Boehner calls for necessity of alternative to Affordable Care Act

Jeffrey H. Anderson --- The Weekly Standard 

Wednesday evening’s Fox News Special Report featured the following exchange between Bret Baier and House Speaker John Boehner:

Baier: “You know, Scott Pelley, with CBS, asked you and Senator McConnell about a Republican alternative to Obamacare.  You said you didn’t have one.  Will you by the end of this Congress?”

Boehner: “There are three committee chairmen that have the jurisdiction over the health care policy in our country.  And those three chairmen are working together to craft what we believe would be a better approach with regard to health care for the American people than Obamacare.”

Baier: “So there will be one alternative?”

Boehner: “There — there will be an — there will be an alternative, and you’ll get to see it.”

This is welcome news.  However, we won’t have to wait until the end of this Congress to test Republicans’ seriousness — for the true test will be whether they’ll prepare an alternative in time for the Supreme Court’s ruling in King v. Burwell.  If the Supreme Court rules that President Obama has been lawlessly paying out subsidies in the 36 states with federal exchanges (at taxpayer expense), Republicans will either be ready with a GOP alternative that would effectively repeal and replace Obamacare in those 36 states (and in any of the other 14 that want to jump ship), or else they will start expanding Obamacare at the state level while negotiating “fixes” to it at the federal level.

The former scenario (effective repeal and replace) is an inviting one; the latter (expanded and “fixed” Obamacare) would be a disaster.

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