The GOP's healthcare plan guru?
In oral arguments before the Supreme Court in the King v. Burwell
case challenging Obamacare, Justices Samuel Alito and Antonin Scalia raised
the possibility that the court could rule against the government, but then stay their decision until the end of the year to give Republicans enough time to come up with some kind of fix. So now we're playing the game that Republicans will come up with some kind of fix, starting with The New York Times telling us
that "the search for a replacement by Republican lawmakers is finally gaining momentum." Their evidence? Not legislation that's been introduced, but two op-eds.
On Monday, Representatives Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, Fred Upton of Michigan and John Kline of Minnesota, the chairmen of the powerful committees that control health policy, proposed what they called an "off ramp" from the Obama health act that would let states opt out of the law's central requirements.
On the other side of the Capitol, Senators John Barrasso of Wyoming, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, all Republicans, offered their own plan this week to provide temporary assistance to those who would lose their subsidies and new freedom to all states to redesign their health care marketplaces without the strictures and mandates of the health care law.
Undoubtedly Paul Ryan is really serious about it in the op-ed he wrote
in the Wall Street Journal
. Maybe he's as serious about it now as he was in an op-ed he wrote 50 months ago
when he also promised that fellow Republicans were really, really serious about coming up with that alternative plan.
As for the Barrasso-Alexander-Hatch plan to create a temporary fix? Barrasso himself shot that down before the arguments, saying Congress was "not prepared" to fix anything, including the subsidies. Alexander has downplayed the need for a fix, saying that 5 million people losing insurance might not be that big of a deal, and Hatch has already passed the buck to President Obama, laying out the strategy for blaming the administration for not coming up with a fix.
That's momentum? There is no Republican plan. If there ever is a Republican plan, it's not going to pass the gauntlet of the House crazies, and this time Nancy Pelosi won't bail them out.