Speaker John A. Boehner said Thursday that changes brought about by the Affordable Care Act make it impossible to just repeal the health care law unless Congress has a replacement ready as well.

Speaking at a Rotary Club meeting in his Ohio district, the speaker also mocked members of his own GOP conference for not wanting to address immigration, knocked the tea party — or, more specifically, organizations that raise money purporting to represent the tea party — and expounded upon the role of money in education, according to a news report from a newspaper near his district.

On health care, Boehner said simply repealing the Affordable Care Act “isn’t the answer” and it would take time to transition to a new system.

“When we were debating Obamacare in 2010 we offered an alternative that consisted of eight or nine points that would make our insurance system work a lot better.

(To) repeal Obamacare … isn’t the answer. The answer is repeal and replace. The challenge is that Obamacare is the law of the land. It is there and it has driven all types of changes in our health care delivery system. You can’t recreate an insurance market overnight.

“Secondly, you’ve got the big hospital organizations buying up doctor’s groups because hospitals get reimbursed two or three times doctor’s do for the same procedure just because it’s a hospital. Those kinds of changes can’t be redone.

“So the biggest challenge we are going to have is — I do think at some point we’ll get there — is the transition of Obamacare back to a system that empowers patients and doctors to make choices that are good for their own health as opposed to doing what the government is dictating they should do.”

Spokesman Brendan Buck downplayed Boehner’s comments. “For four years now the House Republican position has been repeal-and-replace,” he said.

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