Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

July 15, 2013

BRIAN HOWEY: Coats skeptical Obamacare can be repealed

Senator says GOP hasn't a proposal to replace it.

(Continued)

“It’s a sixth of the economy,” Coats said. “I think so many parts of it have been implemented, it would be impossible to go back to zero.“

Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, who voted for the law but predicted tweaks would be needed, said, “You’ve had some folks on one side saying, ‘We don’t like the health care law so we’re not going to do anything to try to improve it.’ And on the Democrat side, you had people saying, ‘There are problems with it, but we don’t want to talk about them and we don’t want to fix them, we’ve just got to keep the wagons circled and plow forward.’”

“And I thought to myself, both of those positions are completely unreflective of reality,” Donnelly said.

Donnelly and U.S. Rep. Todd Young have introduced bills that would alter the definition of full-time employees after Indiana school districts began layoffs.

Coats had been telling people privately that he sees the ACA as a back door to a single-payer system.

Asked about that, Coats said, “I think that’s been the intent all along. This is where they wanted to start. Because ‘Hillarycare’ went down and the public wasn’t ready for that, they said, ‘Let’s put a process in place that will begin that.’ That’s still a likely possibility.”

Brian Howey publishes at www.howeypolitics.com. Find him on Twitter @hwypol. Maureen Hayden of CNHI and the Kokomo Tribune contributed to this column.

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