START OF 2018 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD

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BREAKING: Republicans Release Obamacare Replacement Plan!!

NOTE: Given last night's vote by the Republicans in the Senate to repeal the Affordable Care Act, I started to write a piece on this, then realized that I could simply duplicate the one I wrote back in February (when the King v. Burwell case was brewing) with a few simple edits.

The Republican Chair of the House Ways & Means Committee, Newly minted Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (who was also Mitt "Grandfather of Obamacare" Romney's running mate just 2 1/2 3 years ago, you might recall), has made it official: has made it official:

(Bloomberg) -- House Republicans won’t agree to fix Obamacare if the U.S. Supreme Court rules that the law bars health-insurance subsidies for millions of people, said House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan.

“There are a lot of other ideas out there, but what all conservatives can agree on is this: We think government should encourage personal responsibility, not replace it. We think prices are going up because people have too few choices, not because they have too many. And we think this problem is so urgent that, next year, we are going to unveil a plan to replace every word of Obamacare.”

OK, so what happens to the 6.5 - 7.2 million people who will be faced with a $3,200 tax hike in the event of the SCOTUS ruling for Republicans? 17 million people currently covered by healthcare policies enabled exclusively by the Affordable Care Act (around 12 million via Medicaid expansion plus another 5 million newly-insured via the ACA exchanges)?

Republicans are developing a “contingency plan” to address the states whose residents would lose subsidies while lawmakers work on a full replacement for the Affordable Care Act, Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, told reporters Friday in Washington.

What I found amusing, however, was Ryan’s use of the word “urgent.”

As the Republican leader sees it, there’s no time to waste. The problems in the health care system are so great that the Speaker believes it’s “urgent” for his party to present their conservative alternative – nearly six years after the ACA was signed into law, nearly two years after the ACA was fully implemented. Now Ryan’s serious about his party’s replacement plan.

Oh. A "contingency plan" while they "work on" a "full replacement". An "urgent" plan to "replace every word of Obamacare." A replacement that they've had 5 6 years to figure out (while voting to repeal the ACA itself 56 times without anything to replace it, I should add).

So, what's this "contingency plan", then? (reaching back to the February version, since Ryan's current speech was even lighter on the details):

“What’s the bridge out of Obamacare for people in the states that just lost it?” Ryan said during a Bloomberg Television interview Friday. “What we want to do is give the states freedom to let their people go into a patient-centered health care system, which will look like what we would ultimately like to replace Obamacare with.”

Ah. OK.

So basically, you're going with the plan that Alan Grayson presented on the House floor a few years back after all:

"Don't Get Sick...But If You Do...Die Quickly."