Thursday, June 23, 2016

Republicans have finally...

...decided -- six long years after the Affordable Care Act was passed -- to negotiate on health care reform.

(Who, may I ask, is going to tell Paul Ryan that poor farmer in the picture above that the horse has already left the barn?)

From "House Republicans unveil healthcare alternative to Obamacare" (all emphasis mine):

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives unveiled an alternative plan to overhaul the nation's healthcare system on Wednesday, slamming Obamacare even as they aimed to keep some of its more popular provisions.

Psst: The time to put forth an alternative to the ACA was in 2009, when it was being written, not in 2016.

Ryan acknowledged his agenda was unlikely to displace current law anytime soon.

Ya think?

In their plan, which is not formal legislation, House Republicans blasted Obamacare for limiting patients' choices, increasing consumer costs, and burying employers and health care providers under new regulations.

Ryan's proposal would keep some popular pieces, including not allowing people with pre-existing conditions to be denied coverage and permitting children to stay on their parents' coverage until age 26.

It would also allow states that have already expanded the number of people eligible for Medicaid under the law to maintain the additional coverage, although it would prevent any new states from doing so.

For people without insurance through their jobs, the Republicans would establish a refundable tax credit. Obamacare also provides subsidies for people to buy insurance if they do not qualify for Medicaid.

It also includes long-held Republican proposals such as allowing consumers to buy health insurance across state lines, expanding health savings accounts, reforming medical liability rules and giving block grants to states to run Medicaid programs for the poor.

Now, you may or may not agree with these proposals, but I hope you agree that it's a little late for Republicans to negotiate a bill that passed six years ago.

From another piece this morning, "What Republicans' Obstruction Costs Them":

...normal opposition includes at least the possibility, and sometimes the reality, of cutting deals giving both sides something

It isn't just that extreme obstruction is bad for the nation. It's bad for Republican-aligned groups, too. By shunning compromise, Republicans fail to use the leverage they have to win policy victories for those groups. They also, by demanding total victory and then having to accept total defeat, encourage unrealistic expectations among their constituents. 

And it's true: if Republicans had only taken part in the legislative process in 2009 instead of effectively boycotting it they may have gotten a health care reform bill more to their liking.

But, really, it's too late now.

1 comment:

Ed Crotty said...

Most all of the Republican ideas are "dogma" - and compromising with dogma is heresy.

Taxes can NEVER be raised.
ONLY "Free Market Solutions" are acceptable. Anything else is SOCIALISM!
Gun rights can NEVER be regulated.
Abortion is NEVER acceptable.
Changes to Immigration are AMNESTY, and not allowed.