Former Speaker John Boehner said on Thursday that Republicans are unlikely to pass an Obamacare repeal and replace package.
Politico reports that Boehner, who resigned from Congress in 2015, told a healthcare conference in Orlando, Florida, that a repeal and replace plan is just “happy talk.” He insisted that any changes to Obamacare would likely be cosmetic.
Boehner said, “[Congressional Republicans will] fix Obamacare, and I shouldn’t have called it repeal-and-replace because that’s not what’s going to happen.”
“They’re basically going to fix the flaws and put a more conservative box around it,” he added.
Congressional Republicans plan work to work on an Obamacare repeal package as early as next week. Speaker Ryan hopes to undo much of Obamacare through budgetary reconciliation and a subsequent replacement bill.
However, John Boehner isn’t so sure. Noting that in his 25 years in Congress Republicans never could agree on a healthcare proposal, Boehner said, “All this happy talk that went on in November and December and January about repeal, repeal, repeal … I started laughing, because if you pass repeal without replace, first, anything that happens is your fault. You broke it.”
Boehner continued, “And secondly, as I told some of the Republican leaders when they asked, I said, if you pass repeal without replace you’ll never pass replace, because they will never ever agree on what the bill should be. Perfect always becomes the enemy of the good.”
He concluded, “Most of the Affordable Care Act, in the framework, is going to stay there: coverage for kids up to age 26, covering those with preexisting conditions. All of that’s going to be there. Subsidies for those who can’t afford it, who aren’t on Medicaid, who I call the working poor, subsidies for them will be there.”