January 27 2017
One News Now
featuring Hadley Heath
Republican senators are touting competing bills that replace ObamaCare, and a healthcare analyst is praising the competition.
"I think it's always a good thing to have all the ideas out there and to have that debate and to have that exchange," says Hadley Heath Manning, who analyzes health policy at the Independent Women's Forum.
Critics of ObamaCare have said for few years that GOP lawmakers should scrap ObamaCare then come forward with a replacement plan. If they fail to do so, the argument went, then lawmakers risk never creating a replacement plan because politicians will argue over details in the plans.
Led by the now-former Democratic president, Democrats have been mocking Republicans for years, claiming they are criticizing ObamaCare but have failed to present a competing bill.
"Pelosi slams GOP 'cowardice' on Obamacare repeal with no replacement," reads the Jan. 2 headline from left-wing news website Huffington Post.
But the new complaint is that there are several competing plans and no agreement over which one will win out in coming days. "Republicans have plans to replace Obamacare – now they need to agree on one," left-wing NPR reported in a Jan. 26 story.
"Today's 'they have no plan!' is tomorrow's 'that plan is extremist!'" writes The Federalist senior editor Daniel Harsanyi in a story about the GOP plans.
To date, several Republican senators have introduced different ideas for replacing the ACA. These include one plan from Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Susan Collins (R-Maine). More recently, Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) introduced his own replacement plan.
Manning points out that GOP lawmakers were expected to "bang out" details during their retreat in Philadelphia.
"It's important for us to keep in mind that the Affordable Care Act was a messy process and Democrats did not all agree on what the ACA should say," Manning points out. "In fact, House Democrats had a whole set of changes that they wanted to make and ultimately had to make through the reconciliation process, the one that Republicans have considered using for parts of the ACA."
Manning says it's important that congressional Republicans in Congress avoid making promises about what the replacement is going to look like and what it will accomplish, which were the promises made by Democrats that failed to materialize.