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Meghan Thackrey, KSL TV

Sen. Mitt Romney, GOP colleagues in 'preliminary talks' on health care reform plan

By Dennis Romboy, KSL | Posted - Apr. 1, 2019 at 2:00 p.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY — Sen. Mitt Romney is among Republican senators discussing health care reform plans as the Trump administration wages a court battle to strike down the Affordable Care Act.

Romney's office confirmed the senator is part of "preliminary talks" with some of his colleagues, including Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

Romney, R-Utah, is familiar with health care having passed a program as governor of Massachusetts that became a precursor to "Obamacare."

Romney campaigned for the repeal and replacement of former President Barack Obama's health care law, but not with another one-size-fits-all bureaucratic plan. He vowed to use his experience in health care and finance to create market-based incentives to reduce costs. He favors cost-sharing insurance policies and health savings accounts.

States, he has said, should have flexibility with their Medicaid funds to implement their own programs for caring for the poor.

According to The Hill, Republican senators said there hadn't been any substantial conversation between the administration and key lawmakers before the Department of Justice filed a brief in federal court supporting a Texas judge’s ruling that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional and should be invalidated.

Utah is among 20 states suing to have the law struck down.

The Hill reported that some GOP senators are privately rooting against President Donald Trump winning in court. GOP lawmakers worry that if Trump wins, Congress won’t be able to pass anything to replace Obamacare, and they’ll pay for it at the ballot box, according to the political news outlet.

Republicans generally agree that the health care law has serious flaws, but they realize getting rid of it while Democrats control the House would leave a vacuum in place of protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions, insurance subsidies and expanded Medicaid, according to The Hill.

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