Sarah Kliff reported yesterday something that this blog has an obligation to note, which is that House Republicans, in particular Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Chair Joe Pitts, are making noises about producing a "replace" bill this spring as part of their long-promised "repeal and replace" pledge. Since I had a running item for the first half of 2011 focusing on how phony the "replace" portion of that appeared to be, and then gave up on the item since they weren't even bothering to pretend that they were going to move on "replace", I certainly need to pay attention.
And, if they do move a bill, I'll be impressed. But we're not actually there yet. As Kliff reports,the best Pitts can do now is the same rhetorical pieces that Republicans have been touting since 2008. They haven't become a bill and passed the House yet probably because those things don't really add up to a bill, at least not one that would accomplish the two things they'll probably want to do: match the popular features of ACA, and get a decent score from CBO. At least without including the bits of ACA that people don't like.
So: Pitts claims that a "replace" bill will be introduced "shortly after the Supreme Court rules on the health reform law." We'll see, and we'll see if the bill really does move through the House. I'll give them credit for keeping their promise if it happens. I'm not especially optimistic I'll have to do that.