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February 11, 2014

GOP Congressfolk Describe Obamacare Plans

Two general proposals were made this week by Republicans in Washington, D.C. for fixing the mess President Obama and the Democrats made of healthcare in this country.

The first up is Sen. Ron Johnson's plan for what we can do while Obama is still in office:

Sen. Ron Johnson presented an extensive PowerPoint proposal to "repair the damage" of Obamacare. Johnson had once hoped to repeal the law but conceded that now, after its implementation, "you don't just wave a wand and repeal it and it goes away." So he is collecting ideas for a bill he hopes would instead remove some of the most problematic parts of Obamacare. Johnson stressed that his proposal, in whatever final form it takes, will not be a systematic replacement but rather a set of individual fixes that could offer relief to some of the Americans most burdened by Obamacare.

Among the ideas he's considering are doing away with the individual and employer mandates, creating a "true grandfather clause" to let people keep their insurance if they like it, allowing any state that chooses to simply opt out, ending the bailouts for the insurance companies and ending the tax penalty for people who buy insurance on the individual market, allowing the sale of insurance across state lines, and creating high-risk pools to insure people with preexisting conditions.

Johson's plan is pretty straightforward. Obamacare is deeply unpopular, but Obama isn't going to allow its repeal while he is in office. So the GOP should press its advantage by offering small, popular ideas to replace the worst parts of Obamacare. In particular, many Democrats are running on the claim that they want to "fix" Obamacare. The idea is to make them put up or shut up.

Johnson acknowledges that this is just the limit of what can be done so long as Obama refuses to budge. Johnson notes that other parts of Obamacare will have to be transitioned out of existence (he names the subsidies) after the President is gone.

That's on the Senate side. On the House side, conservative Reps. Tom Price and Mike Roe outlined their plan to replace Obamacare.

And physician Reps. Tom Price (R-Ga.) and Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) promoted their ideas for tackling a long-running conservative priority: replacing President Obama’s healthcare law with a system that allows people to buy health insurance across state lines and take it from job to job, that reduces “defensive medicine” through tort reform, and that expands health savings accounts.

Price acknowledges, however, that this isn't happening until after Obama is gone:

But Price cautioned the new system he envisioned was, practically speaking, years away.

Obama, he said, is “not going to sign a bill to repeal his signature legislation.”

“What will happen, I believe firmly, is that in three to five years, we won’t be living under this law,” Price added.

I'd love to see the Democrats forced into some hard votes on this craptastic law.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 12:30 PM

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