Thursday, November 14, 2013

Options

A few days ago Harper, commenting on the obamacare debacle, asked:
"Where do we go from here?  "Here" being the smoldering scene of the Obamacare train wreck."
She went on to say:
"Why don't we have a countermeasure ready to deploy?  Why have we spent the better part of over three years, just bitching about a law without coming up with something better?"
That got me to thinking along the same line - why haven't the republicans offered any alternatives?

It turns out they have. We just haven't been paying attention.

Or, more likely, we've been brainwashed by the media's endless parroting of the obama party line.

obama and the democrats, aided and abetted by their allies in the media, have been able to perpetuate the myth that republicans are interested only in repealing obamacare, without offering any alternatives or replacement plans.

Like so many other statements uttered by barry and his political hacks, that's an outright lie.

In fact, during the 2008 presidential campaign John McCain offered a version of health care reform that obama ridiculed back then, but that today seems like a stroke of genius when compared to the nightmare that is obamacare.

McCain's plan revolved around considering employer-provided health insurance as a form of compensation, which it clearly is. As such, it would become taxable income. To compensate for that, people would get a tax credit for health care premiums. We would also be allowed to cross state lines when shopping for health insurance, which is now forbidden. That would introduce elements of the free market into the health care equation. The competition would decrease costs and increase quality.

That plan was the basis for the Patient's Choice Act, sponsored by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.). The Act also addressed concerns about portability and pre-existing conditions. It eliminated favoritism (no waivers for unions and other politically connected groups or firms) and minimized bureaucracy (it was only 56 pages long). It was a well thought out alternative to obamacare based on sound economic foundations and equitable treatment for all. It was introduced in Congress in 2009, before obamacare passed, but unfortunately was killed in committee.

A more recent alternative has emerged from the Republican Study Committee. The American Health Care Reform Act is intended to lower health care costs by relying on free market principles. More specifically, it has seven main objectives:
  • Fully repeals President Obama's health care law, eliminating billions in taxes and thousands of pages of unworkable regulations and mandates that are driving up health care costs.
  • Spurs competition to lower health care costs by allowing Americans to purchase health insurance across state lines and enabling small businesses to pool together and get the same buying power as large corporations.
  • Reforms medical malpractice laws in a common sense way that limits trial lawyer fees and non-economic damages while maintaining strong protections for patients.
  • Provides tax reform that allows families and individuals to deduct health care costs, just like companies, leveling the playing field and providing all Americans with a standard deduction for health insurance.
  • Expands access to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), increasing the amount of pre-tax dollars individuals can deposit into portable savings accounts to be used for health care expenses.
  • Safeguards individuals with pre-existing conditions from being discriminated against purchasing health insurance by bolstering state-based high risk pools and extending HIPAA guaranteed availability protections.
  • Protects the unborn by ensuring no federal funding of abortions.
So why haven't we heard of these alternatives to obamacare? The obvious answer is that the media has bought hook, line, and sinker into obama's message that republicans are only interested in repealing obamacare without offering any other solutions. A secondary reason is that the republicans lack a national spokesman with the presence to command media attention. Who speaks for the GOP? John Boehner? John McCain? Chris Christie? Rand Paul? Marco Rubio? Puh-leaze...

The republicans need to get their act together and agree on a common message related to health care. Then they need to go out and relentlessly hammer that message home every chance they get. Otherwise they'll find themselves in the familiar position of winning the battle of ideas but losing the PR war.

And we'll be stuck with obamacare for the rest of our increasingly short and feeble lives...



4 comments:

Harper said...

Bill Clinton taking Obama to task, in one of those Twilight Zone-esque moments of politics, makes it clear that Obamacare is going to be a key component of both the Dim presidential nomination for 2016, as well as every other primary and election in between. No way that anything gets fixed now, if can be left smoldering on the back burner for Hillary to sweep in and fix as president. It makes my skin crawl to think that she has likely been harboring resentment for the American people and her lost national healthcare plan for so long and now sees a path to getting her way once and for all. The lives lost in Benghazi under her watch will soon be forgiven, as she swoops in to save the millions who have been harmed or left out of Obamacare.

Toejam said...

Harper's previous post has bolstered my fervent belief that empirical evidence exists, which proves most people, even the brightest, have short memories.

Old NFO said...

Good points all Tim, and you're correct! The MSM is doing everything in it's power to make SURE we don't remember...

CenTexTim said...

Harper - I was thinking ironic, but "Twilight Zone-esque" does a much better job of capturing the absurdity of Bill Clinton lecturing someone about lying.

Toejam - Harper wasn't the only one who wasn't aware of the repub's alternatives. I had to look 'em up to discover (re-discover?) them.

NFO - The MSM has given up all pretense of objectivity.