Last year, Republican campaigned on a promise to repeal all of President Obama’s health reform law, the Affordable Care Act. Realizing that many of the well-publicized provisions are wildly popular, like ending discrimination of so-called preexisting diseases, GOP leaders promised to “replace” the repealed bill with a solution of their own. However, after voting to repeal the entire bill, GOP lawmakers have done nothing to advance an alternative.
Freshman Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) promised during his campaign that he would only repeal health reform after finding a solution to replace it. However, he told a town hall meeting in his district this week that GOP leaders had convinced him to vote for repeal first, ensuring him that a replacement would be on its way. GOP leaders, Duffy said, told him that a replacement bill would be ready by the Spring. The fact that nothing has been proposed or debated all year has Duffy “very concerned”:
DUFFY: I believe, if we’re going to repeal the president’s health care plan, we should replace it. I still believe that. [...] As I dealt with the leadership, that was a concern of mine. And I got a commitment from leadership that we were going to come up with a replacement. And they told me we were going to do it in the Spring. In the Spring we haven’t come out with our replacement proposal and that has me very concerned. Because that what was we had talked about before we had the vote, “repeal and replace.”
Watch it (video courtesy of Americans United for Change):
Duffy’s frustration is understandable. As Jared Bernstein has noted in March, Republicans still had not brought up a bill outline or even begun the steps in the relevant committees to propose a comprehensive health bill. Moreover, the “alternative” offered by the GOP last year did nothing to cover tens of millions of uninsured and rein in widespread industry abuses. In fact, the GOP’s bill increased the number of uninsured.