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The GOP progress so far on a health care reform plan.
Remember the Republican campaign promise of 2010 about repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act? As plenty of observers have noted, Greg Sargent the most persistent among them, we've gotten plenty of repeal, but no replace. They'll point at a bill they called the "Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act," but it's not a health care reform bill, it's tort reform.

But Jonathon Bernstein is absolutely right here when he says that the replace part of their formula has been a "fraud" from the beginning, "cooked up presumably because a flat-out repeal of health care reform polls much worse than replacing it with some unspecified legislation."

You needn't look any further than what they were saying on Jan. 17, 2011, to see that they never intended to replace the law.

House committee chairmen will haul administration officials before their panels, pressing for answers to questions that they feel have been ignored. GOP leaders will call for votes on bills dismantling pieces of the law, such as the mandate requiring all Americans to buy insurance. They will try to choke off funding at every turn, starting with the stop-gap funding measure that expires in March. [...]

Republicans insist they’re interested in more than just repealing the law and reverting to the status quo.

So on Wednesday, the House will also approve a resolution ordering four relevant committees to draw up alternative health care proposals.

But the leadership isn’t giving them a deadline. The open-ended process suggests Republicans won’t be rushing to push their own vision of health care through the House anytime soon.

The Republicans have never had a vision for health care reform beyond tort reform and a vague idea of cross-state insurance purchasing. The only real, concrete plan they've forwarded in the realm of health care is the plan to kill Medicare.

Their focus has been entirely on repeal, on trying to make the new law so toxic that it would not stand. They achieved one key element of that, getting a challenge before the Supreme Court. But that's a double-edged sword for them, because if the court strikes the law down, they're on the hook for coming up with the replacement they promised, something they're clearly not prepared to provide.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 10:03 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (22+ / 0-)

    "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." —Warren Buffett

    by Joan McCarter on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 10:03:21 AM PDT

  •  You say Zar; I say Czar (20+ / 0-)

    Or even Tsar.

    Those folks obviously could have benefitted from a Zar to oversee their education.

  •  The thing I have never understood (16+ / 0-)

    Is how right-wingers are so opposed to health care reform because they say they don't want the government deciding health-care issues. And yet they are perfectly willing to let someone at an insurance company who is paid to keep claims to a minimum decide their level of care.

    •  There's your death panels! (6+ / 0-)

      Betty or Doris in the Rescission Dept. who discovers you had acne before you were diagnosed with breast cancer and didn't disclose it. No chemo for you!

      To me, there is an inherent conflict of interest since it's to an insurer's benefit to deny claims to boost profits.

      Gee, maybe that's why in other countries, healthcare is either public or non-profit. And highly regulated. Oh, and I bet they negotiate drug costs too.

      “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

      by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 10:30:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Logic (0+ / 0-)

      Not the Teabagger's strongest asset.

      Solidarity Forever, for the Union makes us strong.-Ralph Chaplin, 1915

      by JayRaye on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 05:40:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The cult of "free enterprise" (7+ / 0-)

      A large % of the public in this country honestly believes that anything private companies supply is better in quality and price than what government can provide.  For many things they might be right, but it's obvious that it's not the case with health insurance.  There is no competition within health insurance, but through either lack of knowledge or willful ignorance people don't grasp this fact.

      Of course employer-based health insurance also confuses people.  Most folks still get their insurance through their employer.  Given the employers typically cover a big chunk of premiums most people have no clue what the true cost of their insurance is.  They don't realize that in reality they pay 100% of their health costs through a combination of lower wages and subsidies to their company by the taxpayer to fund their health insurance.  

    •  Their leaders in government have been (0+ / 0-)

      telling them, constantly, that government is evil.
      Doesn't make sense...but, they're followers, that's what they do. They do and say what they're told.

      -- We are just regular people informed on issues

      by mike101 on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 06:02:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  BUT WHAT ABOUT THE ZAR?! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I think that she meant to write:

      "Do you want a CAR?!"

      I mean, really. That's the only way to put, what she wrote, that makes any sense.

