This morning, left-leaning reporters were giddy over the discovery of what seemed to be the formal legal name of the GOP’s ballyhooed alternative to the Affordable Care Act, which was unveiled to much criticism from all sides of the political spectrum this week. House Resolution 1275, introduced by Texas Rep. Pete Sessions on March 1, was called the “World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017,” a perfectly Trumpian title made even funnier by the fact that the Republicans’ Obamacare replacement already seems doomed to fail. The press ate it up: “Donald Trump’s Obamacare replacement officially called ‘World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017’,” reads the Independent‘s headline, one of many that expressed a similar sentiment.
The only problem with this narrative is the fact that House Resolution 1275, though a real bill, isn’t the GOP’s Obamacare replacement. Sessions introduced his bill on March 1, hoping that House Speaker Paul Ryan would choose it as the party’s official alternative to the ACA. But as Lachlan Markay at the Daily Beast notes, Ryan and his team modeled their legislation after a bill introduced by former Rep. Tom Price, who is now Trump’s HHS Secretary. (Sessions introduced a similar bill with the name The World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan Act of 2016 last year, which would have partially repealed Obamacare, but it went nowhere, and this will almost certainly go nowhere too.) The Ryan healthcare plan–that is, the healthcare plan that is currently being hotly debated as the ACA replacement–is tentatively being called the American Health Care Act, and will probably keep that name if and when it is signed into law.
So yes, there is a potential Obamacare replacement called the “World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017,” but it’s not the Obamacare replacement we’ve been hearing so much about over the last two days, and it’s probably not going to become a law. (Some outlets have since updated or corrected their stories.) The Donald Trump administration has done everything it can to characterize the liberal media as fact-averse and eager to ridicule and impugn the president for no reason; at the very least it would be good to do our jobs without giving them free ammunition.