Tuesday, January 28, 2014

GOP Alternative to ObamaCare

What’s the alternative?

First question asked when pondering life, health,  management, and politics

Today GOP senators Richard Burr of North Carolina,  Orrin Hatch of Utah, and Tom Coburn, MD,  of Oklahoma announce the Republican alternative to ObamaCare.    Tonight President Obama delivers his State of the Union address.

This juxtaposition is no accident.   It is the opening trumpet sound of the political campaign for control of the Senate. 
The President will maximize the health law’s positives and minimize the negatives; the GOP plan will retain the positives, emphasize the negatives, and introduce alternatives.

The GOP retention of ACA  positives will include covering those with pre-existing illness,  young adults under their parents plans,  and  some of those who cannot afford to pay.

The GOP negatives to be minimized or ended will be: Obamacare’s  $2.6 trillion cost,  the $1 trillion in new taxes,  and those government mandates that lie at the heart of ObamaCare.

The new alternatives will be:

·         Creation of larger risk pools for small businesses and individuals  to lower premiums.
·         Freedom of choice of health plans and benefits desired.
·         Expansion of health savings accounts.
·         Tax credits for all.
      Portability across state lines.
·         Tort reform.
·         Greater flexibility for the states to design their own Medicaid programs.
·         Less bureaucratic intervention into doctor-patient decision making.

Here, in the words of the three Senators, is the gist of what they propose:
“To help consumers buying coverage on their own or through a small business, we take a range of steps.

- We allow small businesses to band together for coverage – like large corporations do – to negotiate a better deal for health coverage.

- We scrap all of ObamaCare’s rating changes and expensive mandates.

- We offer individuals who are uninsured, self-employed, or working at a small business a tax credit for health coverage to help them be able to buy a plan and keep it.

- We reform – but do not expand – the broken Medicaid entitlement. Too often Medicaid proves the axiom that access to a government health care program is not necessarily access to health care.

Because Medicaid often pays providers so little, roughly half of physicians no longer accept Medicaid patients.

Based on the feedback of many governors, we give states dramatically more flexibility to provide their citizens the health care they need, without all the red tape, micromanagement, and uncertainty from Washington.”

In essence,  the GOP plan is a call for decentralization of health care and a shift to market-driven  and consumer -driven care rather than centralized government control.
The White House, through their its spokesperson, Jay Carney,  was dismissive of the GOP alternative, “This looks very much like just another repeal proposal, another attempt to raise taxes on the middle class, to keep uninsured Americans with pre-existing conditions locked out of the market, to raise costs on seniors and to take away Medicaid from the millions of Americans."

The White House response sounds  like the hee-hawing,  braying, and guffawing of the Democratic donkey at any Republican proposal as laughable..   The Republican elephant is trumpeting the serious start of its campaign to control the House and the Senate.

Tweet:  It is no coincidence that the GOP has announced its alternative to ObamaCare on the same say that President Obama delivers his State of the Union address.

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