GOP Still Has No Healthcare Ideas

HealthcareJonathan Chait makes a good point today, The Republican Health-Care Plan: Repeal and Cackle. He quite rightly notes that while the Republicans having much fun with their faux outrage about the Obamacare exchanges and the fact that some people are going to have to give up their terrible insurance plans for something that will work, their own healthcare reform ideas are far less popular.

Republicans, of course, do have healthcare reform ideas. I went over them in some detail recently. Pretty much all of them are things that they want to do anyway. Big on the list is always tort “reform,” which is just another way of setting up the law so individuals can’t get justice when the rich and powerful harm them. But Chait is right to focus on their really big idea of providing tax credit for people to buy health insurance while making employers pay taxes on the health insurance they provide to employees.

This would have the effect of throwing huge numbers of people off employer plans and onto the terrible private insurance system that we used to have (and still do to a large extent). He writes:

The single most salient fact about Obamacare to conservatives is that it is unpopular. This is true. What conservatives have never fully acknowledged is that its lack of popularity reflects not a broad agreement with the right’s ideological critique but a deep aversion to change.

So if people hate Obamacare because of the fairly modest changes it has made to their policies, the tens of millions with employer provided healthcare would be furious with the Republican plan.

Marketplace Magic: And Then a Miracle OccursOf course, we would never get a Republican plan. Obamacare is the conservative plan. When the Republicans decided their best strategy was to pretend it was a communist conspiracy shat from the decaying corps of Stalin, they effectively yielded the entire healthcare debate. They couldn’t get Social Security privatized, there is no way they would be able to pass a healthcare law that threw the whole system into chaos while simultaneously costing the poor and middle classes more than they were paying before.

So once again, we come to this point where the Republicans themselves don’t know what to do. In this way, they are lucky that Romney lost. If they were in power, what exactly would they have done? Repeal Obamacare, of course! But after that? Nothing would have been done. They might have passed a law or two that would stop parents from suing when some doctor killed their kid. But that’s about it. Because Republicans have no healthcare ideas. It’s all wish lists and magic thinking like in the cartoon above.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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