Exactly three months ago today, House Republicans promised that they would follow up on their vow to repeal the Affordable Care Act by offering their own solutions to replace it. In a USA Today Op ed on January 20th, they promised to hold hearings, draft legislation, and promote specific remedies to the health care problems they agreed need to be addressed.
We’re still waiting.
The January Op ed came right after the House vote to repeal Obama’s health reform law, and in it, Republicans pledged that repeal was only the opening move in a repeal-and-replace agenda:
Repeal is the first, not the last step. Compassionate, innovative and job-creating health care reform is what’s next.
Dave Camp, John Kline, Paul Ryan, Lamar Smith, and Fred Upton wrote: “Replacing this law is a policy and a moral imperative.” And yet three months later, it’s unclear what, if anything, they’ve done to follow up on this moral imperative. Indeed, their 2012 budget passed last week included “repeal” but nothing at all about “replace.”
Granted, the House Republican budget doesn’t ignore health care. It would make dramatic changes to Medicare in the long-term (while flip-flopping on health reform’s Medicare Advantage cuts that Republicans campaigned on last year). But that does nothing at all to fulfill the specific GOP pledges of “prioritizing affordability, improving transparency, and creating a true, functioning marketplace for health insurance.” Nor does it do anything about pre-existing conditions or “promoting healthier lifestyles.”
And yet Republicans promised to come up with specific ideas to do all these things as part of their vow to repeal and replace. That’s what they ran on in 2010 — not on slashing Medicaid and turning Medicare into a voucher program.
Hey, reporters! Isn’t it time to press Republican leaders what happened to “replace”?