After eight or nine months of shouting down Democratic health care
reform proposals from Congressional Democrats and President Obama,
Republicans have finally come up with a health care proposal of their
own. House Minority Leader John Boehner, one of the top-ranking
Republicans in Washington, has announced
the Republican-designed alternative health care plan. The proposal, now
being scored by the Congressional Budget Office, promises deregulation
and a modest price tag. But it has earned no real support from
conservatives and has garnered significant mockery from liberal
bloggers, who see the plan as transparently political and full of bad
- 'Health Un-Insurance' Matthew Yglesias describes
the plan as "BoehnerCare: No Soup For You" and lambastes it "the de
facto total deregulation of the health insurance industry." He writes,
"It looks like Republicans are getting ready to shift from having no
plan for reforming health care to having a plan that won’t do anything." Yglesias sighs, "The result of all this will be a situation in which the health
insurance systems works better for people who don’t need health care
services, and much worse for people who actually are sick or who become
sick in the future. It’s basically a health un-insurance policy."
- Shows GOP Failure on Health Care Jonathan Cohn takes apart
the plan to dismantle regulation. "Without those regulations, insurance
would become cheaper. But it'd be
cheaper only because it provided less protection--and was available
only to people or small groups with predictably good health," he
writes. "And that's really the key distinction between what the
the Democrats are offering. Because of their aversion to regulation and
government spending, Republicans embrace reforms that make health
insurance cheaper by offering less security. The healthy win, while
everybody else loses. Democrats prefer reforms that offer a combination
of lower costs and more security--not for the medically fortunate, but
Great If You Never Get Sick Think Progress's Igor Volsky decries
the proposal. "It is designed for the healthy while they’re healthy,"
he writes. "The Republican legislation even undermines the existing
consensus surrounding cost control," Volsky writes, outlining
cost-cutting reforms even insurers have agreed to. "But the Republican
plan doesn’t invest in comprehensive reform that
opens up the system to more people and begins to control skyrocketing
health care costs. It only marginally lowers the costs of insurance for
the healthy — while they’re healthy."
- Alan Grayson Was Right Digby quotes Rep. Grayson's famous diatribe.
"Finally, the long awaited Republican alternative is upon us. And
is 'don't get sick. And if you do get sick, die quickly.' Imagine
that," she writes. "What are we waiting for? This is the completely
care reform that they've all been waiting for. It will change
absolutely nothing! It's perfect."
- 'High-Risk Pools' Don't Work Time's Karen Tumulty singles out
Boehner's proposal to set up "high-risk pools" in every state that
would sell more expensive insurance to people at greater health risk.
"These pools already exist
in more than 30 states, but they tend to be too expensive for those
with limited means to buy into. And often, people cannot get into them
for as long as a year after they apply. When my brother
developed kidney disease and his health insurance refused to pay to
treat it, I looked into Texas' high-risk pool and discovered it would
be far out of his reach, with premiums that typically run twice as
expensive as regular insurance policies. California's high-risk pool
has been a disaster, covering only 2% of the medically uninsurable."
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