Boehner: Republicans will offer Obamacare alternative this year

Amid conservative complaints that Republicans are retreating on Obamacare repeal, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) told reporters on Thursday that House Republicans would reveal their healthcare plan this year.

“It’s one of the big issues for conversation in terms of our agenda for this year, and I think you’ll see Republicans come forward with a plan to replace ObamaCare,” said Boehner, according to The Hill, adding that the proposal would “actually reduce costs for the American people and make health insurance more accessible.”

Republicans have been criticized by President Barack Obama and Democrats for not proposing alternatives to Obamacare. Despite those criticism, several Republican members and the conservative Republican Study Committee have offered proposals which would repeal and replace Obamacare. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) is reportedly working on his own set of healthcare reforms.

Boehner’s comments came the same day Erick Erickson, editor of RedState.com, accused Republicans of “laying the groundwork to abandon their opposition to Obamacare” because of pressure from outside influences, referring to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Republican Main Street Partnership.

“They are laying the groundwork to bail on fighting Obamacare. We’ve seen this coming for two years. They have fundraised again and again on opposing Obamacare,” wrote Erickson. “They have had multiple symbolic votes against Obamacare, but each time a meaningful vote has come up, they punt.”

Boehner, however, told reporters that Republicans recognize the need to communicate their message to voters before the 2014 mid-term election, including, he said, “getting rid of ObamaCare and replacing it with a patient-centered healthcare system.”

In an interview earlier this month, Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), vice chairman of the House Budget Committee, told United Liberty that House Republicans were likely to move on an Obamacare alternative in the first-quarter of the year.

“Leadership has said repeatedly to me and to others within our conference that they’re interested in having the conference come around a single plan,” said Price, who hasintroduced his own Obamacare replacement, the Empowering Patients First Act.

“So I think in the first quarter or shortly thereafter of this new year, we’ll see the House Republicans coalesce around a plan,” he added.


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