Johnson outlined to his GOP colleagues a set of proposals that included doing away with all of Obamacare’s mandates — employer, individual, plus the requirement that all insurance policies contain specific government-dictated features. He also suggested what he calls “a true grandfather clause” — a provision that would allow anyone to keep his or her health coverage. Yet another proposal would allow any state to opt out of Obamacare. Still another would end the “bailouts” of insurance companies.
Johnson is also considering some standard Republican policy suggestions, including allowing the sale of insurance across state lines and ending the tax penalty for those who purchase insurance on the individual market. He’s also discussing the creation of high-risk pools to insure people with pre-existing conditions.
He stressed that a bill containing some narrowed-down combination of those proposals — he would prefer that the final legislation include no more than three — must first be something the Republican-controlled House would pass. Second, it should not be considered a substitute or GOP alternative to Obamacare — “It should be far more modest in scope,” Johnson told me later. And finally, it should “already enjoy supermajority public support.”…
A critical point: Johnson would not end the flow of subsidies under Obamacare. “I think you almost have to [leave subsidies in place] until you start transitioning,” he told me. “Realistically, could we just eliminate the subsidized care?” Johnson also plans to stay away from Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid. “I’m not dealing with that right now,” he said.