The release of the House GOP health-care plan last month was a milestone event in the long-running debate over the future of health care in the United States. Republican leaders had been promising to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act — a.k.a. Obamacare — since it was enacted in 2010. But this is the first time that GOP leaders in Congress have presented a plan that could accurately be described as “the Republican alternative.” If the GOP is in a position in Congress to take up health-care legislation in 2017 (or later), this plan will almost certainly be the starting point.
House Speaker Paul Ryan deserves the credit for making this happen. He announced last fall after taking over the speakership that he wanted the GOP to offer a proactive agenda in order to give voters a clear idea of what Republicans would do if given the opportunity to govern. He followed through on that promise by getting his House colleagues to support plans for top-to-bottom reform of most key responsibilities of the federal government.
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