      Oh, and the answer is:

      "NO!!! I don't want a car. I want a much better bus, train, and light-rail system. So that we can ALL enjoy the benefits of public transit."

      (Let's watch as her gasket comes completely unglued now...)

    •  Private company vs government (0+ / 0-)

      not that complicated - private company you can choose

      "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

      by eXtina on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 08:19:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Single Payer will be what replaces the ACA... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, annieli, ChadmanFL, averybird

    ...when SCOTUS kills it.

    Single Payer is the talk of the town;

    Repugs start by saying that healthcare is NOT a right, it's a privilege.  You are on your own baby so better have some dough to pay or you'll have to declare bankruptcy.

    Single Payer is the only way out of this mess we call the healthcare "system" in America.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 10:17:49 AM PDT

    •  That's Like Calling for the Impeachment of Scalia. (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shockwave, annieli, TJ, lgmcp, TexasTom, Monitor78

      (And removal).

      It's Constitutional but it can never physically happen.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 10:23:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, health care is a privilege (4+ / 0-)

      Just ask any retired Republican or Democratic Congresscritter getting it on your tax dollars.

      •  Or Any Retiree Sitting On Medicare... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ChadmanFL, SingleVoter

        ...which would include moi. We were self-insured for 15 years and, my goodness! it was expensive and getting expensiver every year with higher deductibles and crummier coverage.

        You are never going to end Medicare and I doubt that it'll ever be possible to repeal ACA. Hope not and I hope that single payer spreads to the entire population.

        This is an issue solely for demagoguery. Nada mas.

        Time is an enormous, long river, and I’m standing in it, just as you’re standing in it. My elders are the tributaries, and everything they thought and every struggle they went through & everything they gave their lives to flows down to me-Utah Phillips

        by TerryDarc on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 05:47:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's what bugs me with Ryancare (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Panbanisha, averybird

          If they want to try and dismantle Medicare have the guts to start it RIGHT NOW and not in 10 or 20 years.  They put in that lag time in order to keep the current retirees who don't give a shit about future generations supporting the Ryan scam.  Most seniors aren't like that but I've met a lot of them who are.  They flat-out don't care about future generations so long as THEY get Medicare.

    •  Problem is (0+ / 0-)

      My hope has always been that states would start their own single-payer that would eventually spread and create a push for national single-payer.  We've already seen the beginnings of this in Vermont and in states like California where it's come close to passing.  Unfortunately is the ACA gets tossed so to does single-payer in the states since they will no longer be afforded the right to apply for a waiver to implement their own single-payer.

    •  It's the rational approach, and the best (0+ / 0-)

      for consumers. But it basically means the dismantling or radial re-structuring of the for-profit insurance industry, and that was not something either Democrats or Republicans was able to serious consider. How we get there from where we currently are is not at all clear to me.

    •  Delusional (0+ / 0-)
      Single Payer will be what replaces the ACA when SCOTUS kills it.
      Pass us what you are smoking. If the ACA is struck down, we won't see healthcare reform (much less single-payer) for a generation.


      Mitch Gore

      Want to end too big to fail banks? Then move your money and they will no longer be too big.

      by Lestatdelc on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 09:08:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Republican Health Care Plan (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, birdboy2000

    They re-did the "Die Quickly" plan that Grayson said they had a couple of years ago.

    They revised to the new Scalia Health Care Plan - Eats lots of Broccoli and buy good Burial Insurance.

    That is their plan.

  •  "The Free Market Solves Everything!" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ChadmanFL, basket
    Republicans insist they’re interested in more than just repealing the law and reverting to the status quo.
    From the Ron Paul Website:
    (South Park Margaritaville, (Season 13)) is so funny and it relates exactly to what Ron Paul is saying about ending the Fed and banker control...In the episode, it shows how the banks are basically stealing money from the people and how the value of the money isn't really based on anything but manipulation.

    slutty voter for a "dangerous president"; Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Sciant terra viam monstrare." 政治委员, 政委!

    by annieli on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 10:37:12 AM PDT

    •  South Park TV episode, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      crappy Ayn Rand novels. Well, what else but fiction would you expect to influence the world view of someone who once had a leading role in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs?

