Friday, January 30, 2015

Author: GOP needs strategy beyond anti-Obamacare

I know a lot of Republicans want to repeal the Affordable Care Act,  but I've had a hard time figuring out what,  if anything,  they want to take its place.  That's unfortunate,  given the power they hold in North Carolina and in Congress.

Philip Klein,  commentary editor for the conservative Washington Examiner,  agrees.  "If opponents of the law want to win the war over the future of the nation's medical system,  they will have to unite around an alternative approach,"  he writes in  "Overcoming Obamacare:  Three Approaches to Reversing the Government Takeover of Health Care."

Klein argues that there's not really a dearth of GOP alternatives.  Instead,  he says,  there are too many  --  and all of them tend to get drowned out in general discourse by the  "repeal"  rhetoric.

Health reform has never been a favorite GOP issue,  except for opposing expansion of government's role,  Klein writes.  You can fire up a conservative crowd by talking about tax cuts,  gun rights,  immigration or the war on terror,  he says,  but don't expect to get cheers for talking about tax treatment of health insurance.

"When Republicans utter phrases such as  'repeal and replace,'  what conservatives often hear is  'Obamacare Lite.'  As a result,  the prevailing question on the right often becomes,  'Why can't we just repeal the law and be done with the health care issue?'  The answer is that even if simple repeal were politically obtainable,  Americans would still be left with a broken health care system."

Klein groups the alternatives into three camps:  Reform,  replace and restart.  I'll loop back to these options.  For now, I'll settle for noting that Klein,  like many of other political perspectives,  believes more and better information about the cost of health care is essential.  "Give consumers the motivation they need to save money and the information they need to do so,  and suppliers of goods and services will respond by providing better value,"  he writes.  "For the most part,  neither feature exists in the American health care system."


Anonymous said...

If you don't have anything better than the ACA....then shut up......

bobcat99 said...

Ann, thanks for beginning this conversation from a conservative perspective. I challenge any subsequent poster to briefly declare his or her preferred alternative to Obamacare. That can include doing nothing. But enough of the wailing and gnashing of teeth. What should we as a country do with a health care system that is the most expensive in the modern world and yet has some of the worst results?

EuroCat said...

Just from your summary, some of Klein's points seem legitimate.

But when somebody includes the phrase "Government Takeover of Healthcare" in his title, that pretty much reduces his credibility to zero. Rearranging the deck chairs on the "Insurance Titanic" is NOT a "takeover".

In reality, we NEED a "takeover". Are the Republicans up to the task of crafting a health care system that has better outcomes than, oh, around 35th place worldwide, and has lower costs than, oh, DOUBLE the next-most-expensive country?

I doubt it. The GOP has recently been demonstrating that it has no solutions to ANYTHING. It is a carnival clown show.


Wiley Coyote said...

The ACA is a joke. I put it up there with Cash for Clunkers.

We had a system. Yes, millions of people "didn't have insurance" with many opting NOT to have it in the first place.

We STILL have upwards of 30 million without insurance now.

It's really comical to say "Republicans need to come up with something". Well, no they don't.

Why aren't people saying "why didn't we (Obama) focus on helping the 40 million (40 million depending on who you ask) within the system we had prior to Obamacare instead of upending the insurance industry and economy with Obamacare, which has turned into a dismal failure of another government program?

Why doesn't Obama fix his own failed program?

I guess because he and his cronies are still trying to find out what's in the bill....

Thomas said...

My premiums went up 260% when Obamcare kicked in.
Repeal, repeal, repeal.

Archiguy said...

bobcat99 - The answer is simple. Universal, single-payer health care like every other advanced country on the face of the earth (including our two most important English speaking allies, Canada and the UK) have already done.

It's the only way to control costs long term. The for-profit health care model has no incentive to stem the skyrocketing cost of health care, especially when it's top executives have become used to multi-million dollar compensation packages. Meanwhile, nurses and other front-line caregivers struggle to make ends meet.

The ACA is simply a band-aid, designed to help stem the explosive growth in costs (which it is already doing) and to try to get more people under the heath insurance umbrella. It is useful and necessary, but it's not the long-term answer.

Not everything needs to be "for profit", the health care of a prosperous nation's citizens is first and foremost in that category. We long ago determined that the nation's elderly needed some form of socialized health care insurance. Why then would we deny that same level of care to the younger workers that pay for it? Makes absolutely no sense, and I have yet to hear a good conservative argument that refutes it.

Larry said...

Strange how this keep being told over and over, like that story of the girl who died in a wreck and people keep taking her ghost home.

The fact is the Republicans had suggested its plans to the then democrats, who controlled the House and Senate.

It included limits on law suits and the like. But the democrats and obama did not want that in the law.

I guess the fact obama and the democrats get the majority of their funding from the lawyers aan law firms has nothing to do with this.

So it is a puzzle how that girl keeps showing up on the highway wt night and so many have taken her to her former home.

I guess it would not work as well with it being a boy, as most would expect his ghost to just walk home in the dark.

See how people want to think today and how the media helps it along.

Larry said...

Oh and by the way, why are we debating this, when it should be a nationwide vote.

For some reason the mere arguments that if we now have something, then nothing can take it place is strange.

Why not take a vote first asking the American public if they want this, then proceed.

I am sure the many, many folks who have and are paying two or three times what they they paid will want to vote.

So unless we want to unleash Mother Government again and again, and keep in mind she is borrowing all the money, then now is the time to get us all involved in this decision.

Everybody wants to say this is like Mass. Well the folks in Mass voted it in. So yes lets do it like that. Thanks for the help.

And by the way, my studies of those countries which have it, all seem to come to one conclusion, they are all even more broke than we are.

So maybe instead of saying something new, we should be saying go back and vote.

I know how I would vote and you know how you would vote so, let the Whole Country decide and not just a few democrats.

Thank your for your time now let the anger commence.

Wiley Coyote said...



The government did "take over" healthcare by writing into law what employers must do/provide and what taxpayers should do in order to provide or have healthcare.

I never paid a fine or a tax related to my healthcare before Obamacare, did you?