GOP lawmaker presses House leaders for ObamaCare alternative

GOP lawmaker presses House leaders for ObamaCare alternative

Another Republican lawmaker is warning House GOP leaders that they need to come up with a fully fledged plan in case the Supreme Court rules against ObamaCare next month.

Without a plan, Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-Maine) argued consumers would face chaos in the market if the high court rules against subsidies to buy ObamaCare on the federal marketplace.

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“If [the subsidies] are ruled unlawful, it will be incumbent upon Congress to help create a thoughtful free market replacement for ObamaCare, and an off-ramp for the six million individuals who have in good faith purchased ObamaCare policies,” Poliquin wrote in a letter to 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.) and other committee leaders.

His stance on how to respond stands in contrast to those in the Republican Party who argue the Obama administration should be left to single-handedly pick up the pieces if it loses in court.

It remains unclear how congressional Republicans would prevent the potential healthcare meltdown if billions of dollars in ObamaCare subsidies disappear overnight. Many lawmakers are worried about the approaching decision.

Under Poliquin’s proposal, individuals would no longer be required to purchase insurance and they would no longer have to purchase plans that cover the same broad range of services and procedures. To cut overall costs, his plan would require doctors to provide cost estimates of services to allow patients to “shop around” and would allow people to buy insurance across state lines — two ideas that have been widely accepted by the GOP.

It would keep at least one part of ObamaCare: requiring companies to provide coverage to people with pre-existing health conditions. 

While the former state treasurer says little about how the chairmen should specifically help people who could immediately face a loss of subsidies, he warns against ordering states to set up their own exchanges in order to get the subsidies flowing again.

Poliquin condemned Maine’s “failed state-run health insurance experiment,” which resembles those that are still running in 13 states. If the court rules against ObamaCare in June, those could be the only states eligible for subsidies, unless more states move to set up their own marketplaces.

Ryan has worked with House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-Minn.) since January to chart out the response.

Poliquin lit up conservative circles earlier this year when he became one of the only three Republicans to vote against the House’s bill to repeal ObamaCare.