Just a few weeks after Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch and others unveiled a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan and two other House Republican chairmen have also announced the outlines of a proposal with an accompanying op-ed. Ryan is joined by John Kline, chairman of the Education and Workforce Committee, and Fred Upton, chairman of Energy and Commerce – all key committees when it comes to health care.
As with the Hatch plan, it is important to focus on the core substance of the proposal and not on the “off-ramp” or “repeal” language accompanying Republican plans. Politics and positioning will shape the language of the health debate over the next several months. That’s Washington. But the real question is this: does the Ryan proposal have ingredients that could be part of a future agreement on the long-term shape of the American health care system? I believe it does.