House GOP forges ahead with repealing parts of ObamaCare

House GOP forges ahead with repealing parts of ObamaCare
© Greg Nash

House Republican leaders are planning to take up a series of long-awaited ObamaCare bills this week but are staying away from the tough politics of the looming Supreme Court decision on the law.

Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerLongtime House parliamentarian to step down Five things we learned from this year's primaries Bad blood between Pelosi, Meadows complicates coronavirus talks MORE (R-Ohio) made no mention of the court case at the Tuesday leadership conference. His only remarks on the issue were in response to a question about whether there is a Republican plan to allow people to keep their insurance subsidies if the court rules that they can't be distributed through the federal exchange.

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“Yes, there is,” BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerLongtime House parliamentarian to step down Five things we learned from this year's primaries Bad blood between Pelosi, Meadows complicates coronavirus talks MORE said. When asked if that plan would cover the millions of people who could affected by the ruling, expected sometime this month, Boehner also said yes but gave no further details.

In this week's legislative push, House GOP leaders will focus on pieces of ObamaCare that the party has long tried to repeal, such as the medical device tax and the Independent Payment Advisory Board for Medicare.

"We’re moving forward on legislation to bring reform and innovation to our healthcare system. ObamaCare is fundamentally broken. Americans can’t afford it, and so the House is going to take action this week on solutions that will lower costs and expand access to quality healthcare,” Boehner said. 

The House has already voted to repeal both measures, though never with Republicans in control of both chambers. The leaders promised bipartisan votes on each of the bills, though the Obama administration renewed its veto threat late Monday.

Members will also turn their attention to the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s drug development initiative, called the 21st Century Cures Act.

None of the legislation is directly related to the Supreme Court ruling. In a reversal, GOP leaders disclosed earlier this month that they would not be releasing their contingency plans until after the ruling.

Republicans are divided about what to do if the court strikes down the subsidies. A plan to extend them has drawn fierce criticism from some on the party’s far right, who remain adamant about repealing the law in full.

“Regardless of how the court rules, Republicans will be committed to empowering Americans to make their own healthcare decisions,” Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.) said.

Scott Wong contributed.