This week, House Republicans voted to repeal Obamacare and restore the health-care status quo. But what about replacing Obamacare with an alternative plan that does all of the wonderful stuff without any trade-offs, the one they’ve been promising since 2009? “Just wait,” a smiling Paul Ryan told reporters.
Today brings shocking news from Politico, which reports, “Senior House Republican aides and lawmakers say they do not plan to hold votes on many of the agenda items the party plans to unveil — such as a health care plan to replace Obamacare, or tax reform — because of a tight legislative calendar over the next few months and the reality that none of the bills would be signed by the president, anyway.”
A cynic would say this is all another bait and switch. Republicans in Congress have been promising to unify around their own health-care plan since 2009, but they have refused to do it, because then they would own the details of that plan and wouldn’t be able to posture for an idealized alternative plan that avoids any trade-offs.
But this argument about the calendar seems pretty legit. The House does have a tight legislative calendar this year. Ryan has to work around plans that include summer vacation, which will require the House to adjourn July 15 through September 6, and then adjourn again for autumn break from September 30 through the elections. No way you’re gonna write a health-care plan in that time.