Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"Replace"

Congress is out, so it's time for another installment of my periodic updates on the GOP progress on "repeal and replace," their plan for health care reform. Guess what? 100 plus days into the 112th House, still no "replace" on the horizon.

Ways and Means still hasn't held any hearings on "replace." The Health Subcommittee of Energy and Commerce did hold a hearing on H.R. 5, which is about liability...Republicans certainly argue that passing that legislation would reduce health care costs, but can't possibly argue that it would accomplish other ACA goals that they have promised to reach with their replacement, such as pre-existing conditions (in my view, they're wrong about the effects of liability reform, but that's another question entirely). The Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee held a hearing on the temporary high-risk pools in ACA, but it was apparently about oversight of the existing program, not about any GOP plan to use high-risk pools as a long-term solution, or an alternative if they no longer support that. Nothing new over at Ed & Labor the Workforce.

Most notably, as I mentioned earlier, the Ryan budget contains repeal (except for the Medicare cuts that Republicans ran against last year), but nothing at all about replace.

Of course, since the last update the Republicans have found time to vote for repeal for the third time, and a fourth if you count the FY 2012 budget (they've had repeal as a stand-alone back in January, as defunding ACA in H.R. 1, and now as a separate vote accompanying the FY 2011 CR). Haven't found time to do anything about replace, though.

Republicans are still pretending (see e.g. this press release from John Kline) that their agenda is repeal and replace. To be fair, it's not as if they're actually getting repeal, no matter how many times it passes the House. Still, we're almost three months along, and the pledge to work hard on a repeal bill appears to be entirely phony.

3 comments:

  1. We have years to work on the replacement, nut need to stop the damage now.

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  2. @John D. Froelich---I'm not sure what your point is. Could you clarify?

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  3. I think he's saying that he believes the GOP won't have a replacement plan for years. That sounds about right to me as well. Whether or not you consider that acceptable depends on whether you consider government responsible for the safety of its citizens.

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