The House Republican leadership promised a vote this year on an alternative to the health law popularly known as Obamacare, and now some lawmakers have upped the pressure to see that vote happen.
Writing to colleagues ahead of a meeting today of the conservative Republican Study Committee, the trio — Reps. Steve Scalise, R-La., Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., and Phil Roe, R-Tenn. — requested support and a push for a vote on the RSC’s health reform plan (H.R. 3121). Scalise is RSC’s current chairman.
The bill, with 130 co-sponsors, would repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, as well as the current tax breaks for employer-sponsored health insurance plans. Instead, all individuals and families could get tax relief to buy health plans.
The RSC bill also would expand access to health savings accounts, increase federal support for state high-risk pools, and allow Americans to buy insurance across state lines. Scalise, Hartzler, and Roe wrote:
Democrats continue to mislead the American people when they say that Republicans have no alternatives to Obamacare. That is not true, and it is why now is the time to move an Obamacare replacement bill through regular order and to the House floor for a vote.
Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Scalise said the effort is to remind House leaders that the plan is one of several Republican health measures that deserve a vote. “We want to show there is a critical mass behind a bill that’s already drafted,” he said.
The push comes as a new Gallup poll, out today, finds that Americans’ attitudes toward the health law have changed only marginally since Obamacare’s first open enrollment period ended March 31. A majority (51 percent) disapprove of the law, while 43 percent approve.
Fewer than four in 10 adults (37 percent) believe Obamacare will improve the health care sector, Gallup said, while a plurality (44 percent) say it will make things worse. Another 16 percent say it won’t make much difference to U.S. health care.