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Tilting at Windmills

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June 2, 2010

GOP HEALTH CARE 'PLAN' WON'T GO AWAY.... Way back in November, House Republicans unveiled their health care reform "plan," to serve as an alternative to the Democratic proposal. The GOP proposal was fairly pathetic, and even some Republicans wanted nothing to do with it.

And yet, seven months later, it's back. Christina Bellantoni reported yesterday:

Just in time for the midterm elections, the Republicans introduced legislation to scrap "Obama care" -- even parts that voters like -- and sub in their own version.

As a refresher, their plan would let people buy insurance across state lines, give states more power and would include tort reform to end so-called "junk lawsuits" that the Republicans say make health care costs more expensive. The CBO score last fall found the GOP plan would cover just 3 million more people "leaving about 52 million" without insurance at about the same as the 2009 share of uninsured people. It would reduce premiums by between zero and three percent, CBO said.... It reduces the deficit over time, but so does the Democrats' law.

The GOP plan is now its own bill (H.R. 5424), and though Congress is on recess, it already has 30 co-sponsors.

I'm not entirely sure why Republicans are bothering. Presumably, GOP candidates want to be able to campaign this fall, saying, "We're not the 'party of no'; we even produced our own alternative health care bill!"

And while there will be some truth to that, let's not forget, as a substantive matter, the GOP plan was nothing short of laughable -- it largely ignores the uninsured, does nothing for those with pre-existing conditions, and offers nothing for those worried about losing coverage when it's needed most. While the Democratic proposal was put together out in the open, with Republican ideas, and subjected to months of public hearings in five separate congressional committees, the GOP plan was an entirely partisan proposal, written in secret. The Republican approach to reform sought to create a system that "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." And as we learned last year, the plan included provisions that "mirror the suggestions put forth by the lobbying entity of the private insurance industry way back in December 2008."

That Republican lawmakers now want to re-introduce the same package, apparently as some kind of election-year stunt, suggests the party is convinced that voters are fools.

Steve Benen 11:25 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (15)

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The voters are fools!

Posted by: edr on June 2, 2010 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

[The GOP plan] largely ignores the uninsured, does nothing for those with pre-existing conditions, and offers nothing for those worried about losing coverage when it's needed most.

Surely it offers all those lepers the opportunity for prayer.

Posted by: Gaia on June 2, 2010 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

The GOP plan was never about health care reform, it was primarily about tort reform and trying to stick to the trial lawyer lobby, which donates heavily to liberal causes, and secondarily about protecting insurance corporation profits. From the Republican perspective, the problem with our health care system is that the people at the top aren't making enough money. So they set out to "fix" that. Whether or not it actually resulted in people getting more or better health care was utterly beside the point. If uninsured people wanted to see the doctor, they should have thought of that before deciding to be poor or self employed.

Posted by: jonas on June 2, 2010 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

But that is basically GOP policy in a nutshell, "we will help those that don't really need it, and make things much worse for those that do".

Posted by: Archon on June 2, 2010 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

following on from jonas, the gop's "tort reform" is just tranferring wealth...from lawyers who give to the dems to health care exects who lgive to the gop...here in ohio, "charter schools" perform a similar function...it was never about improving education, but, rather, the point was giving taxpayer money to gop campaign contributors...

Posted by: dj spellchecka on June 2, 2010 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

"the party is convinced that voters are fools."

-And the proof is that the Republicans were elected. . .

Posted by: DAY on June 2, 2010 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

....suggests the party is convinced that voters are fools.

Have you seen the people who vote GOP? I'm pretty sure we're all convinced they're fools.

Posted by: Oh my on June 2, 2010 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

It doesn't just show they think of the voters as fools, it shows they themselves are fools tactically as well as politically. As long as they ran on a generic 'repeal Obamacare" platform, they had a chance of keeping the votes of those who they had already 'scared silly' (in both meanings of the phrase). Once they produce a substitute, any Democratic candidate can run an ad - a simple two-column check-off -- comparing the plans. And once they do, the difference in the two plans -- and the actual changes that the current plan has brought about that the Republicans want to repeal -- will cost them many votes they had. And I'm damned if I can see where they'd pick up any new votes from.

It's nice when your opponents proudly display their idiocy.

Posted by: Prup (aka Jim Benton) on June 2, 2010 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

That Republican lawmakers now want to re-introduce the same package, apparently as some kind of election-year stunt, suggests the party is convinced that voters are fools.

Fools is too harsh and doesn't accurately reflect the majority of the electorate. On the other hand, if Republicans think that most voters are minimally interested in politics, don't rationally vote their own interests and frequently fall for election-year stunts, then it would be hard to argue with that obvious conclusion.

Posted by: Shalimar on June 2, 2010 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

Don't underestimate the ability of the Republicans to put deceptive but effective labels on policies they don't like. Democrats should fight back with a simple label for the Republican "plan" and repeat it over and over and over...

Posted by: jb on June 2, 2010 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

This screenshot of the GOP health care plan is pretty hilarious (you'll need to scroll down toward the bottom):

http://akwag.blogspot.com/2010/01/state-of-union-smackdown-plus.html

Posted by: wag on June 2, 2010 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

This must be one of the ideas they garnered from Americaspeakingout.com. Where can I redeem my 80 points worth of voting for progressive ideas? Can I get a tax credit?

Posted by: flyonthewall on June 2, 2010 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

. . . suggests the party is convinced that voters are fools.

Given the fact that the GOP (a.k.a. FIP - the Fuckin' Idiot Party) seems poised to gain seats in both houses of Congress, there's every reason to believe the voters are fools.

Posted by: David Bailey on June 2, 2010 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

Well Bush was reelected in 2004, so they may have a point.

Posted by: Jamie on June 2, 2010 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know if this is true, i argued with my friend about this, and he thinks it's true, maybe it is or maybe it ain't but i'm not absolutely convinced

Posted by: zoekmachine marketing on December 28, 2010 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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