Obama dares GOP to make healthcare plans public

Obama dares GOP to make healthcare plans public
© Getty

President Obama on Friday urged Republicans to put forward their plan to replace ObamaCare before repealing the law, asking why they would be afraid to put their cards on the table.

Obama derided the current Republican strategy, to quickly repeal the law and put forward a replacement plan later, as irresponsible.

“If they’re so convinced they can do it better, they shouldn’t be afraid to make that presentation,” Obama said in an interview with Vox to defend his signature law. “It is really interesting to try to figure out why is it that they’re trying to rush the repeal so quick? What is it that they’re afraid of?”

ADVERTISEMENT

He said the country deserves to be able to compare ObamaCare and the Republican plan side by side before the law is repealed.

“Let the American people gauge: Is this going to result in something better than what Obamacare has produced?” Obama said.

Republicans have put forward outlines and various legislative proposals but have not coalesced behind one, detailed plan.

Obama said he would be happy to support a Republican plan if it actually covered more people at a lower cost, but he expressed doubt that it would.

“If it actually works, I will be the first one to say, ‘Great, you should have told me that back in 2009. I asked,’” Obama said. “I suspect that will not happen.”

As he has before, Obama acknowledged there are shortcomings with the law, like people still having trouble affording coverage or a lack of competition among insurers in some rural areas.

But he argued that the fixes for those problems are the opposite of what Republicans are proposing. Obama wants more government spending on financial assistance to help people afford coverage, and a government-run “public option” to increase competition with insurers.

Overall, though, Obama touted the law as a success that has extended health insurance to millions while setting in motion programs to save money and make health spending more efficient.

“I get letters every day from people who say ‘this has saved my life,’ or ‘this has saved my bank account,’ ” Obama said.