Republican Healthcare Plan and Obamacare Replacement
Conservatives dispute Ryan’s ‘binary choice’ on Obamacare
Offer alternative they contend already has passed Senate muster
Ryan contends there are certain provisions of Obamacare that can’t be repealed in his bill because of the Senate’s “Byrd Rule,” which stipulates that if a measure doesn’t impact federal finances, it can’t be struck from the bill unless a waiver is passed with a 60-vote supermajority. Republicans have only a 52-48 majority in the Senate.
But members of the House Freedom Caucus, along with senators such as Rand Paul, R-Ky.; and Mike Lee, R-Utah; argue the bill that passed Congress in 2015 through the reconciliation process and was vetoed by President Obama already has proved it can do the job of repealing Obamacare.
Earlier Tuesday, Ryan used his weekly press briefing to make a case for the GOP leadership’s bill,
The Freedom Caucus and its allies, however, believe there is a third way. They contend the leadership’s bill creates a new entitlement program through tax credits, and they oppose its expansion of Medicaid and its 30 percent premium penalty for those who choose to drop their insurance coverage for at least two months and want it reinstated.
Ryan said the second prong of the leadership’s plan would be to repeal Obamacare regulations via executive order, followed by passing legislation that would accomplish aims such as allowing people to purchase insurance across state lines.
“There are folks,” he continued, “who would love to see us put in this reconciliation bill all these other ideas,” but the measures would be filibustered because of Senate rules.
Lee’s spokesman, Carroll, reacted.
“I think it’s pretty funny that Paul Ryan is trying to tell us what the Senate rules are,” he told WND.
“When they passed the 2015 bill, they said they couldn’t get rid of the Medicaid expansion because of the Senate rules, and they were wrong,” he pointed out.
Ryan and his leadership are “in the House,” Carroll said, “and they should stick to the House rules, and they should leave what is doable in the Senate to us.”
Carroll said Lee met with Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price Wednesday morning and had dinner with Vice President Pence that evening to discuss his differences with the leadership’s plan.
“Price seemed receptive to the changes that Senator Lee brought forward, but we’ll see if those are at all incorporated,” Carroll said.
Asked the senator’s response to the warning to House Republicans Tuesday from President Trump, who has endorsed the Ryan plan, that they would suffer an electoral “bloodbath” if they didn’t repeal and replace Obamacare, Carroll replied: “All the more reason we need to pass the 2015 repeal bill.”