Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The GOP will stop at nothing when it comes to health care

It's too late to convince anyone on the Supreme Court (yeah, like they read Monster Island), since they already voted on Friday. But I've been thinking a lot about this lately... about free riders and why they necessitate mandatory participation, or twisted incentives that jack up rates, or we the insured footing the bill for the uninsured who walk into emergency rooms and get care that way, or the hundreds of thousands of medical-related bankruptcies that are a drag on the economy.

But all of that is sort of moot, because the Supreme Court has already decided. And they may have decided to scrap the insurance mandate, or the Affordable Care Act altogether. And then the ball would be in the GOP's court.

But here's the problem with the Republicans on health reform: it doesn't exist except in hot air form.

After the GOP killed Hillarycare in 1994 and then took control of the House and Senate, no serious effort was made to reform the system in a way that would rein in soaring costs, insure the tens of millions of people without insurance, or fix the problems (like being dropped or denied coverage) for millions more who had it. The Republicans did not even try seriously to implement their own Heritage Foundation-based reform plan.

They might have said that was impossible with Clinton in the White House (even though he was noted for his willingness to compromise with the GOP on key legislation, like welfare reform). But then in 2000, the Republicans gained control of the White House and both houses of Congress. The perfect opportunity to prove they were serious, yet nothing in six years was done to address those things (I say six, because the Democrats took control of the House and Senate two years before Bush left).

I would rather tweak Obamacare than scrap it, precisely because the GOP will stop at nothing (I mean that literally, as in stopping where nothing has been done). Right now, before us, we have a law passed that has a great many things prescribed by the GOP's Heritage Foundation plan in the mid-1990s and even modeled after the Massachusetts health care plan signed into law by Obama's likely opponent in November.

And that makes the ACA a good starting point.

Another thing about Obamacare is that states can opt out of it as long as they implement a system that achieves the same coverage. Instead of trying to strike down the law, those twenty-six states should be coming up with something better.

Okay, rant over.


1 comment:

  1. Exactly. Wish we could go back in time and agree to run health care the way the Repubs SAID they wanted it and see how they would have responded. I suspect they would have just moved the goalposts and added on some demand that would sabotage the whole deal, but who knows? Conservatives at that time weren't as nuts as they've become in the last decade.


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