      Boehner (n) North German: variant of Böhnhaas - someone who does a job they don't have the qualifications for and who typically delivers shoddy work

      by Calouste on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 05:41:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Obviously the Paulites didn't get that episode (0+ / 0-)

      Because the main message from that episode was poking fun at those who worship the "free market" as if it were some all-powerful deity.

  •  The Republican plan is an individual mandate (0+ / 0-)

    without individual subsidies.

  •  Justice Kennedy will be the decider (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, JML9999, Panbanisha
    JUSTICE KENNEDY: I'm not sure which way it cuts. If the Congress has alternate means, let's assume it can use the tax power to raise revenue and to just have a national health service, single payer. How does that factor into our analysis? In the one sense, it can be argued that this is what the government is doing; it ought to be honest about the power that it's using and use the correct power. On the other hand, it means that since the Court can do it anyway — Congress can do it anyway, we give a certain amount of latitude. I'm not sure which the way the argument goes.
    Read more:
  •  The individual mandate doesn't (0+ / 0-)

    kick in until January 2014 and states I think aren't mandated to pay in more until 2019.

    So the PPACA might be held valid until 2014 or 2019.

  •  nominating for worst bill (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    citizenx, JML9999, averybird

    acronym ever.

    Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act
  •  I don't want a ZAR to decide my care! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CTMET, JML9999, lgmcp, wsexson

    but what about


    "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
    Real journalists know that lies do not bring "balance" to truth! (h/t elwior)

    by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 05:37:15 PM PDT

  •  I wish the media would challenge them on this (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, v2aggie2, mike101, bwren

    Demand specifics.
    "What plan would you recommend instead"
    "How does your plan address those with pre-existing conditions"
    "How does your plan work for currently uninsured entrepreneurs/unemployed/those employed where coverage is not provided, etc"
    So many specific questions - so few answers.

    from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

    by Catte Nappe on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 05:38:18 PM PDT

    •  How about? (0+ / 0-)

      1. Rescissions?
      2. Saving money and let the CBO verify it?
      3. Lifetime maximums?
      4. Loss of competitiveness when businesses have to pay for funky insurance company half-assed insurance?

      Time is an enormous, long river, and I’m standing in it, just as you’re standing in it. My elders are the tributaries, and everything they thought and every struggle they went through & everything they gave their lives to flows down to me-Utah Phillips

      by TerryDarc on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 05:51:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  ZAR? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Teh stoopid, it burns.

    The thing about democracy, beloveds, is that it is not neat, orderly, or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion. Molly Ivins

    by MufsMom on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 05:39:21 PM PDT

  •  Repeal & replace eith nothing is their motto nt (0+ / 0-)

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 05:41:31 PM PDT

  •  If we actually... (5+ / 0-)

    ... had the kind of socialist Health-Care system the Republicans have convinced their dumb-ass supporters that we have,  there'd be some room for them to propose a viable plan as the replacement ... they could propose WHAT WE HAVE.

    But since what we have is the most corporate-friendly reform plan that actually can accomplish anything useful, there is nothing further to the right that they can propose without being patently absurd.

    I say this not to attack "Obamacare"  because I believe it is a something that is better than nothing.  But it's absurd that the Republicans claim it is "socialist."

  •  what happened to their little pamphlet? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Is this it? The one they threw together to wave around during the hearings? I never got a look at that. I bet it's a collector's item!

  •  Republicans don't thave a replacement for (4+ / 0-)

    The ACA because all THEIR ideas are ALREADY in the ACA!

  •  Does anybody know . . . (0+ / 0-)

       how someone who has access to VA medical, which is on a varaible scale, fits into ACA?

  •  wanna bet those protesters are on MCR (3+ / 0-)

    and may even receive MCD.  What they call socialized medicine has been part of the landscape for years

    •  It's interesting (0+ / 0-)

      that the "Zar" woman is in a wheelchair.

      Either she has a Cadillac plan, which I doubt, or she's a slave to an insurance "Zar" who could give a crap if she lives or dies.

