Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) struggled to articulate a credible GOP alternative to the Affordable Care Act during an appearance on Fox News Monday morning, promising only to replace President Obama’s health care reform with “legislation that does give people more opportunities” and “better ideas.”
But pressed by host Bill Hemmer about how Obamacare would “change” should Republicans reclaim the Senate majority after the midterm elections, Portman could only offer a critique of the existing law. He argued that reform does not cover enough Americans or allow people to keep their existing health care plans. “I personally think it is a failed model. We have to put in place better policies that allow people to keep what they have and allow people to get coverage who can’t afford it.”
Asked again, how the GOP would go about changing the existing law or which provisions it would keep in place, Portman mostly demurred, highlighting “wellness” provisions and expanding health savings accounts. Watch the exchange:
Earlier this month, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) admitted that Republicans would not be able to preserve the most popular elements of Obamacare if they repeal the law as a whole.
“If you look at these kinds of reforms, where they’ve been tried before — say the state of Kentucky, for example — you basically make it impossible to underwrite insurance,” Ryan told Bloomberg’s Al Hunt when asked if Republicans would maintain the pre-existing conditions regulations, dependent coverage extension, and other rate requirements. “You dramatically crank up the cost. And you make it hard for people to get affordable health care,” Ryan insisted.
House Republican leadership has pledged to unveil a unified replacement plan for Obamacare but has yet to release any details about the proposal.