Former Speaker of the House John Boehner said Thursday that the idea that Congress would completely repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act was “happy talk” and “not going to happen.”
Boehner was speaking at a health care conference in Orlando, according to Politico.
“Republicans never ever agree on health care,” he said.
Boehner was a reliable voice for “repeal and replace” for years. In 2010, he wrote, “Republicans are fighting to repeal it so we can start over with common-sense reforms that get health-care reform right.”
In 2013, House Republicans under his leadership shut down the federal government for the first time since 1996 with the aim of gutting the law.
“House Republicans still desire to delay or defund or disband Obamacare and we’re going to stick to this effort,” House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX) said at the time.
Boehner kept the mantra going until he left Congress. In 2014, he told a group of constituents, “The answer is repeal and replace.” A year later, still without an agreed-upon replacement plan, he said “Committees are continuing to work on that and I’m sure we’re gonna see one soon.”
Around the same time, TPM’s Sahil Kapur compiled a list of 20 times GOP leaders promised their own Obamacare replacement plans.
Boehner on Thursday was not optimistic that repeal and replace would occur. Instead, congressional Republicans are “going to fix Obamacare – I shouldn’t call it repeal and replace, because it’s not going to happen,” he said.
He concluded, according to Politico: “Most of the framework of the Affordable Care Act … that’s going to be there.”