Republicans insist that they have a viable alternative to the Affordable Health Care Act should they succeed in repealing it. But as guest host Ezra Klein pointed out on Tuesday's The Rachel Maddow Show, their plan would only cover one tenth as many uninsured people as the ACA.
The GOP's proposed ACA substitute, which they also proposed in 2009 during the height of the health care fight, mainly focuses on issues like tort reform and allowing insurers to sell across state lines. As Klein put it, these are mostly "tweaks," and wouldn't really have a big impact on the health care system. The big question is how the plan would deal with the millions of people who don't currently have insurance.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, (R-KY), was painfully honest about this part of the plan in a recent interview on Fox News Sunday. In response to a question from Chris Wallace about how to deal with the growing number of Americans who don't have health insurance, McConnell said: "That is not the issue."
As Klein pointed out, "the Republicans don't really see covering the uninsured as 'the issue,'" and that's reflected in the plan. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates their plan by 2019, it would cover 3 million uninsured people—compared with the 30 million-plus people the ACA will cover by the same year.