Friday, December 5, 2014

Repealing and Replacing ObamaCare and Restoring Confidence in Health System

In War: Resolution. In Defeat: Defiance. In Victory: Magnanimity, In Peace: Good Will

Winston Churchill (1874-1965), The Second World War. The Gathering Storm (1948)

The last 4 years have been a political war over ObamaCare, which passed without a single Republican vote.

The GOP resolved to defeat it, were defiant in their opposition, and now have a clear path to repealing and replacing it, thanks to 4 Supreme Court Justices who may help form a majority that will stay 37 federal health exchanges violate the wording of the health law and effectively sink the law.

If the Court rules against ObamaCare, I hope victorious Republicans have the magnanimity and class to include Democrats in rewriting the replacement law. The GOP should not repeat the Democrats’ arrogance of excluding the opposing party from the process then engaging in parliamentary trickery and political bribes to get it that passed. These tactics were a tragic mistake, sowed distrust, and precipitated a bitterly divisive political civil war.

According to Randy Barnett, the repeal and replacement of ObamaCare and the writing of an alternative bill should go like this. The replacement bill should Make a fresh start with a clean skate by completely repealing the Affordable Care Act, then writing a replacement bill that would:

1. Restore private insurance markets using actuarially based insurance priced by risk.

2. Restore consumer choice to buy true private insurance limited to what they want to pay for, including policies insuring only against catastrophic health care costs, and medical savings accounts.

3.Allow state-regulated insurance to be sold across state lines so consumers can keep their policies when moving from one state to another.

4. Increase equity by extending the tax benefits now available only to employer-based insurance to all health insurance. Like car insurance, you should not have to change health insurance policies .

5. Be bipartisan , make sure contains a "refundable" tax credit for health insurance for all Americans, regardless of income — extending to everyone the very subsidies that the court will strike down, another magnanimous gesture towards Democrats.

6. Encourage Democrats to participate in the process, by doing so not only can they ensure that subsidies are included, but in their minds they also can claim victory.
Thanks to voters in November and the 4 justices who voted to hear the case, beginning in January, Republicans in Congress could conceivably craft a bipartisan market-based replacement.

The president, thanks to Democratic participation in the process, may be compelled by his fellow Democrats to sign in June when the court announces its decision without losing face.

Source: Randy Barnett, “ Supreme Court More Likely to Act if Republicans Have Alternative Bill Ready,” USAToday, December 5, 2014

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