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Interesting development – via The Hill:
House conservatives will press their leaders this week to move on an ObamaCare replacement bill before the August recess.
But it’s unclear if there are enough votes to pass it.
According to several GOP lawmakers, members of the conservative-leaning Republican Study Committee (RSC) plan to wear lapel pins to the weekly conference meeting that state, “HR 3121, There’s a Better Way” as a sign of support for moving a bill that is co-sponsored by 130 House Republicans.
Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) the lead sponsor of H.R. 3121, the “American Health Care Reform Act of 2013,” told The Hill that RSC members will “all wear little pins to conference [this] week … to push our leadership to bring this bill up or [another] bill up.”
The Tennessee doctor said the GOP has two months to move an alternative to the House floor before lawmakers head back to their districts for the month-long recess. Roe noted that several alternatives have been offered by his colleagues, including fellow physician Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.).
House GOP members agree on about 80 percent of what should be in a repeal-and-replace bill, Roe said, adding there has been some disagreement on tax provisions.
The Roe measure, strongly backed by RSC Chairman Rep. Steve Scalise (La.), would fully repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with an expansion of health savings accounts, medical liability reform and the elimination of restrictions on purchasing insurance across state lines.
But time is of the essence.
Some Republicans are wary of tackling such a controversial issue so close to the election. They also point out that offering a bill would give Democrats political ammunition that could be used in campaign ads this fall.
Proponents of an ObamaCare replacement measure counter that President Obama has repeatedly mocked Republican leaders for not keeping their promise to come up with an alternative.
Whatever Republicans put forward, Democrats won’t support it. That means GOP leaders will have to keep defections under 20 in order to get 218 votes. That won’t be easy.
The article goes on to note that there are some Republicans in the House who are not on board with a replacement bill of any kind and who only want to repeal Obamacare entirely, while there are others who believe any attempt to repeal at this point would be futile since many of the bill’s components are already in effect.
Whatever the case may be, even if the House does pass repeal and replace legislation before they recess in July it will be DOA in the US Senate where wacko bird Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would be sure to put the brakes on it rapid fire. So passage of any such bill on the House side would have to be considered largely symbolic – but perhaps necessary nevertheless for those Republicans in key House districts across the country whose citizens and respective economies have been hit particularly hard by the passage and implementation of the so-called “Affordable Care Act.”