December 12, 2016 / 4:19 PM / 7 months ago

UPDATE 1-McConnell will not give timeline for Obamacare replacement

2 Min Read

(Adds comment by McConnell, political context, paragraphs 2-6)

By Patricia Zengerle

WASHINGTON, Dec 12 (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Monday the Senate will move to repeal President Barack Obama's healthcare law shortly after Jan. 1, but declined to give a timeline for a plan to replace it.

McConnell said the Senate would vote as soon as it returns from its year-end recess to repeal Obamacare. "And then we will work expeditiously to come up with a better program than current law, because current law is simply unacceptable and not sustainable," he said.

Asked repeatedly, McConnell did not give any timeline for when the Republicans would offer their own plan. He said they would be consulting with different "stakeholders."

Donald Trump's election as U.S. president last month means Republicans will control the White House, Senate and House of Representatives in 2017. The new Congress goes to work on Jan. 3; Trump will be sworn in on Jan. 20.

Republicans in both the Senate and House of Representatives say they want to repeal Obamacare early in 2017.

But Republicans have not agreed on how quickly the Obamacare repeal should go into effect. A delay would give them time to work on a replacement, instead of throwing millions of Americans out of their health insurance with no substitute. (Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Matthew Lewis)

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