Are Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan Working on an Obamacare Alternative?

They’re keeping mum for now.

Caption:WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 10: U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) speaks at Google's office while delivering a speech to the Jack Kemp Foundation March 10, 2014 in Washington, DC. Rubio discussed Ã’new policies to unleash American innovation and create well paying, middle class jobs during his address as part of the Kemp Forum on economic growth.
National Journal
Emma Roller
Add to Briefcase
Emma Roller
April 10, 2014, 5:14 a.m.

Sen. Marco Ru­bio and Rep. Paul Ry­an may be de­vel­op­ing an al­tern­at­ive to the Af­ford­able Care Act, ac­cord­ing to the Wash­ing­ton Ex­am­iner.

Ru­bio and Ry­an are keep­ing mum on the sup­posed plan for now. But in polit­ics, syn­tax is everything. “I don’t have any­thing to an­nounce today,” Ru­bio told the Ex­am­iner.

House Re­pub­lic­ans have voted 55 times to re­peal Obama­care, but have not yet put for­ward a com­pre­hens­ive re­place­ment plan of their own. If Ru­bio and Ry­an — who have both been mulling pres­id­en­tial runs — could put forth such a plan, and if it passed, they would be­come folk her­oes for their party. That said, any sort of re­place­ment is un­likely to hap­pen un­til 2017 — un­less Pres­id­ent Obama de­cides to re­peal the sig­na­ture law of his pres­id­ency.

Re­pub­lic­ans have ban­died about Obama­care al­tern­at­ives, and they are now tak­ing those ideas to the streets. This month, House Re­pub­lic­ans will test out Obama­care al­tern­at­ives in town-hall meet­ings after the House re­cesses on Thursday. Some al­tern­at­ive pro­pos­als have in­cluded ex­pand­ing health sav­ings ac­counts, al­low­ing small busi­nesses to pool to­geth­er when pur­chas­ing health care plans, and giv­ing more gov­ern­ment as­sist­ance to “high-risk” pa­tients.

But a hard truth for Obama­care op­pon­ents is that, the more en­trenched the cur­rent law be­comes, the harder it will be to re­peal.

“If you want to say the fur­ther and fur­ther this gets down the road, the harder and harder it gets to re­peal, that’s ab­so­lutely true,” an an­onym­ous GOP health aide told Talk­ing Points Memo on Tues­day. “As far as re­peal and re­place goes, the prob­lem with re­place is that if you really want people to have these new be­ne­fits, it looks a hell of a lot like the Af­ford­able Care Act.”

What We're Following See More »
Bill Murray Crashes White House Briefing Room
6 hours ago

In town to receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center, Bill Murray casually strolled into the White House Briefing Room this afternoon. A spokesman said he was at the executive mansion for a chat with President Obama, his fellow Chicagoan.

CFPB Decision May Reverberate to Other Agencies
9 hours ago

"A federal appeals court's decision that declared the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau an arm of the White House relies on a novel interpretation of the constitution's separation of powers clause that could have broader effects on how other regulators" like the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Morning Consult Poll: Clinton Decisively Won Debate
10 hours ago

"According to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, the first national post-debate survey, 43 percent of registered voters said the Democratic candidate won, compared with 26 percent who opted for the Republican Party’s standard bearer. Her 6-point lead over Trump among likely voters is unchanged from our previous survey: Clinton still leads Trump 42 percent to 36 percent in the race for the White House, with Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson taking 9 percent of the vote."

Twitter Bots Dominated First Debate
11 hours ago

Twitter bots, "automated social media accounts that interact with other users," accounted for a large part of the online discussion during the first presidential debate. Bots made up 22 percent of conversation about Hillary Clinton on the social media platform, and a whopping one third of Twitter conversation about Donald Trump.

Center for Public Integrity to Spin Off Journalism Arm
11 hours ago

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the nonprofit that published the Panama Papers earlier this year, is being spun off from its parent organization, the Center for Public Integrity. According to a statement, "CPI’s Board of Directors has decided that enabling the ICIJ to chart its own course will help both journalistic teams build on the massive impact they have had as one organization."


Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.