- Reform medical liability.
Thursday, June 23, 2016
House Republicans Unveil Plan to Replace ObamaCare Met with Mixed Reviews
House Republicans just released a 37 page health plan ofnhow they propose to replace ObamaCare.
The document contains these key points.
· Repeal ObamaCare but retain 3 of its provisions – 1) coverage of young adults under their parents’ plans, 2) those with pre-existing conditions, and 3, not allow cancellation of policies because of disease.
· Expand Health Savings Accounts allowing people to use tax-free money to pay for care.
· Offer refundable tax credits to subsidize purchase of private health insurance.
· Decrease dependence on employer-sponsored health plans, by placing a cap on employer provided insurance.
· Allow people to buy insurance across state lines.
· Provide $25 billion over 10 years to help small businesses negotiate better contracts with insurers.
· Let states regulate and pay for Medicaid, either through block grants to “per-capita” allotments.
· Partially privatize Medicare beginning in 2024 through a “premium support” optio
As expected, the plan was met with mixed review. Republicans insisted the plan was “patient-centric” and "market-based" and would lower premiums, decrease costs, and expand access and choice. Democrats said it was vague, non-specific , would tax workers’ benefits, consisted of recycled , stale GOP ideas of the past, and said nothing of how to covered the 20 million newly insured and subsidized by ObamaCare.
Here, briefly, is what the media said about the plan.
· The New York Times said it was full of vague unsubstantiated chatter.
· The Associated Press noted it relied too much on tax credits, malpractice reform, and health savings accounts.
· Kaiser Health News stressed its emphasis on “high risk pools, reliance on state-controlled funding of Medicaid, and that it left a lot of questions unanswered.
· The Atlantic commented it showed a recommitment by the GOP to repeal Obamacare and to reform Medicaid and Medicare.
· Investor’s Business Daily hailed it as step towards a market-based system that would remove the “heavy hand” of government.
· The Wall Street Journal said it left too many details to be filled in, and depended on Trump’s election, but as least it gave the GOP an agenda to run on.
· The Los Angeles Times ridiculed it as “Ryan’s plan” and reinforced the notion that the GOP was not really serious in tackling complex health reform issues.
· Politico said it “was short on details” on how the GOP proposed to reduce premiums by double digits. bend the cost curve downward, cover those recently subsidized by ObamaCare
· Bloomberg summed it up by saying it would end ObamaCare while keeping its most popular parts.
One leading Republican said the 37 page plan was simply a “framework for debate” and depended on which political party emerged “triumphant”, perhaps “Trumphant”is a better word, in the 2016 general election. The ultimate question, of course, is : Who shall control the rules and expenditures for health care, centralized government or diverse markets, and in what proportion?