No Really, House GOPers Say They Will Have An Obamacare Replacement Soon

ASSOCIATED PRESS

We’ve all heard this one before.

A team of House Republicans says it is really close to unveiling a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, according to a report in the Hill newspaper.

“Give us a little time, another month or so,” House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) told reporters, according to the HIl.

Upton says that he believes the team of four senior lawmakers is “pretty close to a Republican alternative.”

This is hardly the first time Republicans have promised to make public their own Obamacare replacement, but each time they have come up short. Republicans have been pledging to replace it for six years, but have yet to come up with their own alternative.

Rolling out an Obamacare replacement plan just months before a presidential election and before a slew of competitive senatorial campaigns also carries its own political risks. During campaigns, members of Congress typically defer to their party’s nominee rather than roll out sweeping policy re-writes in an effort to maintain a united and consistent agenda, but House Speaker Paul Ryan requested the group pursue the rewrite, according to the Hill.

Ryan has been pushing for an Obamacare replacements for years, but the speaker has his own quagmires to untangle at the moment. Ryan is struggling to unify his party between a Republican budget as well as trying to drum up enough support for legislation that would restructure the debt of Puerto Rico as it spirals closer to an economic crisis.

But the plan expected be released is not necessarily going to become legislation, Ryan’s office told the Hill. It is merely meant to give Republicans an alternative to point toward.

Republicans have voted dozens of times to repeal Obamacare, have supported fights in the Supreme Court to take it down, but have yet to coalesce around a specific health care policy approach.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lauren Fox is a reporter at Talking Points Memo.

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