In his State of the Union speech, President Obama gave this challenge:
As temperatures cool, I want everyone to take another look at the plan we’ve proposed. There’s a reason why many doctors, nurses, and health care experts who know our system best consider this approach a vast improvement over the status quo. But if anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors, and stop insurance company abuses, let me know.Up steps House minority leader John Boehner to declare:
"The President said when he was talking about health care and I'll quote, 'but if anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors, and stop insurance company abuses, let me know.' That's when I put my hand up, because that's exactly what the Republican health care proposal does, much more so than the proposal that he and Democrat leaders are trying to shove down the throats of the American people."Um, except that it really doesn't do any of those things. Not a one, as a Media Matters fact check details. But don't just trust the "liberal" online media. Here's what the CBO said about the Republican bill back in November when they released it, courtesy the Speaker's blog.
COVERING MORE AMERICANS?For the visual learners among us, here it is in graphic form:
The House Republican bill covers just 3 million more Americans. Today, 83% of nonelderly Americans are insured – under the GOP plan, only 83% of nonelderly Americans would be insured in 2019. No change.
INSURANCE MARKET REFORMS?
The House Republican bill does not reduce the number of people who must buy insurance on the individual market – because they’re self-employed, don’t have coverage from their employer, are lose their jobs. This segment of the market now pays the highest premiums and consumer abuses by the insurance companies. No change.
HOLDING INSURANCE COMPANIES ACCOUNTABLE & COVERING PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS?
The House Republican bill fails to require insurance companies to end the practice of discriminating against Americans with pre-existing medical conditions. No change. The House Republican bill does not repeal anti-trust exemption for health insurance companies. No change. The House Republican bill does not include provisions to stop price gouging by insurance companies. No change.
The Republican plan will bring down the deficit, some. Just not nearly as much as the House Dems' plan. Looks like it's back to the drawing board for Boehner and pals. Except of course that they don't want comprehensive healthcare or insurance reform.