One of the Democrat canards as support for Obamacare (and Obama) is collapsing is that the Republicans have no ideas other than to return to “the bad old days”. True, there is no one Republican spokesman and the House has focused on repeal, but that does not mean that there are no Republican ideas.
The larger point is that “the bad old days” were not so bad – at least prior to Obamacare most people thought that the biggest problem with the healthcare system was cost (62%) rather than universal coverage (18%) and over 80% were satisfied with their own insurance. What the Democrats have done is destroy the existing insurance system in order to partially finance coverage of the previously uninsured.
In September, 175 members of the conservative House Republican Study Committee led by Steve Scalise of Louisiana proposed a comprehensive plan which would allow a tax deduction for individuals or families purchasing insurance, increase funding for “high risk pools”, expand use of health savings accounts, allow sale of policies across state lines, create pooling of purchasing by small businesses, and institute tort reform to cap lawsuit payments. The legislation got caught up in the budget debate and government shutdown, but it is readily available as a starting point.
For those wanting a comprehensive set of conservative principles the Heritage Foundation offers a fully developed set of policies under the framework:
1. Choose, carry, and control your own health insurance;
2. Let free markets provide the insurance and healthcare services that people want;
3. Encourage employers to provide a portable healthcare benefit;
4. Assist those that need help through civil society, the free market, and states; and
5. Protect the right of conscience and unborn children.
Those looking for ideas from specific Republican leaders can visit the web sites of the three Republican doctors in the Senate (Rand Paul of Kentucky, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, and John Barrasso of Wyoming) or one of the thirteen Republican doctors in the House. None are on the Obama Rolodex or that of the New York Times editorial board, but they do know a thing or two about the medical system and politics.
With support for the Rube Goldberg Obamacare cratering, Democrats will increasingly have a choice of going down with the ship, going over to the (Republican) “dark side”, or moving to what many really wanted in the first place – Single Payer Medicare for all. As the next round of the battle unfolds, the Republican Study Committee proposal should gain traction.
This week’s video is a tribute to Nelson Mandela by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. In my lifetime we have seen Stalin, Hitler, and Mao – but also Ghandi, King, and Mandela. One can choose their own opinion as to which group is more reflective of the human situation.