In a somewhat stunning reverse of GOP talking points, House Speaker John Boehner told a group of his Ohio constituents that repealing Obamacare “isn’t the answer,” admitting that the Affordable Care Act is now the law continued attempts to repeal it are pointless.
“Obamacare is the law of the land. It is there and it has driven all types of changes in our health care delivery system. You can’t recreate an insurance market overnight,” Boehner told the group at a Rotary Club meeting.
Instead, Boehner said we need to switch back to a system that “empowers patients and doctors to make choices that are good for their own health as opposed to doing what the government is dictating they should do.”
But there’s been a lot of inconsistency within that overall top line position. Even though House Republicans have repeatedly promised to unveil an Obamacare replacement plan — and suggested it will be able to preserve the most popular benefits in the law — that policy hasn’t yet materialized. It’s been difficult for the party to unite around one health plan. Some Republican congressmembers have expressed frustration that it’s taking so long, and even Fox News recently demanded to know why the GOP hasn’t released an alternative yet.
Boehner has been notoriously inconsistent with his messaging regarding the topic as well, initially echoing his recent comments after Obama was reelected, but then later caving to far-right members of his party when the possibility of another government shutdown loomed.
Statistics show that about 9.5 million Americans now have health insurance as a result of the law. A majority of people in the U.S. – including those that are in red states – are against the notion of a full repeal.