It has become clear to the vast majority of Americans that the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is about to collapse under its own weight. Obamacare never could have worked and I’m not certain it was ever intended to succeed. House Republicans, recognizing the need to offer a real plan, have crafted an alternative based on some rather sound economic principles.
In June, House Leadership discussed their plan to save our healthcare system.
In this video, Speaker Ryan begins by detailing the fundamental philosophical flaws of the Democrats quantity-based plan. The ACA, which dramatically increased subsidies for health insurance, increased demand for everything from regular checkups and prescription drugs to life-saving surgeries and procedures. It is not these life-saving surgeries that are increasing premiums. It’s the regular checkups and increased doctor visits. The ACA increased the demand for standard medical services without increasing the supply of those services. Increased premiums were inevitable.
Speaker Ryan explained that, “They expanded coverage by dramatically lowering quality.” That’s exactly right.
The Republican Plan keeps the most popular aspects of the ACA while implementing free market solutions aimed at lowering costs by increasing competition for American healthcare dollars. The ACA is a top-down, command and control approach to health care. The Republican Plan seeks make more choices available by encouraging health savings accounts, allowing small businesses to join together to increase their purchasing power, and by allowing citizens to shop for insurance across state lines. Republicans want Americans to be able to buy plans they, not the government, believe best serves their needs; and to take that policy with them as they change jobs, move from state to state – plans that can grow and change with the needs of the patient.
Speaker Ryan and Congressman Scalise reaffirmed their commitment to repealing Obamacare. In other words, while some popular aspects of Obamacare will be retained, they are not simply “fixing” the ACA. They are going to put an entirely different system in place – and that’s exactly what needs to happen. If you have an hour to spend to watch the second video, I implore you to do so. The four Republican Chairman who worked on this plan explain, in detail, what the Republican plan looks like and why they believe it will be effective. The first half of the video are broad summations, but at minute 26 they begin to delve into the details.
I have been frustrated with Republican leadership for years, because while they talked about being opposed to Obamacare, they never actually put forward a positive, comprehensive plan to replace it.
Better late than never.