In a move that will certainly upset all-or-nothing repeal advocate Rep. Steve King (R-IA), the Republican leadership in the House has finally introduced a 9-page “bill” (read: press release in legislative language) to repeal the health care law and replace it with the Republican alternative already defeated on the House floor in November.
The legislation lists 25 grievances Republicans have with the Democrats plan — including the fact that “the national unemployment rate remains near 10 percent — quotes studies by conservative groups like the Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) and regurgitates debunked smears about IRS agents, rationing, and the so-called marriage penalty.
Sponsors of the legislation concede that the bill is dead on arrival and King believes that the bill will undermine the entire GOP repeal effort:
Asked of the chances the measure would move through the House, Herger’s Democratic counterpart, Rep. Pete Stark (Calif.), responded, “Like a prayer in hell.” ….The chairman of the Ways and Means Health subcommittee admitted he hadn’t seen the GOP measure but added, “It’s probably lousy.” [...]
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said in an interview with The Hill that Republicans “should be for 100 percent repeal. The replacement component of it should be a separate question because it blurs the issue; once you tie a comprehensive replacement to a repeal bill, you’ve guaranteed it’s going to bog down and the American people that are sick of backroom deals are going to ask a whole lot of questions that we are going to have to answer.” King called ObamaCare a “malignant tumor that has metastasized as we speak.”
This is the third repeal bill introduced by the GOP, but the first to replace the law with different legislation. The GOP alternative would shift the costs and risks of insurance onto individuals and divide the insurance market into low-cost plans for the healthy and high-cost insurance for the sick. In fact, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the number of uninsured Americans would increase to 52 million by 2019, but deficits would decrease by $68 billion over the 2010–2019 period. The bill could slightly reduce premiums for Americans who purchase coverage independently.
Under the proposal, insurers would be allowed to sell policies from such regulatory heavy states like Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa and Jack Abramoff’s favorite client-the Northern Marianas. Millions of Americans would remain uninsured and continue to pay higher premiums. In fact it’s unlikely that any of the members of the Republican House Leadership would be able to find affordable insurance under their own proposal, should they chose to give up their government-sponsored plans.