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Looks like the GOP Obamacare plan is dead

Some Republicans say the party errred by not offering an alternative to the Affordable Care Act.

By Money Staff May 16, 2014 12:58PM

This post comes from Brianna Ehley at partner site The Fiscal Times.

The Fiscal Times on MSN MoneyJust a few months ago, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor(R-VA) said Republicans were closing in on their own Obamacare alternative.

US Capitol © Donovan Reese/Getty ImagesBut now that some 8 million people have signed up for coverage under the law's new exchanges and millions more gain coverage through Medicaid expansion, the GOP seems to be quietly backing away from their own plan -- at least until after the midterm elections.

For perhaps the first time in months, House Republicans have no scheduled votes or hearings on the president’s health care law, and Cantor has yet to commit to unveiling a GOP plan before August recess, as The Hill noted, signaling a shift in the GOP's Obamacare strategy ahead of November.

Some Republicans have even suggested that their party doesn't have a plan at all.  Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL) told constituents in a video by ThinkProgress, "We’ve gone so far in the last few years saying 'No’' that we don't have an alternative to say 'Yes' to.

"I think one of the most unfortunate things my party did the last three years was not offer an alternative to health care ... I wish we had an alternative," Ross said. "For the next six months, we're going to go into an election, knowing that we're not going to do anything to address health care."

Some Republicans say the law is here to stay -- beyond the midterm elections even if they take control of the Senate.

"The chance of repealing Obamacare is zero," Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) said at a Rotary Club in his district on Tuesday, according to The Daily Home.

Though several polls show the public favors fixing the law over getting rid of it, a new survey by McLaughlin & Associates found that 48 percent of voters said they were more likely to vote for a Republican who would repeal and replace Obamacare if the candidate also proposed a new plan of their own. The survey found that in a hypothetical race that a Republican running on the "repeal and replace" strategy (with an alternative plan) would beat a Democrat running on a “retain but fix” strategy by 47 to 43 percent.

Republican aides on the Hill say they don't expect much movement until after the midterm elections. Congress is only in session for 35 more days until August recess.

Still, Republican strategists suggest that GOP candidates should continue campaigning against Obamacare -- attacking it as much as possible, since the public continues to have a largely unpopular view of the law. Pew recently reported that a record high of 55 percent of Americans view Obamacare unfavorably.

GOP strategist, John Freehery, president of Quinn Gillespie Communications and a former spokesman for then-Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) called the president’s health care law "the gift that keeps giving for the GOP."

"They should do everything they can to talk about the flaws in the law specifically," Freehery said. "Keep the focus on Obamacare."

Meanwhile, vulnerable Senate Democrats running on the "keep and fix" mantra including Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) have proposed legislation they say would improve the law. Senate leadership, however, has not signaled whether the upper chamber will take up any of the fix-it in the near future, suggesting that they will also likely be put on hold until after the midterms.

More from The Fiscal Times

May 16, 2014 1:38PM
Has anyone noticed, even the Constitution has been amended, so lets concentrate on fixing what we've got.  It would be nice to have a working bi-partisan group take on the challenge.  We need more independent thinkers, not party puppets!
May 16, 2014 2:08PM

Repeal? Lets kill Medicare not fix it. Lets kill Medicaid not fix it. Lets kill ACA not fix it. Lets have no medical care at all. Lets save 18% of the national budget. Lets pay more cost over runs for defense contracts. Lets cut more from the veterans. Lets increase food stamps more to have Wal Mart be profitable. Used to be give and take and compromise with our elected officials however now they collect big salaries, big expense accounts, huff and puff and bull crap all of us. Just think, we blog about everything, we name call, we forget who we are and what made us so great. It's all colors, all religions, all backgrounds however that is used to be, it is not anymore. Maybe it is good I am older and won't be around much longer.

May 16, 2014 3:27PM
It's amazing how really uninformed or just plain party line indoctrinated the American people are.

Stop voting for a party and start voting for a statesman instead of a politician..

Term limits might also help.
May 16, 2014 2:48PM

Universal coverage option. For profit insurance middlemen are completely unncessary. Other than to make the rates higher for some profit for wealthy owners and executives of the company. At the expense of the people taking it on both ends.


Other nations have figured this one out.  We as a nation are just to flat out stupid.


