Obama rebukes GOP for lack of healthcare plan

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Five years after the passage of his signature healthcare law, President Obama took a jab at the Republican Party for still lacking its own plan to replace it.

“We have been promised a lot of things these past five years that didn’t turn out to be the case,” Obama said at a White House event marking the healthcare law’s progress. “Death panels. Doom. A serious alternative from Republicans in Congress.”

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Obama’s scolding of the GOP’s healthcare politics came just minutes after he endorsed a Medicare deal that has been led by Speaker John BoehnerJohn Boehner3 ways the next president can succeed on immigration reform Republican Study Committee elders back Harris for chairman Dems to GOP: Help us fix ObamaCare MORE (R-Ohio) — who is also a sworn foe of ObamaCare.  

He also joked that ObamaCare could not have happened without the help of Republicans. He said his law was influenced by healthcare reform plans from “a guy named Mitt Romney” and the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation.

“The Affordable Care Act was their plan before I adopted it,” Obama said. “If they want to take credit for this law, they can. I’m happy to share it.”

Obama has consistently chided congressional Republicans for voting more than 50 times to repeal pieces of his healthcare law without offering a full replacement plan. Republicans argue that they have introduced several frameworks for healthcare reform.

The GOP push for an ObamaCare "plan B" has intensified in the wake of a Supreme Court case that threatens to gut the healthcare law this spring. A half-dozen plans are now underway from senior Republicans including House Ways and Means Committee Chairmen Paul RyanPaul RyanOvernight Finance: Senate, House strike deal on Flint | Shutdown averted | Yellen defends Fed from Trump Overnight Healthcare: Zika funding nears finish line | House expected to approve spending bill tonight | New pledge to push medical cures bill House passes waterways bill with Flint aid MORE (R-Wis.).

At the White House gathering to mark the law’s fifth anniversary, Obama said it is working “without a shred of a doubt.”

“It’s working despite countless attempts to repeal, undermine, defund and defame this law,” Obama said, rattling off numbers that show the country’s declining uninsured rate and the declining costs of the country’s healthcare overall.

He also warned the “folks who are basing their entire political agenda on repealing the law” to get a new strategy — an unstated reference to the Tea Party and 2016 candidates like Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzOvernight Tech: TV box plan faces crucial vote | Trump transition team to meet tech groups | Growing scrutiny of Yahoo security Could Snapchat be the digital bridge to younger voters? Senate passes funding bill to avoid shutdown MORE (R-Texas).

“You’ve got to explain why kicking millions of people off their insurance is somehow going to make us more free,” he said. “Or why forcing millions of families to pay millions of dollars more is somehow going to make us more secure.”