House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.) said Thursday that he does not support an idea backed by Senate Republican leadership to temporarily extend ObamaCare subsidies if the Supreme Court cripples the law.
A plan from Sen. Ron JohnsonRon JohnsonOvernight Healthcare: GOP governors defend Medicaid expansion GOP senator: Let's work with Dems to 'fix' ObamaCare Right renews push for term limits as Trump takes power MORE (R-Wis.) to continue the subsidies until 2017 has been co-sponsored by Senate Republican leaders; Price becomes one of the most prominent Republicans to come out against the idea.
The idea behind the temporary continuation is that if the Supreme Court invalidates subsidies for around 7.5 million people in the case of King v. Burwell, the party does not want people to immediately lose their insurance. The extension is intended to give time for a Republican alternative to be put in place.
But Price wants to move sooner to a full Republican alternative instead of going to a temporary bridge option first.
On Wednesday, he reintroduced his Empowering Patients First Act, a plan he has also put forward in previous sessions of Congress. The bill would repeal ObamaCare and replace it with refundable, age-adjusted tax credits for buying insurance. It would give grants for high-risk pools as an insurance option for people with pre-existing conditions.
The budget passed by Republicans sets a deadline of July 24 for submitting to each chamber’s Budget Committee a Republican contingency plan if the Court strikes down the subsidies. The plan could then go through the process known as reconciliation that requires only 51 votes instead of 60 in the Senate.
Asked if House and Senate Republicans could agree on a plan before then, Price said, “I think so.”
There are currently multiple competing plans. Johnson, as well as Sens. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Ted CruzTed CruzTrump's America: Businessmen in, bureaucrats out When Trump says 'Make America Great Again,' he means it Booker is taking orders from corporate pharmaceuticals MORE (R-Texas) and Marco RubioMarco RubioGOP, Dems hear different things from Trump Senate committee to vote Monday on Tillerson Tillerson met with top State official: report MORE (R-Fla.), have all put forward plans.
Sen. John BarrassoJohn BarrassoBooker is taking orders from corporate pharmaceuticals Graham to vote for Trump’s EPA pick Pruitt says his EPA will work with the states MORE (R-Wyo.) is leading a working group with other chairmen to come up with a Senate plan.
While Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellSenate confirms first nominees of Trump era The new Washington elite schmoozes over lunch Trump takes first official acts at signing ceremony MORE (R-Ky.) has co-sponsored Johnson’s plan, he is not endorsing it as the only Republican solution, and also supports Sasse’s plan.
In the House, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul RyanPaul RyanHispanic Caucus members slam Trump after inaugural address When Trump says 'Make America Great Again,' he means it The new Washington elite schmoozes over lunch MORE (R-Wis.) is working with two other chairmen on another plan. Ryan has said he wants the plan introduced and scored by the Congressional Budget Office before the court’s ruling, expected in late June.
Price said he has given that group his input.
The conservative Republican Study Committee is also working on a plan in the House. Chairman Bill FloresBill FloresOvernight Tech: Trump meets Alibaba founder | Uber to make some data public | GOP Lawmakers tapped for key tech panels Lawmakers worry ObamaCare fight could suck air from other priorities The Department of Homeland Security is essential to US cyber strategy MORE (R-Texas) said last month that he had not yet decided whether to support a temporary extension of ObamaCare subsidies.