May 16, 2014 1:24PM
It seems that ACA was mostly ideas from heritage foundation, so kind of hard to have another plan, when policy that was GOP plan.
May 16, 2014 1:22PM
T-bagging flamers incoming in 3......2......1.......  When will people realize saying NO isn't a plan, and isn't going to fix anything.  Obamacare wasn't the best way to handle healthcare, I wish the republicans would have come up with something besides the ANTI-Obama mentality.  YAY politics!
May 16, 2014 3:29PM
44 million uninsured americans and it cost the government 394 million to build a website...maybe the goverment should have just paid their premiums for them
May 16, 2014 1:36PM
This is the biggest lie of all. Every alternative to Obamacare is vetoed or not even allowed to hit the floor for a vote.
May 16, 2014 3:31PM

The GOP never had an alternative to Obamacare, because they are being paid handsomely by the health care industry to simply shout down any attempts at health care reform. Our health care system , the most expensive in the world, is based on a few companies becoming obscenely rich while bankrupting millions, and they don't want the gravy train to stop, even though health care costs are destroying our economy. Our country currently pays the highest percentage of our gross domestic product (GDP) on health care of any country in the world.

This goes back to the early 1990s, when the Clinton administration tried to enact reform, only to have the Republican party smear any attempts to fix our abysmal health care. Talk of "death panels" and "socialized medicine" doomed any chance to fix our broken system when it might have made a difference in people's lives, and the Republican party cheered our loss. The result today is  health care that is deeply and fundamentally worse now than it was 20 years ago, and Republicans can rightly take credit for the soaring rise in medical bankruptcy, the fastest rising form of bankruptcy in our country today.

So the next time you have to go to the hospital and your life savings are wiped out in 5 minutes, thank the Republican party, and don't blame the one party that actually tried to help middle class Americans. You can say what you want about Obamacare, but at least the Democrats tried to help. What have the Republicans done, other than destroy all attempts to fix our system?


The failure of the Republican party to introduce ANY type of reform of a system THEY THEMSELVES admit is badly broken is a tacit acknowledgement of their hypocrisy, and the clearest indication yet that they care not one bit about people, only corporations and money.

May 16, 2014 1:30PM
The first big question that hasn't been answered is "How many of the 8M have actually paid their first premium? The second big question is "Will the Obamacare dependents keep on paying their monthly premiums?"
May 16, 2014 1:46PM
Republican's disrespectful and shameful one term agenda has given this great nation nothing but unwarranted waste of our time and resources.  You name it, from health care to ANY other topic, their HISTORIC partisanship has shamed our credibility as a super power. it simply did not have to be this way had they played the game with honor instead of phony theatrics. 
May 16, 2014 3:08PM
If I were a republican legislator I wouldn't touch this piece of legislation with a 10 foot pole.  The democrats own it lock stock and barrel.  We will see in November what the voters think of it.
May 16, 2014 2:51PM

The Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare is not now nor has ever been about health care.  It is health insurance.  It is specifically  health insurance some people get that other people pay for.  And, with deductibles ranging from $2500.00 to $10,00.00 it is health insurance that very few will benefit from.

Please try if you can to read this without a party slant. If someone is paying $80.00 a month for a $250.00 premium that means someone else is paying an additional $170.00. So for someone who doesn't get a subsidy they are paying $420.00 a month for a $250.00 policy. Please explain to me how that is right.

Also, if those premiums are the only monthly bill either person can afford, they cannot go to the doctor because they cannot afford to pay 100% of the cost until they reach the deductible.

The Robin Hood philosophy may work in 1960s movies but not in 2000 politics.

Now going to back to party politics during the alleged budget talks before Obama's government shutdown, who was the only person who said, "I will not negotiate!"?

May 16, 2014 1:41PM
the GOP did not have a chance ,  when the ACA was voted on ,  the DEM,s  controlled , the white house, the senate, congress
May 16, 2014 2:01PM

The GOP showed their plan back in 2013, it kept everything except the mandate, the one part of the plan that spreads the cost and slows growing premiums. The funny thing is that most Republicans favored a public mandate including,

The Heritage Foundation

Mitt Romney

Newt Gingrich

John McCain

Tommy Thompson

Chuck Grassley

Bob Bennett

Orin Hatch and Jim Demint, just to name a few.

May 16, 2014 1:48PM
They have had a plan.  HR 2300 has been sitting on Reid's desk for some time now.  It just collects dust as it gets ignored by the Senate.
May 16, 2014 1:53PM

This is classic change for the sake of change mentality, using smoke and mirrors.


There was no alterative offered, because the system wasnt broken.


Don't kid yourself Democrats...Obamacare is not popular.




May 16, 2014 1:18PM
What plan?  Democrats won this simply because the Republicans could not (or would not) offer a unified alternative.
May 16, 2014 2:25PM
i am always amazed that the majority of people haven't figured out that the reason we are limited to the 2 party system is so the owners of our country can control the puppets who get nominated.

my evidence of this is that people argue dem vs rep but no matter who wins ,the approval rating of those elected is around 10%..........this is the capitalist military machine that keeps you working for the owners until you die...........that's why they remain the owners of we the people

May 16, 2014 4:04PM
Boy MSN comes up with a new bag of ****E EVERY DAY.
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