Doctor and ex-senator says Trump can fix Obamacare even if he keeps two pillars of the law

Nothing 'affordable' in Affordable Care Act: Tom Coburn

Donald Trump's promise to fix the way Americans buy health insurance can still work, even if the president-elect decides to keep two key provisions of Obamacare, former Sen. Tom Coburn told CNBC on Monday.

Trump, who vowed to repeal and replace President Barack Obama's signature Affordable Care Act, now suggested he could keep two pillars of the law, which prohibits pre-existing conditions denials and allows parents to cover their children in their mid-20s.

Unleashing "market forces and transparency" in the health insurance industry would strength the system, said Coburn, a physician and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research think tank.

In particular, Coburn said on "Squawk Box," the way to make accepting pre-existing conditions work would be to require people to sign up for coverage during an opt-in period, which would prevent them signing up for insurance only after they got sick.

Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican, served two terms in the Senate.