House Speaker John Boehner, the top U.S. Republican, told reporters on Thursday that it was important for Republicans to come up with "better solutions" on healthcare.Part of the problem is what we've seen for the whole of Boehner's speakership: he's incapable of leading the tea party contingent he let take control of the conference. They fundamentally don't care about anything other than repeal and they don't want any replacement that has anything at all to do with Obamacare as it exists now. But Republicans can't actually say out loud that they think insurance companies should be able to refuse to sell you insurance because you have a pre-existing condition, or that insurance companies should be able to just dump you for any reason. So now that all those things are actually law, they have to say they want to keep them, but are utterly incapable of coming up with a real plan that would work in the real world.
But Boehner would not commit to putting a Republican alternative to a vote this year. Pressed on his plans to move legislation, he said the party would continue discussions on replacing Obamacare and seek member input. "We're going to go through a lot of ideas," Boehner said.
So, after weeks of promises of a Republican plan emerging from the House, leadership is being forced to walk that promise back. The best part of this is Boehner's lame excuse: they just have too many ideas! "And so, we're going to continue to go through a lot of ideas. You can see our members—they've introduced 126 different ideas about how to fix Obamacare, how to replace Obamacare." Uh, huh.
The second best part is the "hope group." That's Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) who are meeting Friday to try to figure out where in the hell to go from here. They "hope" they can find some way out of the repeal corner they've painted themselves into and come up with a plan that House Republicans would actually vote for. I hope they're not holding their collective breath. Meanwhile,