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New GOP ObamaCare repeal plan ignores court case

New GOP ObamaCare repeal plan ignores court case

A group of House conservatives on Thursday unveiled the latest version of their ObamaCare replacement plan — intentionally steering clear of a contentious court decision that could throw the law into flux.

The repackaged plan from the Republican Study Committee would fully repeal ObamaCare while creating new tax deductions and incentives for people to use health savings accounts.

It does not address Congress's biggest debate over ObamaCare this year: how Republicans should respond to the looming case, King v. Burwell, if justices decide to strike down subsidies for 6.3 million people.

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“Let’s say King v Burwell rules against the subsidies, which many of us expect it will. Our plan does not address that outcome,” RSC Chairman Bill FloresWilliam (Bill) Hose FloresThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Calls mount to start transition as Biden readies Cabinet picks Hillicon Valley: House votes to condemn QAnon | Americans worried about foreign election interference | DHS confirms request to tap protester phones House approves measure condemning QAnon, but 17 Republicans vote against it MORE (R-Texas) told reporters as he announced a nearly 200-page bill to be introduced Thursday. 

Flores said the RSC has not taken a position on whether to extend ObamaCare subsidies, adding that there are likely a “half dozen” different opinions from across the 200-person group.  

“We elected at the end of the day to not get into the weeds on what the interim step looks like [after the court ruling],” Flores said.

The extension of subsidies has been one of the biggest sticking points among Republicans as they craft a contingency plan for the court ruling, with some of the party’s more conservative members strongly opposed.

“We’re going to be very cognizant in making sure there is a bridge,” Rep. Andy BarrAndy BarrHouse Republicans who didn't sign onto the Texas lawsuit OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Energy issues rule allowing companies to develop own efficiency tests for products | GOP lawmakers push back on Federal Reserve's climate risk efforts GOP lawmakers push back on Federal Reserve's climate risk efforts MORE (R-Ky.), who helped shape the RSC plan, said at the briefing. “I’d be willing to do that on a temporary basis.”

But Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.) said he would not vote to extend the subsidies “unless the president is willing to sit down with us and do the things that reduce the overall cost of the premiums.”

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Flores, who is part of a House GOP committee that is narrowing down the various plans, said he is unsure if the party will have a plan in time.

“We have multiple people working on multiple plans, so it’s been hard. We’re trying to find out who’s trying to do what,” he said. “I hope we have something before King v. Burwell, but frankly we’re running out of time.”

The RSC's plan strongly resembles the group's previously introduced healthcare bills, which have seen little attention from the party's leaders.

It will now compete with more than a dozen other healthcare alternatives, including ones from House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Tom Price (R-Okla.) and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) last month.