For six years, Republicans have promised to repeal Obamacare.
And Donald Trump won the election, in part, on his promise to repeal the law.
But something Paul Ryan is doing is helping to keep Obamacare in place.
So far, Republicans have taken little action on repealing Obamacare.
Trump has exercised his authority to gut the law by signing an executive order instructing agencies not to enforce the mandate, penalties, and taxes where they can.
But fully repealing Obamacare will require Congressional action.
And Congress has so far punted.
Speaker Paul Ryan drives the agenda in the House and the inaction largely falls at his feet.
Congressional Republicans have refused to rally around a conservative approach to repealing the law.
Some want to leave the Medicaid expansion in place.
Others want to punt on repealing the Obamacare taxes until they can find a replacement.
But conservatives in the House are increasingly fed up with the leadership’s inaction.
They are putting their foot down and planning to move ahead on repealing Obamacare in response to the glacial pace of action on this issue.
“House conservatives — anxious that the GOP’s effort to end Obamacare is getting bogged down in the fight over what a replacement should look like — are plotting a major push to repeal the law immediately without simultaneously approving an alternative.
The House Freedom Caucus and a number of Republican Study Committee members this week will urge Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and his lieutenants to forego their plan to add replacement provisions to a repeal bill, dubbed “repeal-plus.” Instead, they want to approve the same standalone repeal bill that Congress sent to President Barack Obama in 2016.
“Instead of continuing to spin our wheels, we need a starting place,” said Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker (R-N.C.) in a brief interview Monday evening. “What the Senate passed in October 2015 is the best starting place… Let’s get that on that on the books, then we can move quickly after that to put in replacement components.”
The stand by several dozen hardliners comes as House GOP leaders were planning to outline the main planks of a replacement blueprint at a series of informational sessions with rank and file member Tuesday and Thursday. The position is at odds with GOP leadership’s latest strategy to load up a spring repeal bill — which could pass both chambers on party lines using a tool called reconciliation — with as many replacement provisions as possible.”
Many conservatives view this lack of action as a complete betrayal, deliberately orchestrated by Speaker Ryan and leadership in the Senate.
In fact, some establishment Senators adamantly oppose the Freedom Caucus’s idea to immediately repeal Obamacare, which they claim would force negotiations on the replacement to take place on more favorable terms for Republicans.
Politico also reports:
“Many Senate Republicans are likely to throw cold water on the idea. Senate Health Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Lamar Alexander, one of the top Republicans writing the repeal bill, said no one in that chamber has even floated that as an option.
“If we just passed what we did in 2015? Nobody is seriously proposing that because it doesn’t have any replacement,” the Tennessee Republican said.”
Conservatives argue that Ryan’s plan to pass a repeal bill that contains some elements of the replacement will only prolong the debate over Obamacare, since there is a lack of consensus on what the replacement will look like.
But Ryan could end this debate by simply passing the Obamacare repeal legislation the House and Senate sent to Obama’s desk in 2015.
The fact that he has not done so leads many to question his sincerity on repealing Obamacare.