Robert Gehl reports that former House Speaker John Boehner said on Thursday that a full repeal and replacement of Obamacare is “not going to happen.”
Rather, he told a gathering at a healthcare conference in Florida, Republicans will merely end up making smaller changes to the law.
“[Congressional Republicans are] going to fix Obamacare — I shouldn’t call it repeal-and-replace, because it’s not going to happen,” Boehner said, Politico is reporting.
The comments come as a shock from someone who led the charge for Obamacare repeal for years.
“Most of the framework of the Affordable Care Act… that’s going to be there,” Boehner said at the conference, adding that “Republicans never ever agree on healthcare.”
Boehner’s comments come as GOP lawmakers across the country are facing angry constituents (some of them staged, President Trump has suggested) at town hall meetings worried that ObamaCare will be repealed without a suitable replacement.
Trump has said he will release a plan in early to mid-March on how the administration plans to “repeal and replace.”
Speaking Thursday, Boehner said “lightning-fast” passage of a new healthcare bill was wildly optimistic.
“I started laughing,” he said, showing his rather pessimistic view about the possibility of repealing President Obama’s landmark achievement.
If so, this would be a violation of not only the campaign promise of Donald Trump, who said he would “repeal and replace” on “day one,” but for every Republican member of Congress, who promised a massive overhaul of the disastrous system.
Boehner also commented on the future of Medicaid expansion, which has become another thorny issue — especially in states that participate in the program and are run by Republican governors.
Plans previously offered by current congressional leadership, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, would significantly cut funding for the program. But the former House speaker suggested that his party would not cut Medicaid expansion rolls significantly, according to an attendee at the speech.
"I don’t think you’ll see a contraction in the number of Medicaid patients who are covered" #JohnBoehner speaking at HIMSS
— Shawn Martin (@rshawnm) February 23, 2017