Politico: Health care reform: GOP recipe for 'replace' still murkyJuly 3rd
Ask virtually any Republican what their party's goal is after last week’s Supreme Courtruling and they’ll say it in unison: Repeal “Obamacare.”
But when it comes to replacing the law with something else, the answers are all over the place. The idea of purchasing health insurance across state lines is still hot. Tort reform always comes up. Some say the private insurance market will keep the law’s popular provisions in place, leaving no need for federal intervention. Others have said they’d like to keep parts of the law in place.
The reality is, Republicans don’t yet have a clear vision of exactly what health reform would look like in an all-GOP Washington. While they are banking that the pledge to “repeal and replace” the health care law will help Republicans sweep in November, details on the “replace” part of the equation remain as murky as ever.
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House Republicans plan to vote on full repeal of the law on July 11, but that amounts to a largely symbolic vote, since it will stall in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
It’s a tricky line Republicans now have to walk. According to a new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation, Americans are still evenly split on their support for the Supreme Court decision, and the ruling has certainly revved up the Republican base. But more than half of independent voters say Congress should stop efforts to block the law and move on to other issues.
“We can’t just have repeal votes and not be talking about strategies for when we’re able to get rid of the law,” said Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas), a physician.“The distrust of Congress is so intense right now, we need to try and fix things that need to be fixed.”
All of the top Republicans, from presumptive presidential candidate Mitt Romney to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to House Speaker John Boehner, have talked up reforms to protect the most popular pieces of the law and smaller changes to the health care system to bring down the cost of care.