Monday, June 23, 2014

Obamacare Alphabet Soup- 4 R’s and 2 C’s

Politics is a game of alphabet soup.

Senator Tom Coburn, (R. Oklahoma) , says Republicans ought to change their ObamaCare strategy from the old 2 R’s (Repeal and Replace to the new 2R'sRescue and Recovery).

In Coburn’s words:

“Now that the Affordable Care Act's subsidies have kicked in and millions have supposedly enrolled in exchanges, much is being said about Republicans backing away from repeal and replace. I would propose a more honest and accurate phrase about what comes next: rescue and recovery.”

Here is what Coburn suggests for the “rescue and reform” effort.

“The plan I recently introduced with Sens. Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, called the Patient CARE Act, will do everything ObamaCare promised to do with less cost and better outcomes. A few key provisions:

“• Individual Americans have the freedom to shop for their own health care through a means-tested tax credit that helps lower-income people the most.”

“• The plan adopts policies that will make the market more transparent, competitive and responsive to consumer demands. Our society trusts the market in every area except health care and education. That needs to change.”

“• Health savings accounts will be expanded, allowing consumers to keep more of their dollars for their health care needs.”

“• States have greater responsibility and accountability for designing Medicaid solutions that work for their own state without blowing a hole in the budget.”

“• The plan puts the brakes on the practice of defensive medicine — another driver of health care costs — by suggesting medical liability reforms.”

“• Solve the pre-existing condition problem by creating a new continuous-coverage consumer protection that allows people with coverage to move onto a new plan without being medically underwritten for a new plan.”

And here are Coburn’s thoughts about the 2 C’s:

“Simply put, our Patient CARE Act highlights the real choice: the one between the ACA's government-centered coercion and the individual patient's personal choice and freedom.”

“Markets aren't perfect, but history shows that nothing distributes scarce resources more fairly and efficiently. We've tried the government-centered approach. It isn't working -- just look at the Department of Veterans Affairs. It's long past time to put patients in control and let freedom work.”


The Democrat rejoinder to Coburn’s remarks would surely be “R” stands for patients’ Rights, as guaranteed by government. To which Republicans would reply, yes, and “R” stands for Rationing too , a characteristic of government-run systems, as exemplified by the Va’s long waiting lists.

Source: Tom Coburn, MD., “Why Freedom Is the Best Health Care Alternative, “ Washington Examiner, June 20, 2014