Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I noticed the Republicans...

...finally came up with a replacement plan for Obamacare the other day. Good for them. But from what I've read so far, it looks an awful lot like the Affordable Care Act, only not as good.* And that's the problem. Because before President Obama took office, there were essentially two alternatives out there: the Democratic plan, or single-payer, and the GOP plan, which was signed into law in Massachusetts by a Republican governor. Since the Democrats didn't think they could muster the votes for a single-payer system, they chose to pass the Republican plan instead.

Now, four years later, the horse is out of the barn. (And in full gallop.) So it's really too late for a Republican plan. Romneycare Obamacare was passed in 2010 and is already beginning to work. Something like 9 million people have signed up so far, applicants can't be turned down because of pre-existing conditions, patients can't be dropped from their insurance if they get sick, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

The time for a Republican health care plan was before 2006, when the GOP controlled both houses of Congress and the White House. If not then, at least they could have proposed some of these measures back in 2009 when the ACA was being crafted. But they didn't. In fact, they chose to boycott the whole process. (Which looks really foolish in hindsight.) So now we have Obamacare and time will tell if it works or not.

But, really, for the time being, it's settled. And the GOP really needs to find another issue. (Pssst! Try immigration reform.)

* And, by the way, it could never get passed. Tax employer-provided health insurance? Yeah, that would go over well with the millions of people who currently get their insurance tax-free at work.

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