Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)
Here's a sudden and uncharacteristic gust of honesty from Rep. Paul Ryan: House Republicans can't come up with a comprehensive replacement plan for Obamacare. Speaking on Bill Bennett’s Morning in America radio show on Wednesday, the House Budget Chairman contradicted what Majority Leader Eric Cantor promised a few short weeks ago: that House Republicans would create a plan and would pass it.
RYAN: There are a lot of folks and many of us are working on various alternatives. There are good conservatives who just have various different ways of putting an alternative out there. So what I look at is, it’s not just one singular alternative that we have right now, it’s five or six, but in all of those alternatives there are a lot of common policies and themes and what you’ll see the House doing is passing individual reforms—you know one a week—on these common themes, these common policies we agree to, because we’re not going to say, look here is our big, you know, Republican version of Obamacare, here is what we should have done in the first place and we’ll do it step-by-step and then if you want to look at what a comprehensive alternative looks like, there are a lot of people who are offering those visions.
This week's step-by-step "reform" appears to be Rep. Dave Camp's legislation to delay the individual mandate for five years, in return for funding the perennial Republican hostage, the Medicare "doc fix," avoiding a 24 percent cut in physician payments. The CBO says that, yes indeed, delaying the mandate by five years would cut enough spending—$170 billion—to pay for the $138 billion "doc fix."

Here's what else the CBO says about this incremental health care "reform" fix that Republicans cooked up: It would increase the number of uninsured by about 13 million people by 2018. That would leave us with 43 million people uninsured. Among that group would be about 5 million left out of Medicaid and CHIP, one million who wouldn't be getting employer-based coverage, and 7 million not getting coverage in the individual market. Also, too, they estimate that premiums in the individual market would increase from 10 to 20 percent. Man, this is getting expensive.

What the last five years has proved, time and again, is that the Republicans don't actually buy the idea that we need health insurance reform. That's one of the reasons they can't for the life of them actually come up with any kind of system reform. For them, 43 million uninsured Americans just isn't a problem.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 10:37 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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