate will entail using the procedural move reconciliation, which allows a bill to get through the chamber via a simple majority rather than the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster. The GOP will have a two-seat majority in the Senate next year.
But there is a catch to using reconciliation: a bill can focus only on spending and budgetary matters and must be approved by the Senate parliamentarian.
Republicans spent months in 2015 crafting a bill to repeal Obamacare that met those requirements. A Senate GOP aide recently told the Washington Examiner that the likely plan is to use that 2015 bill as any changes could take months to vet.
The 2015 bill didn't repeal Obamacare completely, but did gut major parts of the law. It eliminated the law's individual and employer mandates on getting insurance and taxes on insurers and employers.
However, the law's regulations on insurers selling plans on the individual market will remain in place. These regulations include the benefits that each plan sold on the individual market must contain and preventing insurers from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions such as cancer.
Conservative groups such as the Heritage Foundation want the GOP to repeal the entirety of Obamacare through reconciliation, not just gut the law.