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No. 2 Senate Republican: Obamacare won’t be replaced all at once

WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas said Thursday Republicans won’t offer a comprehensive bill to replace Obamacare, saying instead that the GOP will try to enact individual health care measures.

Republicans are concerned that a full-scale bill will become unwieldy and will be difficult to attract support.

So instead, top Republicans are looking at a mix of smaller bills that could attract bipartisan support in Congress and executive actions that could be pursued by President-elect Donald Trump and Rep. Tom Price if he’s confirmed as Health and Humans Services secretary.

“We’re not going to do a comprehensive bill. We are going to do it in a step-by-step basis,” Cornyn, the No. 2 Senate Republican, told CNN. “If I’ve learned anything since I’ve been here in the Senate, big comprehensive bills are not the way to go.”

Asked which aspect of health care Republicans would tackle first on a replacement measure: “That hasn’t been decided.”

Cornyn’s statement comes as House Republicans are floating different timelines for a replacement bill.

“Our legislating will occur this year. Our legislating on Obamacare, our repealing and replacing and transitioning — you know, the legislating will occur this year,” House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters Thursday, but other lawmakers have spoken about a six-month timeframe.