GOP Release Obamacare Replacement Plan

by William Teach | February 5, 2015 7:55 am

Democrats and their 90% Liberal media partners have long complained that the GOP has no plan to replace Obamacare. Well, two points: first, why is it necessary to have a plan to replace a bad plan? Second, the GOP actually has several different plans to replace Ocare, and have never been able to get together to craft a full replacement plan. Most of the plans are actually pretty close in content, so this may be the starting point to craft a full GOP legislative replacement piece, now that the GOP controls both branches of Congress

(Fox News[1]) Congressional Republicans are unveiling what they say is a new plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare, but the ‘blueprint,’ as they call it, looks an awful lot like what’s been floated before.

The Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility and Empowerment – or CARE – Act was crafted by Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich.

The first bicameral proposal[2] of the 114th Congress calls for the outright repeal of President Obama’s signature health care law, and with that, the individual mandate to buy insurance or pay a fine.

It provides for targeted tax credits to individuals and families up to 300 percent above the poverty line to encourage people to buy plans in the market place.

It also allows insurers to sell plans across state lines and caps the amount of monetary damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice litigation.

Like the Affordable Care Act, dependents are able to stay on their parents’ healthcare plans until they’re 26, and no one can be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions – although this plan calls for a specific ‘continuous coverage’ protection where individuals moving from one plan to another cannot be denied.

There are many more parts to this. I’d recommend reading the article in full, as well as the link to “proposal” in the excerpt, which leads to the press release.

One thing noticeably absent are nationwide insurance pools, which, at a minimum, should be allowed to create pools for individuals and small businesses in order to bring down costs, making sure that there are quite a few healthy people to offset those who aren’t.

Much of it is still about government empowerment, which is a main complaint about Ocare. However, it moves much of that power to State government choice, which is a good thing.

It would also “reduce distortions in the tax code that drive up health care costs”, such as “cap the exclusion of an employee’s employer-provided health coverage”.

There would be “targeted tax credits to help buy health care” for small business and individuals”.

It does away with mandates and most of the noxious issues with Obamacare.

If these proposals sound familiar it’s because most of them are. Many are based on an outline pitched last year by Burr, Hatch, and former Senator Tom Coburn, R-Okla.

“One of the reasons that you don’t see massive changes is we thought we had a decent product last year based on feedback as we’ve talked with governors, with industry,” an aide familiar with the plan said. “A lot of industry frankly thinks this is a very durable sustainable, credible alternative from a market perspective, and they think it’s operationally viable.”

If the ideas are viable, why come up with new ones? Of course, we probably should not expect a massive push anytime soon

“Let’s all be realistic, the president, who the law is named after, he’s not repealing his bill. So what we are doing is putting a very credible idea out there because what our bosses were sick and tired of hearing is the Republicans have no ideas,” one aide said.

I suspect that we’ll probably start seeing this truly debated in the House and Senate sometime either between late spring 2016 and September 2016, that way the plan is detailed in full, and ready to pass if a Republican wins the White House. Personally, I think the GOP should craft the full legislation now and vote on it. Have it ready to go.

The original idea of Ocare was a good way: finding a way to make it so the tens of millions without health insurance were able to obtain health insurance. From there, it degenerated into the monstrosity we see now. Health insurance reform is a good idea. Involving the Central Government so much in our private lives regarding not just health insurance, but health care, is a Bad Idea.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove[3]. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach[4].

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