Here are some of those ideas put forward by Evil Republicans that President Barack Obama insists don’t exist.
- Senators Tom Coburn (R, OK) and Mike Enzi (R, WY) have long advocated making health insurance completely portable so workers can take their plans with them from job to job. Enzi first introduced a comprehensive bill including GOP reform proposals in 2007 and has updated it regularly.
- Congressmen Sam Johnson (R, TX) and Charles Boustany (R, LA, and a cardiovascular surgeon) want to allow smaller companies to pool their risk to get the same discounts from insurance carriers that bigger companies do.
- Congressmen Marsha Blackburn (R, TN) and Paul Ryan (R, WI) want to spark increased competition by allowing health-insurance policies to be sold across state lines, as are auto insurance policies.
- Congressman Lamar Smith (R, TX) has championed medical liability reform at the federal level to rein in junk lawsuits, despite qualms that the issue should be left to the states.
- Congressmen Mike Burgess (who practiced obstetrics and gynecology) and Joe Barton (both R, TX) have introduced bills to establish transparency in pricing and medical outcomes so patients can compare the costs for procedures at area hospitals and their relative success in performing them.
- Congressman Bill Cassidy (R, LA), also a physician, has introduced a bill that would allow Medicaid patients to convert the value of their government benefit to pay for private coverage.
- Congressman Tom Price (R, GA), an orthopedic surgeon, has introduced a comprehensive alternative to ObamaCare that includes many of the GOP’s reforms.
- Congressman Phil Roe, (R, TN), a retired OB/GYN, will introduce a new ObamaCare replacement package next month when Congress returns.
- The House Republican Study Committee wants to restore (even increase) amount families can save tax free for medical expenses; ObamaCare reduces that amount. Paired with health-savings accounts, such a move can put quality health care within the reach of many more families. At competitive (read: lower) rates.
Notice all the actual doctors in that mix. Possibly, they’re more worth listening to than a bunch of politicians whose only imperative is their personal political gain.
What are Republicans doing about these ideas? Introducing, as noted above—and when they’ve controlled the House, passing—legislation. But the obstructionist, Democrat “Just say no” Senate won’t even allow debate, much less voting on the bills.
Instead, these worthies, and President Barack Obama, oppose any reform that’s patient/doctor-centric, that omits government involvement, and that has actual competitive market forces—competition that strengthens the markets for health insurance and for health services—in play. Indeed,
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D, NV) recently called ObamaCare “a step in the right direction,” but noted that his goal is “absolutely” a single-payer system in which government delivers all health care. When he was running for president in 2008, Mr. Obama admitted he “would probably go ahead with a single-payer system” if he was “designing a system from scratch.”
Truly, a paucity of ideas. However, it’s the Democrats who are lacking. All they’ve got is the crashing train of Obamacare—as Obama himself has admitted with his extra-constitutional decision not to enforce critical components of that law, and thereby cutting those cars loose, only to crash into the wreckage after a short delay.