No, seriously, this time Republicans are serious about an Obamacare replacement
You could be forgiven for having overlooked a Politico story on Friday that reported that Republican leaders have put together a working group “to develop an alternative to Obamacare, the House Republicans’ most serious attempt thus far to develop their health care reform package.”
Had you read it, however, you might have asked yourself: Seriously, haven’t we heard this before?
Yes. A look back at all of the times over the last four years that Republicans have said they planned to develop an alternative to the Affordable Care Act.
JANUARY 2011 - CNN: House votes to repeal health care law against long odds
House Speaker John Boehner said Republicans will ask congressional committees to come up with "common-sense reforms" that will widen coverage while bringing down costs.
OCTOBER 2011 – LA Times: Republicans lay groundwork for healthcare repeal
Other conservative healthcare experts are developing an alternative to the law, an effort that could protect Republicans from past critiques that their healthcare plans left tens of millions of Americans without medical coverage.
JANUARY 2012 – The Hill: GOP prepares bill to replace Obama's Supreme Court-bound healthcare law
House Republicans will be ready with a plan to replace President Obama’s healthcare law once the Supreme Court determines the law’s fate this summer, Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) told reporters Wednesday.
DECEMBER 2013 – Politico: Tom Price: Time for GOP to move on Obamacare alternatives
“It’s incumbent upon us to put forward positive, alternative solutions,” Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) said at a POLITICO Pro P2012 breakfast panel discussion.
“The nation is watching. The broken promises are being realized in front of their eyes and in their daily lives,” Ryan said to about 1,000 people attending the meeting at the Patriot Center in Rothschild, near Wausau. “This is the moment that we have to offer them real hope and give them real alternatives.”
FEBRUARY 2014 – Time: Republicans Offer an Obamacare Alternative
In just four months, Republicans have shifted their Obamacare strategy from “repeal” to “repeal and replace.”
MARCH 2014 – Washington Post: House GOP leaders craft their vision for alternative to health-care law
House Republican leaders are adopting an agreed-upon conservative approach to fixing the nation’s health-care system, in part to draw an election-year contrast with President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
NOVEMBER 2014 – CNN: Rubio, Ryan crafting Obamacare alternative
Two potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates -- Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio -- are teaming up on a proposal to replace President Barack Obama's signature health care law.
JANUARY 2015 – Politico: GOP chairmen to lead task force to develop Obamacare alternative
Three powerful committee chairmen — including Rep. Paul Ryan — will lead a working group to develop an alternative to Obamacare, the House Republicans’ most serious attempt thus far to develop their health care reform package, according to GOP sources.
We've had more than four years of the Republicans telling us they have a better solution. To date, the ACA has succeeded in helping millions of working families and retirees: 19 million Americans who would otherwise be uninsured are now covered; 9 billion in premium dollars saved; $15 billion in savings on drugs for seniors. Four years and counting of empty Republican promises.