- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 30, 2014

Three days after they released a blueprint to repeal and replace Obamacare, Republican senators are fielding health-reform ideas from like-minded governors.

In a new letter, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Sens. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and John Barrasso of Wyoming say the new health care law is “broken” and that Americans are losing policies they were promised they could keep, only to find web glitches that thwart their attempts to find alternatives.

“We believe this law is flawed beyond repair, and the only true solution is to repeal Obamacare,” the senators wrote in their letter to Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, chairman of the Republican Governors Public Policy Committee. “But that’s not enough. Obamacare must be replaced with reforms that Americans support.”

The GOP senators said good ideas tend to come from the state capitals, so they need governors to weigh in.

“As Republicans, we believe that Washington works best when it listens more, and lectures less,” they said.

A new GOP proposal to replace Obamacare was introduced this week as a framework, and not a bill, because Republicans felt there was not enough deliberation before President Obama’s law was passed in 2010.

Instead of expanding Medicaid, the new plan would restructure how federal dollars fund the entitlement in each state.

Like Obamacare, it would help low-income residents buy private plans with the help of tax credits, but only for people who make three times the federal poverty level or less.

Under the current overhaul, people who make between 100 percent and 400 percent of poverty are eligible for the credits.

And in lieu of various taxes to fund the reforms, the GOP blueprint would reduce the amount of employer-sponsored health insurance that is excluded from taxation.