GOP Moves to Draft ACA Replacement
Last Friday, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced that a trio of Republican committee chairmen will immediately get to work on drafting the party’s Affordable Care Act replacement plan. McCarthy announced the formation of the working group one day after House leaders scheduled a vote this week to fully repeal the 2010 healthcare reform law, marking the first such effort of the Republican-controlled Congress. The group, which includes Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), is also tasked with developing a “contingency plan” to prepare for a looming Supreme Court decision in King v. Burwell that could undo ACA subsidies in 34 states.
HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell has repeatedly said she remains confident that the Supreme Court will uphold the subsidies. When asked about how the Obama Administration is preparing states for the worst-case scenario, Burwell has declined to offer specifics. Aides say the King v. Burwell case was a major discussion point during the Republican retreat in Hershey, Pennsylvania, earlier this month. In addition to Ryan, the two other chairmen involved in developing the GOP healthcare alternative will be Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), and Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MI). The Republican Study Committee is also working on an ACA replacement plan.