A group of House conservatives introduced legislation Wednesday that members say will replace ObamaCare and its “unworkable” taxes and mandates with a plan that expands tax breaks for Americans who buy their own insurance.
The plan — which appears to be congressional Republicans’ first comprehensive alternative to President Obama’s health care overhaul — also increases government funding for high-risk pools. The plan serves as a rebuttal to Obama’s claims that Republicans just want to eliminate the health law and are no longer interested in replacing it. And it comes as House Republicans, on a different track, prepare to vote on a budget bill that would also de-fund the existing health care law. Democrats have vowed to oppose that bill, warning the strategy risks a government shutdown, with funding set to expire by Oct. 1.
Roughly 75 percent of rank-and-file House Republicans are on the study committee, and the new legislation is being formally presented at a time when leaders of the GOP-led chamber have yet to advance any comprehensive alternative to ObamaCare.
Lawmakers have voted more than 40 times on repealing part or all of the 2010 law, despite Republicans vowing over the past three years to “repeal and replace” the existing law.
“We can lower health care costs and fix real problems without a government-run system that puts unelected Washington bureaucrats between you and your doctor,” said Louisiana Republican Rep. Steve Scalise, the committee chairman.
Scalise also said the group wants an alternative that lowers health care costs and increases access and is going to push for a full House vote, which would call for a full repeal of ObamaCare that Republicans have opposed from the start.
House Speaker John Boehner said on Wednesday that chamber Republicans will pass a budget bill this week that withholds funding for ObamaCare.