Ryan: GOP must have O-Care ‘contingency plan’

Ryan: GOP must have O-Care ‘contingency plan’
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House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul RyanPaul RyanThe Hill Interview: Budget Chair Black sticks around for now Gun proposal picks up GOP support GOP lawmaker Tim Murphy to retire at end of term MORE (R-Wis.) said Friday that one of his top priorities of 2015 would be preparing a Republican backup plan to use if the Supreme Court strikes down part of ObamaCare.

“We have to have a contingency plan,” Ryan told reporters Friday in his first briefing of the new Congress.

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The King v. Burwell case, which will likely be decided this spring, threatens to erase ObamaCare subsidies for three-quarters of states. Both parties have acknowledged that the high-stakes case could force a rewrite of the Affordable Care Act.

“We think we need to have an option, a plan, for these states that might find themselves in this difficult position,” Ryan said.

As Republicans cheer the lawsuit as the quickest path to undoing ObamaCare, the party is also facing intense pressure to create a plan B for people to keep their healthcare without billions of dollars in ObamaCare subsidies.

Ryan stressed that Republicans would not simply tweak the law and said there would be no chance lawmakers would consider rewriting the ObamaCare language being challenged.

“The idea is not to make ObamaCare work better or to actually authorize ObamaCare,” he said.

With just four months until the case is decided, Paul provided no specifics or timeline for the work. He added that a number of committee chairman are working on the plan, which must work around “a number of unknowns” about the case.

“We don’t know exactly how the ruling would come down,” he said.

The Wisconsin Republican is also one of three House chairmen charged with drafting a full replacement plan for ObamaCare – another sticking point for the GOP as the party continues its attempts to fully repeal the healthcare law.

That plan would come “later on,” Paul said, without providing a specific timeline. “Right now, we’ve got a court ruling coming up this year that needs to be addressed.”

This story was updated at 3:11 p.m.