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House Republican leaders are quietly hatching a plan of attack as they await a historic Supreme Court ruling on President Barack Obama’s health care law.
If the law is upheld, Republicans will take to the floor to tear out its most controversial pieces, such as the individual mandate and requirements that employers provide insurance or face fines.
If the law is partially or fully overturned they’ll draw up bills to keep the popular, consumer-friendly portions in place — like allowing adult children to remain on parents’ health care plans until age 26, and forcing insurance companies to provide coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. Ripping these provisions from law is too politically risky, Republicans say.
The post-Supreme Court plan — a ruling should come in June — has long been whispered about inside House leadership circles and among the House’s elected physicians but is now being discussed with a larger groups of lawmakers, showing that Republicans are aggressively preparing for a big-time health care debate in the heat of an election-year summer.
On Tuesday, the major options were discussed during a small closed meeting of House Republican leaders, according to several sources present.
Then on Wednesday, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) gave the entire House Republican Conference a preview of where the party is heading. His message: “When the court rules, we’ll be ready.”
But Boehner warned that they’ll relegislate the issue in smaller, bite sizes, rather than putting together an unwieldy new health care bill.
“If all or part of the law is struck down, we are not going to repeat the Democrats’ mistakes,” Boehner said, according to several sources present. “We have better ideas on health care — lots of them. We have solutions, of course, for patients with pre-existing conditions and other challenges.”
WASHINGTON -- White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Wednesday that the administration does not have a backup plan in the event that the Supreme Court strikes down the central piece of President Barack Obama's signature health care law -- the individual mandate -- or rejects the law in its entirety.
"There's no contingency plan in place," Earnest told reporters at the daily White House briefing. "We remain fully confident in the belief that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional."
Earnest dismissed rounds of questions about how the White House could have no Plan B if the individual mandate, which penalizes people for not purchasing insurance, is deemed unconstitutional -- something that observers of this week's Supreme Court hearings on the matter have speculated is looking more likely. Earnest said anyone's judgments at this point are premature.
Individual Mandate Rejection Would Leave White House 'No Contingency Plan,' Spokesman Says
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Thursday that it would “probably” be a good idea for the department to have a backup plan in case the Supreme Court strikes down the health reform law, but the department isn’t working on one.
Asked by a reporter after a speech to the National Action Network whether it would be “prudent” to have a contingency plan in place before the Supreme Court rules, Sebelius responded, “probably so.”
But, she continued, “that isn’t where conversations are headed right now, and I’m confident that it is constitutional.”
She added, “We will eventually, I’m sure, have a plan, but that really isn’t where time and energy is focused right now.”
Kathleen Sebelius: We don't have a health care backup plan
Originally posted by WeRpeons
Repealing the entire healthcare plan will only set us back decades in developing a healthcare plan that addressed the basic human rights of all Americans.