Health Care

Ryan's Latest Empty Vow to Repeal Obamacare

Republicans have repeatedly promised, and reneged on, a replacement health-care plan.

This time for real.

Photographer: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Oh, my.

Just wait? C’mon, Mr. Speaker.

Let's recall a Jan. 20, 2011, column by Paul Ryan, then chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, and four other Republicans just after the first House vote to repeal Obamacare:

We will hold hearings in Washington and around the country. We will invite affected individuals and job creators to share their stories and solutions. We will look to the Constitution and common sense to guide legislation.

Replacing this law is a policy and a moral imperative.

The committees we lead will tackle these challenges with the seriousness and steadfastness of purpose they deserve.

Repeal is the first, not the last step. Compassionate, innovative and job-creating health care reform is what's next.

Needless to say, five years later, none of it happened. No hearings, no bill, no nothing. All we've had are numerous hints and clues and promises about a replacement bill to be rolled out any minute now, vows that HuffPost’s Jeffrey Young has been tracking.

Jonathan Chait has detailed how much of a train wreck the “repeal and replace” idea has become. 

Meanwhile, with Louisiana set to join Medicaid expansion and the new Tea Party governor of Kentucky, Matt Bevin, giving up on ending the expansion in his state, this important part of Obamacare is looking more and more like a one-way street that will eventually reach all 50 states, as originally intended by the health-care law's drafters.

But House Republicans are really, truly going to roll out an Obamacare replacement bill soon. Sure they are.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.