House conservatives finalizing new O-Care replacement plan

House conservatives finalizing new O-Care replacement plan
© Getty

The most conservative members of Congress are putting the final touches on a new ObamaCare replacement plan, which they plan to release just before a key Supreme Court ruling on the healthcare law.

Rep. Bill FloresWilliam (Bill) Hose FloresDemocrats push to end confidentiality for oil companies that don't add ethanol The Hill's Campaign Report: Warren, Sanders overtake Biden in third-quarter fundraising The Hill's Morning Report — Trump broadens call for Biden probes MORE (R-Texas), the chairman of the Republican Study Committee (RSC), said in an interview that the group will publicly release its latest healthcare alternative plan in early June, less than one month before the Supreme Court decides whether three-quarters of states can keep their ObamaCare subsidies.

ADVERTISEMENT

The plan will not specifically say how the GOP should respond to the King v. Burwell case, which threatens to erase healthcare subsidies for 7.5 million people in 34 states.

Republicans in Congress have already pitched a half-dozen plans to eliminate the fallout from the decision, with GOP chairmen working to narrow them down. Leaders of the RSC, the House's conservative caucus with about 170 members, have not yet weighed in on the plans.

Flores said he hopes this plan will shape the party’s legislative response to the case by outlining an end goal.

“If we start building toward a shore, but we don’t know what that shore is, then the bridge might not work very well,” the Texas Republican said. “The alternative tells you what the other shore looks like.”

Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), an RSC member involved in discussions, added that this year’s plan will add a focus on anti-trust legislation as well as “a big transparency part for consumers.”

“There’s no really portal to find out what you’re paying for, how you’re paying for,” he said.

Both Roe and Flores said the plan would largely resemble the previous two versions. Flores added this year’s will contain some “interesting tweaks,” though he declined to provide details. 

The RSC’s two previous plans called for fully repealing the 2010 law and replacing it with an expansion of health savings accounts, enacting medical liability reform and eliminating the restrictions on purchasing insurance across state lines.

Flores said the plan will have “good, broad support from the majority of the conference.” The last RSC healthcare alternative had 120 co-sponsors.

This year’s replacement bill will be the first created under a GOP-controlled Congress, which many conservative Republicans believe gives them the opportunity to finally send a repeal bill to Obama’s desk.

Flores added that he hopes GOP leaders will quickly seize on the ideas as well as using them to shape the King v. Burwell response.

“I’d like to see the RSC plan picked up and dropped into the committees of jurisdiction and implemented,” he said.

The ideas in the bill represent a collection of proposals that Republican presidents and candidates have repeatedly offered over the years.

The committee's healthcare plan was first created in 2013, led by then-RSC Chairman Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.). The group had been under strict orders to create a replacement plan with no overlaps with ObamaCare – no mandates, no taxes and no subsidies.