Monday, March 17, 2014

House Republican leaders ready to roll out their alternative to Obamacare

By Robert Costa,Washington Post, March 16 - House Republican leaders are adopting an agreed-upon conservative approach to fixing the nation’s health-care system, in part to draw an election-year contrast with President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

The plan includes an expansion of high-risk insurance pools, promotion of health savings accounts and inducements for small businesses to purchase coverage together.

The tenets of the plan — which could expand to include the ability to buy insurance across state lines, guaranteed renewability of policies and changes to medical-malpractice regulations — are ideas that various conservatives have for a long time backed as part of broader bills.

But this is the first time this year that House leaders will put their full force behind a single set of principles from those bills and present it as their vision. This month, House leaders will begin to share a memo with lawmakers outlining the plan, called “A Stronger Health Care System: The GOP Plan for Freedom, Flexibility, & Peace of Mind,” with suggestions on how Republicans should talk about it to their constituents.

My Comment: This is great! And, it is about time. While Obamacare is a disaster and a move in absolutely the wrong direction, the health care status quo is not acceptable.  We need to move toward a market-based, patient-centered system of health care with a safety net for the uninsurable.  To appeal to people who are without insurance and people who have been denied coverage due to preexisting conditions, Republicans must have an alternative.  There have been many conservative reforms proposed by think tanks and individual politicians, but Republicans have not had a "Republican Plan."  It is hard to beat something with nothing and despite Republican ideas on health care reform, most of the public, I believe, see the choices as a choice between Obamacare and status quo healthcare before Obamacare.

 I hope Republicans do not turn on each other in ripping the Republican Plan apart.  If they hold their fire until Republicans control the Congress then the details of the plan can be worked out.  I hope criticism is constructive.

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