Another GOP congressman at a retreat this week held in Philadelphia, Rep. Tom MacArthur of New Jersey, voiced concerns that plans being considered by Republicans could effectively eliminate health coverage for the 20 million or so people who have gained insurance through Obamacare in the past several years.
"We're telling those people that we're not going to pull the rug out from under them, and if we do this too fast, we are in fact going to pull the rug out from under them," MacArthur reportedly said.
The Washington Post's article was based on a recording of the meeting that the paper said was sent to it and other news outlets anonymously last Thursday. The comments quoted in the article were confirmed as authentic by either the individual lawmakers or their staff, the newspaper said.
One of those lawmakers, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn, was heard on the recording saying, "Our goal, in my opinion, should be not a quick fix. We can do it rapidly — but not a quick fix.
"We want a long-term solution that lowers costs," Alexander said.
And Rep. John Faso, R-NY, was quoted as saying, "We are just walking into a gigantic political trap" if Congress followed through on proposals to the group Planned Parenthood as part of repealing Obamacare.
Republicans have long objected to Obamacare, and voted for its repeal.
But they have struggled to craft a replacement plan that would be politically acceptable not only to a majority of GOP members of Congress, but also to enough Democratic senators whose votes would be needed to assure its passage.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order right after his inauguration on Jan. 20 that would allow executive branch officials to start dismantling parts of the Affordable Care Act. Congress currently is moving along a parallel repeal track that would defund key parts of the law through the process known as budget reconciliation.
But Trump, and key Congressional leaders, have said they want a replacement plan on deck, ready to go once repeal is completed.