As Republicans prepare to vote on a measure that capitalizes on what they say is President Obama's "broken" promise that Americans could keep their current health plan under the Affordable Care Act, House Speaker John Boehner predicted the president's signature health care law would never work and that there was no way for Congress to fix it.
"When you step back and look at the totality of this, I don't think it's ever going to work," Boehner, R-Ohio, said in a news conference on Capitol Hill today. "There are all types of health insurance policies out there based on your financial circumstances and how much risk you're willing to take, and so the idea that the federal government should come in and create a one size fits all for the entire country never was going to work."
The House is expected to vote Friday on the Keep Your Health Plan Act, which would allow people to keep their current health insurance plans in 2014 without penalties.
"You know, the president promised the American people that if you like your health care plan, you can keep it," Boehner said. "The president has an opportunity over the next couple of weeks to keep his promise."
Boehner said he was encouraged by "momentum" in the Senate, where a similar bill introduced by Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., is picking up a handful of Democratic co-sponsors, including Sens. Dianne Feinstein, Joe Manchin, Mark Pryor, Kay Hagan and Jeff Merkley.
"This is not about politics," Boehner said. "These are about real people in our districts that are being harmed by Obamacare. It's time to fix this law."
Asked whether Republicans aim to fix the health care law or address problems as they emerge in the coming months, Boehner emphasized his responsibility "is to protect the American people" from a law Republicans believe is harmful.
"When you look at Obamacare, frankly, I don't think there's a way to fix it," Boehner said. "There's a way to help people along the way when we encounter problems, but when you look at the government taking control of our entire health care insurance market and, for that matter, the delivery market, I don't think this is ever going to work, and [it's] certainly unaffordable."