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House GOP to unveil PPACA replacement 'later'

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(Bloomberg) — House Republicans will continue to focus on attacking Obamacare rather than on promoting an alternative.

The lawmakers now say they plan to roll out an alternative to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) at an unspecified time later this year.

Earlier, some Republicans had said they would talk about a PPACA replacement proposal at town-hall meetings with constituents later this month, during a two-week recess.

The issue is one of “policy, trying to get it all together,” House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy said when asked about the delay.

“Our committee chairmen are working on the issues in terms of the kind of reform that we want; our whip as well as our conference chair are also working with members to make sure that we can coalesce around a real health-care reform,” Majority Leader Eric Cantor told reporters.

Republican leaders are set to meet this week to discuss their plans for releasing the PPACA alternative proposal, McCarthy and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Ore., the conference chairman, said.

April wasn’t intended to be a formal rollout of a bill, rather a discussion about ideas, an aide said. Lawmakers are still working toward a policy consensus, the aide said.

McMorris Rodgers said in an interview last month that the Republican replacement plan could include an expansion of health savings accounts and a provision letting consumers buy insurance across state lines.

The plan also could include curbs on medical malpractice suits, McMorris Rodgers said.

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