Republicans Recycled Their ‘New’ Obamacare Alternative

Congressional Republicans took a new approach to announcing their Obamacare alternative this week: out with the old and…back in with the old, according to The Washington Post.

Thursday the Senate Finance Committee put out a news release announcing “Burr, Hatch, Upton Unveil Obamacare Replacement Plan.”The three men, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (Utah), House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (Mich.) and Sen. Richard Burr (N.C.), are well-regarded legislators, and the press went along with this “news.”

“GOP unveils new Obamacare alternative,” said The Hill newspaper.

Forbes cheered about “The Impressive New Obamacare Replace Plan From Republicans.”

“Take A Look At The First Real Republican Obamacare Alternative” chimed The Examiner.

The New York Times said that the plan was “drafted with encouragement from Republican leaders,” “devised” by Hatch, Burr and Upton, and included a “potentially explosive proposal.”

It reported that “Republicans said the need for such an alternative had become more urgent.”

But Caroline Behringer, the eagle-eyed press secretary for Democrats on the House Ways & Means committee, was suspicious that this “urgent” and “explosive” new proposal had just been “devised.” She did some sleuthing and discovered that the Republicans had lifted the proposal – right down to quotes in the news release – from the same proposal a year earlier.

This “new” plan in fact rehashed a two-page explainer that borrowed almost the same 700 words from the 2014 version and even set in the same blue font. The only thing that appeared to be new was the name of Upton, substituted for that of Sen. Tom Coburn (Okla.), who “unveiled” the plan with Hatch and Burr in 2014 but has since retired.