      Or she's on, as you said, MCR or MCD in which case she's only hurting herself with this silly, ignorant nonsense.

      you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows

      by Dem Beans on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 06:44:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm sick of all of the media pundits who claim (3+ / 0-)

    that Obama might benefit politically when the Supreme Court strikes down the heart of the ACA.

    Any replacement or legislative fixes will be impossible with the Tea Party Congress. No matter what Obama proposes, the Republican Congress will block it and then blame Obama for being partisan. And then President Romney will come along and propose the exact same thing, and they will suddenly embrace it.

  •  Someone here summed it well (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ChadmanFL, averybird, basket

    They said if ACA is struck down, then healthcare reform will be about reducing healthcare, not increasing it. I completely agree with that.

    With Republicans striking down the only viable universal healthcare plan they would have supported, any focus they have on healthcare will be about cutting Medicare/Medicaid in order to reduce costs.

  •  The wingnuts don't want to replace the ACA (0+ / 0-)

    They just want it gone so they can keep getting the big bucks for their campaign coffers from the for profit insurance companies.

  •  It seems to me that Tort Reform (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...only serves to lower insurance costs to doctors (and hospitals). Of course that is passed along to us.

    But, still, even they get screwed by the insurers, as you can see (and we still pick up the entire tab):

    "Armaments, universal debt, planned obsolescence — the three pillars of Western prosperity." — Aldous Huxley

    by Pluto on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 06:02:49 PM PDT

    •  Is that snark? (0+ / 0-)
      It seems to me that Tort Reform only serves to lower insurance costs to doctors (and hospitals).
      Except it does no such thing.
      Of course that is passed along to us.
      Except they do no such thing.


      Mitch Gore

      Want to end too big to fail banks? Then move your money and they will no longer be too big.

      by Lestatdelc on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 09:05:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not at all snark. (0+ / 0-)

        I'd like to learn more.

        Who does tort reform relieve if not those who buy malpractice insurance? (Assuming -- as the Republicans do -- the premium costs are passed along to the customers, thus raising health care costs.)

        If the costs of malpractice insurance are not passed along (as all other businesses do with their expenses), who takes the loss?

        "Armaments, universal debt, planned obsolescence — the three pillars of Western prosperity." — Aldous Huxley

        by Pluto on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 11:07:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You would think so, wouldn't you? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I agree that handcuffing juries' and judges' ability to render judgements on defendants (aka tort reform) should serve to lower malpractice insurance costs, but I have serious doubts whether any savings would be passed on to anybody except the poor, put-upon insurance company CEOs and their stockholders.
          Meanwhile, freed from the terrible burden of paying for their negligent and damaging behavior, the defendants can then continue garnering the massive profits earned (obviously, since they lost their case) by hurting their patients.

        •  In every state that has passed "tort reform" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Insurance rates have not gone down. It simply doesn't work to lower insurance costs. It simply increases margins.


          Mitch Gore

          Want to end too big to fail banks? Then move your money and they will no longer be too big.

          by Lestatdelc on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 11:06:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Suggestion for ACA replacement (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    In my view the ACA could be replaced by having every U.S. citizen on Medicare.  This is by far the best run and most efficient government program to date.  It would insure everyone has health insurance and would give the advantage of having private insurance companies covering much of it which would mean they would also benefit.

    Replace ACA with Medicare.  I wonder how many people would be on board with that including many from the "other side".

    Only horses should wear blinders.

    by independantman on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 06:03:21 PM PDT

  •  Defaulting to socialized medicine? (0+ / 0-)

    The UK is the poster child for true socialized medicine - the NHS.  It didn't happen because of some huge ideological revulsion against private insurance.  It happened because the hospitals were in deep financial trouble from World War II, so nationalizing them was a form of bailout that actually worked.

    And in the US, in a bygone era, we had socialized medicine.  Not fully socialized, of course, since doctors were mostly private.  But there were public hospitals where anyone could get care.  "City Hospital" was usually public and offered free care.

