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Boehner pushes back on ObamaCare subsidies extension

Boehner pushes back on ObamaCare subsidies extension

Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerPrinciples to unify America Feehery: A possible House Speaker conundrum for Democrats Obama on bipartisanship: 'There is a way to reach out and not be a sap' MORE (R-Ohio) is pushing back against the idea of Republicans simply continuing ObamaCare subsidies if the Supreme Court cripples the law.

At a press conference Thursday, BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerPrinciples to unify America Feehery: A possible House Speaker conundrum for Democrats Obama on bipartisanship: 'There is a way to reach out and not be a sap' MORE was asked why a House GOP plan included repeal of the individual mandate, which would just be “veto-bait” for President Obama, and why Republicans would not just extend subsidies through the presidential election while looking for concessions elsewhere in exchange.

“Clearly, we’re interested in protecting those millions of Americans who could lose their subsidies. But, as I said, we are not interested in protecting a fundamentally broken law,” Boehner said.

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Pressed on the point, Boehner responded, “We have an obligation to do what our constituents ask of us.”

“And I think our position on ObamaCare has been perfectly clear for years now, and frankly has not changed,” he added. “As a matter of fact, I would point out that the more we learn about ObamaCare, the more we learn just how fundamentally broken it really is.”

A House Republican plan outlined Wednesday would repeal the law’s mandate requiring everyone buy health insurance, in addition to giving states a choice as to whether they accepted a new block grant of funds or continued receiving insurance subsidies.

House Republican leaders briefed their members on their plan at a meeting Wednesday.

“Our goal is to provide peace of mind to families who have coverage disrupted through no fault of their own,” Boehner said. “Yesterday we had a constructive meeting with our members and received good feedback that will help inform us as we continue to develop our plan.”

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Rep. Charles BoustanyCharles William BoustanyPartial disengagement based on democratic characteristics: A new era of US-China economic relations Lobbying world March tariff increase would cost 934K jobs, advocacy group says MORE Jr. (R-La.) said Wednesday that “a lot of members had questions” at the meeting because it was the first time they were hearing the details of the plan.

But many conservatives appeared open to the plan.

Rep. John FlemingJohn Calvin FlemingTrump wants Congress to delay Census deadlines amid pandemic Meadows sets up coronavirus hotline for members of Congress The Hill's Morning Report - Iran strikes US bases in Iraq; Trump to speak today MORE (R-La.), who leads a healthcare working group in the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said he is keeping “an open mind.”

Still, he said some members “feel we shouldn’t do anything; if the subsidies fail, they fail.”

Rep. Ted YohoTheodore (Ted) Scott YohoHere are the 17 GOP women newly elected to the House this year Ocasio-Cortez after Yoho confrontation: 'I won't be so nice next time' Overnight Defense: US, India to share satellite data | Allegations of racism at Virginia Military Institute | Navy IDs 2 killed in Alabama plane crash MORE (R-Fla.), another conservative, called the plan “a good first step” on Thursday.

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He said he was not bothered that states could choose to keep subsidies for two years. “That’s a 10th Amendment, you know, if they want to keep it, they’re going to keep it,” he said.

But conservatives have also said repealing the mandates, in addition to allowing an extension of subsidies, is crucial to their support. President Obama is expected to veto the legislation because of the repeal.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTop aide: Biden expected to visit Georgia in push to boost Ossoff, Warnock Democrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks Richmond says GOP 'reluctant to stand up and tell the emperor he wears no clothes' MORE (R-Ky.) told “The Hugh Hewitt Show” earlier this month that Republicans would have a plan to show what the party thinks should be done, but Obama would not sign it.

“I don’t think he’s going to sign anything, frankly,” he said.