Thursday, December 15, 2016

A Healthcare Replace Plan So Easy Even a Republican Can Do It

One of the people you really need to follow is Richard Mayhew over at Balloon Juice. He's an expert on the health care system: an insider with an insurance firm so he knows the rules and the consequences of what reform efforts can do.

He's recently posted stuff about how the Congressional Republicans are tripping over themselves trying to live up to their 6-year promise to REPEAL AND REPLACE Obama's health care reforms AKA ObamaCare, because the Republicans are suddenly realizing that both the Repeal process is messy and the Replace options few and far apart. Today's offering from Mayhew:

The first thing in health policy is to always follow the money.  Covering sick people means spending money.  The question is always how much money and who is spending that money.  We’ll know very quickly if there is an actual replacement plan that is way too heavily focused on HSAs but actually tries to provide some useful coverage to a reasonable number of Americans or if it is a Potemkin plan by looking at the top line CBO scoring of the expense of the coverage provisions.  This runs into a potential Norquist problem but the money is the big thing to review.

What exactly is a Norquist Problem? As Mayhew noted before, the Norquist Problem is "Republican orthodoxy that once a tax cut is passed it can never be re-enacted": A tax cut MUST REMAIN permanent even when it becomes obvious the government has to re-instate that tax to regain revenues to, you know, pay for shit.

So the Republicans are currently kicking themselves to come up with some way to make the Repeal AND Replace some kind of revenue-neutral deal, even though the "Cadillac Tax" that makes up some of the ACA's revenues will likely get cut (because ALL taxes on the rich are EVIL in the eyes of the Far Right).

As I noted in the comments to Mayhew's article today, there is actually a very simple plan that Republicans can enact. It covers a lot of areas, it gives Republicans an out, and it doesn't involve a lot of heavy lifting that these lazy-ass Republicans hate doing when it comes to legislation and governance.

My solution was this:

1) JUST FCKING FIX THE ACA SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO WASTE YOUR TIME DREAMING UP A HALF-ASSED PLAN THAT WON’T WORK. The fix involves granting every state a Public Option to encourage choice and competitive costs, and there should be a way of setting it up without an increase in taxes. The Republicans would have to live with that Cadillac tax, but they can come up with a rebrand on it to shill to the base.

2) Rename the revised ACA AmeriCare or RepubliCare so you can take the credit. This is the easiest part. A lot of Democrats will grumble about it but as long as this health care program exists Obama won't give a rat's ass that his name's no longer on it. JUST DON'T FCKING NAME IT AFTER TRUMP YOU BASTARDS.

3) Go on your fcking golf retreats with your lobbyist buddies for the rest of 2017. No stress, no muss, no heavy lifting. You Republican Congresscritters can go back to your 300-day vacation plans for the year. The wingnuts in the media may throw a hissy fit or two but they'll settle the fck down and resume hating on Democrats for 2018.


I swear we Moderates gotta do all the damn thinking around here. You should listen to us more.

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