    As insurance became more widespread, and the Republican-led "tax revolt" decimated state and local government revenues, government support to those hospitals declined.  So they became more like private ones, demanding insurance or payment if at all possible. Now hardly anyone but the Shriners are happy to offer free care to the uninsured.  (The Shriners, a group within the Freemasons, have a number of childrens' hospitals.  I think they take insurance when it's available, but don't turn away needy kids.)

    So what if the PPACA is overturned?  We'd have ever-more people with no coverage, since the insurance companies would be free to refuse preexisting conditions -- in fact, without the threat of the ACA, they'd probably be more aggressive about "underwriting".  And they'd be free to rescind coverage when a claim is made.  This is not what the public wants; they think "Obamacare" is bad because the wingers tell them so, but they like most of what it does. The mandate is the broccoli that justifies the ice cream (guaranteed issue).

    Congress is not going to go to Canadian-style single payer.  A "Medicare for all" public option would work, but is also unpalatable.  But with many sick people seeking care, pressure could be brought to do something.  And that's where the UK model fits.

    We could go back to a system of public clinics and hospitals, paid for by taxes, open to everyone.  This would enable everyone to get care, and everyone would pay in.  You could still buy private insurance, which would let you go to a wider choice of hospitals and doctors.  But it would not be a life-of-death thing, since the public system would be comprehensive.  That's different from the 1930s, of course, since comprehensive care today is far more complex and expensive than it was in the days before chemotherapy, stents, etc.  But a public system with salaried staff and real bargaining power with vendors could hold costs down far better than individual hospitals do today.

    Private insurance would actually benefit from this.  They'd be able to provide "concierge" or at least premium-level service for everyday coverage, but the really costly stuff could be passed off to the public system.  That would lower its cost.  And it would still preserve a private system, which Wall Street demands.

  •  We all know what the Republican plan is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Don't get sick.  And if you do get sick, die quickly."

    Say what you will about Alan Grayson, but he nailed this one.

  •  What's a Zar? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Is it like the Zerg?  If so, I most definitely do not want a Zar making medical decisions for me.  But they should know that we might need Obamacare when the Zar Armada appears in Earth orbit.

  •  What's the deal here? (0+ / 0-)

    When the corporations send "our" jobs overseas, we're all a big family. But when it comes to our healthcare, it's my healthcare, his healthcare, her healthcare, etc. Where'd our family go?

    We get pissed off at big corporations for not supporting America but then so many people go off splintering apart into individuals. When there's a big job to do you get a group together to do it. That's's not some big, new scary concept. It's people working together on big things.

    -- We are just regular people informed on issues

    by mike101 on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 06:26:08 PM PDT

  •  Interesting demographic age group in that picture. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dem Beans

    “The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.” — Marcus Aurelius

    by LamontCranston on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 06:28:34 PM PDT

  •  NEEL BEFOR ZAR !!!!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    high uintas, GreenMother

    "Fear is the path to The Dark Side." - Yoda (or possibly Rove)

    by here4tehbeer on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 06:30:05 PM PDT

  •  I think she misspelled... (0+ / 0-)

    your, should be you're......don't shoot the messenger!

    "A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered." Ralph Waldo Emerson

    by Yo Bubba on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 07:29:21 PM PDT

  •  Seems we need a spelling Czar... (0+ / 0-) help illiterate dumb-fucks in the tea-party to learn how to spell.


    Mitch Gore

    Want to end too big to fail banks? Then move your money and they will no longer be too big.

    by Lestatdelc on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 08:59:06 PM PDT

  •  siily old people (0+ / 0-)

    not too make fun of the old- but these silly people are misinformed, racially biased, and many just plain ignorant.

    Most are on SS, Medicare, or disability of receive benefits from the VA- all Government social service programs!

    These old pharts do not know this- they get their talking points from FOX news- which the majority of these idiots watch.

  •  If the Law Is Repealed, (0+ / 0-)

    68 million Americans will be without insurance within a few years.  And they say do nothing about it?

  •  a ZAR!!!!! (0+ / 0-)

    that shows Republican stupidity all in one singe word, if you want to call it a word. obviously don't play scrabble with the woman is some cogent advice here

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