New York Times, February 7, 2017
Robert Pear

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WASHINGTON — Ever since Democrats began pushing the Affordable Care Act through Congress more than seven years ago, Republicans have been trying to come up with an alternative. Candid conversations leaked from a conclave of Republican lawmakers in Philadelphia last month, and public comments since, show they are nowhere near agreement.

The leaked audio recordings revealed that Republicans recognize the technical complexity and political difficulty of the task they have set for themselves: repealing the law known as Obamacare and replacing it with a new plan that, in the words of President Trump, provides “better health care for more people at a lesser cost.”

What follows is a summary of the thorny questions with which Republicans in Congress are struggling. These are not just academic quandaries. People’s lives could depend on the answers. And time is short. Insurance companies have about three months to decide what kinds of health plans, if any, they will sell to the public in 2018. [...]

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