Why, No, The GOP Hasn’t Given Up On “Repeal And Replace”

It’s just been very hard to do, considering that the GOP doesn’t control the Senate nor the White House. The Republican Party is going to have to get control of those two in 2012 in order to affect a full repeal and replace

More than four months after their triumphant vote to scrap the Democrats’ healthcare reform law, House Republicans have yet to fulfill the second part of their campaign pledge to “repeal and replace” the legislation.

Republicans say healthcare has taken a back seat to issues like the debt ceiling and Medicare reform but stress that they have a number of reform proposals up their sleeve.

“Our focus right now is on repealing all of ‘Obamacare’ and pieces of it where we can,” said Rep. John Kline [R-Minn.], the chairman of the Education and Workforce Committee, one of three panels with jurisdiction over the health policy. “And then we’re working on spurring the economy and getting America back to work with jobs.

“The replacement pieces for healthcare are still on the table,” Kline said, “but we’re not pushing them right now because we’ve got a full plate with other stuff.”

We knew this would be difficult without full control. Even if the GOP had taken the Senate, Senator Half Term Obama would still have vetoed the legislation. The latest Rasumssen poll has repeal favored by 51%, and 47% say Obamacare will be bad for the country.

Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), the chairman of the Education and Workforce health subcommittee, said the conservative Republican Study Committee is working on a half-dozen bills aimed at creating a “market-based approach to healthcare.”

The proposals include: medical malpractice reform; expanding health savings accounts that put consumers in charge of their healthcare spending; allowing health insurance to be sold across state lines; strengthening association health plans that are sold to individuals and small businesses; and promoting disease management programs.

Until full control, the GOP will have to nibble nibble nibble. And one of the big ones that should be up for a vote soon will be to allow health insurance sales across state lines, which would also remove some of the idiotic mandates some states require

For example, 12 states require health plans to cover acupuncture services, said Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R, Tenn.), lead sponsor of the interstate insurance measure, known as the Health Care Choice Act of 2011. Residents in those states who feel they don’t need such coverage theoretically could find cheaper plans in states without the acupuncture mandate.

“This bill would give consumers the option of buying health insurance that meets their needs and is right for them — even if that means buying a policy that is qualified in another state,” Blackburn said during a May 25 House Energy and Commerce health subcommittee hearing on the bill. The measure, like nearly all of the GOP health reform repeal-and-replace measures, is unlikely to be adopted by the Democratic-controlled Senate or signed by President Obama. The House Energy and Commerce Committee adopted a similar bill in 2005.

Remember, the original idea by the Democrats was to simply make health insurance available to the 30-45 million American’s without health insurance, and to lower insurance costs. Over the 8 months the Democrats spent ignoring the economy, the idea moved from something simple to the massive, bloated 2,000+ legislation and life intrusion it now is. Of course, the Democrats never had ideas that would work in the first place. That said, if the Democrats really want to lower costs and expand insurance coverage, then the GOP needs to get out and call the Democrats, and Obama, out if they fail to vote for the Health Care Choice Act of 2011 (gotta love the inclusion of the word “choice,” too).

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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