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The GOP progress so far on a health care reform plan.
Remember the Republican campaign promise of 2010 about repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act? As plenty of observers have noted, Greg Sargent the most persistent among them, we've gotten plenty of repeal, but no replace. They'll point at a bill they called the "Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act," but it's not a health care reform bill, it's tort reform.

But Jonathon Bernstein is absolutely right here when he says that the replace part of their formula has been a "fraud" from the beginning, "cooked up presumably because a flat-out repeal of health care reform polls much worse than replacing it with some unspecified legislation."

You needn't look any further than what they were saying on Jan. 17, 2011, to see that they never intended to replace the law.

House committee chairmen will haul administration officials before their panels, pressing for answers to questions that they feel have been ignored. GOP leaders will call for votes on bills dismantling pieces of the law, such as the mandate requiring all Americans to buy insurance. They will try to choke off funding at every turn, starting with the stop-gap funding measure that expires in March. [...]

Republicans insist they’re interested in more than just repealing the law and reverting to the status quo.

So on Wednesday, the House will also approve a resolution ordering four relevant committees to draw up alternative health care proposals.

But the leadership isn’t giving them a deadline. The open-ended process suggests Republicans won’t be rushing to push their own vision of health care through the House anytime soon.

The Republicans have never had a vision for health care reform beyond tort reform and a vague idea of cross-state insurance purchasing. The only real, concrete plan they've forwarded in the realm of health care is the plan to kill Medicare.

Their focus has been entirely on repeal, on trying to make the new law so toxic that it would not stand. They achieved one key element of that, getting a challenge before the Supreme Court. But that's a double-edged sword for them, because if the court strikes the law down, they're on the hook for coming up with the replacement they promised, something they're clearly not prepared to provide.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 10:03 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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