20 Times GOP Leaders Have Promised Their Own Obamacare Replacement Plan

Nearly five years after Obamacare was enacted, Republicans are insisting they will propose an alternative, something party leaders have been promising ever since “repeal and replace” was christened as their slogan in 2010.

The Republican-led House’s latest Obamacare repeal bill passed on Tuesday with instructions for the relevant committees to report out a replacement plan. But will they succeed?

Here’s a rundown of 20 times the Republican leaders who run Congress suggested that they will offer their own health care plan. To date, they have not endorsed one.

“We are listening, and we are committed to repealing Obamacare so we can replace it with patient-centered reforms that lower costs and protect jobs.”
—Speaker John Boehner; Feb. 3, 2015 in a statement

“Today’s vote to repeal Obamacare is the first step to achieving real reforms that lower costs and put patients back in charge of their health care decisions.”
—House Majority Whip Steve Scalise; Feb. 3, 2015 in a statement

“There are three committee chairmen that have the jurisdiction over the health care policy in our country. And those three chairman are working to craft what we believe would be a better approach to health care than Obamacare. There will be an alternative, and you’ll get to see it.”
Speaker John Boehner; Jan. 28, 2015 on Fox News

“If we had the ability to do it, we ought to pull it out root and branch and start over. The chances of that happening with Barack Obama of ‘Obamacare’ in the White House are slim, but we’re going to make the effort.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell; Jan. 28, 2015 on “60 Minutes”

“We’re working on this. Having discussions amongst our members, got a lot of divergent views about how best to go back to a doctor/patient relationship that’s revered, about rewarding medical professionals as opposed to all those rules that are coming down and frankly driving doctors out of the system.”
Speaker John Boehner; Jan. 25, 2015 on “60 Minutes”

“You know, the discussions about Obamacare and what the replacement bill
would look like continue. We’re trying to build consensus around one
plan. Not there yet.”

Speaker John Boehner; July 24, 2014 at a Capitol news conference

“Our goal is to show the American people what we believe would work better. I believe we will. We’ll continue to roll them out as we develop them.”
Speaker John Boehner; March 26, 2014 on Capitol Hill

“Our members will offer an alternative when it comes to Obamacare. We’ll offer better solutions on jobs, on job training, education and a host of other issues while Democrats will sit on the sidelines and we’ll continue to lead and offer better solutions for the American people.”
Speaker John Boehner; February 27, 2014 at a Capitol news conference

“As we continue to work to finalize our Obamacare replacement plan, we will also act to highlight and address the serious consequences of the law.”
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor; Feb. 21, 2014, memo to Republicans

“We had an alternative when they passed Obamacare. … But we’ve got other bills that have been introduced over the last year by various members of our conference. So we’re going to have a conversation today about the way forward on Obamacare.”
Speaker John Boehner; Jan. 30, 2014 at a GOP retreat

“This year, we will rally around an alternative to Obamacare and pass it on the floor of the House.”
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor; Jan. 30, 2014 at a GOP retreat

“(To) repeal Obamacare … isn’t the answer. The answer is repeal and replace. The challenge is that Obamacare is the law of the land.”
Speaker John Boehner; April 25, 2014 at the Middletown Rotary Club

“It’s one of the big issues for conversation in terms of our agenda for this year, and I think you’ll see Republicans come forward with a plan to replace Obamacare.”
Speaker John Boehner; Jan. 16, 2014, at a Capitol news conference

“The American people want to be able to pick their own type of health insurance. They want to be able to pick their own doctors. They want to be able to pick their own hospital. That is what a patient-centered health care system looks like.”
Speaker John Boehner; Dec. 3, 2013 on Capitol Hill

“I expect our conference in the coming weeks to have a discussion about Obamacare and how we’re going to deal with it, and what the replacement legislation would look like.”
Speaker John Boehner; May 16, 2013, quoted by Politico

“Listen, there are a lot of provisions that can be replaced. Remember, I
said, we want to take a common-sense, step-by-step approach to replacing

Speaker John Boehner; July 1, 2012 on “Face The Nation”

“We’ll do everything we can to delay and defund the provisions of the bill so that we can get some discussion going on how we can replace it.”
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor; Jan. 19, 2011, quoted by Bloomberg

“We’ll start tomorrow with a replacement. The difference is that we’ll lower the cost. The difference is the American public will be a part of it.”
—House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy; Jan. 19, 2011 at a news conference (via Nexis)

“I just think it’s time to listen to the American people and — and to do this the right way. The Congress can do better in terms of replacing Obamacare with commonsense reforms that will bring down the cost of health insurance and expand access to more Americans.”
—Speaker John Boehner; Jan. 19, 2011 at a news conference (via Nexis)

“We offer a plan to repeal and replace the government takeover of health care with commonsense solutions focused on lowering costs and protecting American jobs.”
House GOP “Pledge To America” released Sept. 2010

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Dc
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: