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Karl, I hear this from the right all the time--that they recognize that our healthcare system is broken and needs change, but when pressed to define that change, they always come up with the same tired answers (tort reform, buying insurance across state lines to avoid state regulations, etc., etc.) I have yet to hear anyone on the right come up with any serious suggestions for fixing the system.
Obamacare is based on Republican ideas. It is a free-market answer to universal healthcare. What the right really seems to object to is the idea of regulating the individual insurance market, and yet most posters who complain about Obamacare have never participated in the individual insurance market. They have spent their lives covered by heavily regulated--and taxpayer-subsidized-- employer-sponsored plans.
Regulation is a good and necessary part of the free enterprise system. You can't have a marketplace that works without some regulation, and the individual insurance market prior to the ACA was almost completely unregulated. It was the wild, wild West. If you had high blood pressure, you were uninsurable at any price.
As much as the right likes to complain about the cost, the truth is that the ACA is revenue neutral. As Golf has pointed out many times, it actually reduces the deficit over time. I hope that you're in favor of reducing the deficit.
Posted by cat2011
I believe that the problem with the right is that President Obama took an idea that was first designed by the conservative think tank, the Heritage Foundation, that used the free market private health insurance system to achieve universal coverage. In 2006, this idea was put into practice in Massachusetts when their Democratic legislature and Republican governor came together to pass a health care reform law based on this idea from the Heritage Foundation. When he signed the bill into law in 2006, then governor Mitt Romney said that "it should be a model for the entire nation".
Then Romney ran for president in 2008 with the Massachusetts health care reform plan as one of his points. He was the only Republican candidate who mentioned health care reform. But his candidacy never got off the ground in 2008.
Everything changed in January 2009 when President Obama took office. Republican members of congress held a secret meeting on Obama's inauguration day to plot how to obstruct his agenda and sabotage the economic recovery so Obama would be blamed for a lousy economy and the GOP could regain the presidnecy in 2012. Check out this story: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/06/08/1098434/-Eric-Cantor-Paul-Ryan-Kevin-McCarthy-Plot-To-Sabotage-US-Economy-with-Frank-Luntz#
The united Republican opposition to the ACA is based mostly on politics and nothing else. As with any piece of major legislation, there are some good points and some bad points. But usually those pieces of major legislation address major problems and call for major change. People normally fear change and the GOP exploited that fear with their campaign against the ACA. Their goal wasn't to reform health care. It was to hand the president a stinging defeat right out of the gate; then render him impotent for the remainder of his term.
The Republican party based their entire strategy on a campaign of fear, lies and distortions regarding the ACA. Lost in all this was the positive provisions of the act and the fact that the GOP had no alternative to propose should their efforts be successful in defeating the ACA in congress.
Ever the spineless, shape shifting amoeba; Mitt Romney based his entire 2012 campaign running against the very health care reform program that he touted in 2006 as a "model for the nation". He did everything he could to disown what he said was his proudest achievement as governor of Massachusetts. Voters in the Bay State could smell that hypocrisy and acted accordingly by voting against their former governor by more than 20 points in 2012.
Now that President Obama has been re-elected to a second term and the supreme court has upheld the ACA; the Republican's strategy has shifted to blocking the implementation of the act in 2014. You can see that in Republican dominated states refusing the Medicaid expansion and by non cooperation with the exchanges. In Texas their cave man caucus formerly known as the state legislature has passed a bill that makes it a felony for any state employee to assist with the health insurance exchanges under the ACA. Plus the Texas cave man caucus rejected the Mediciad expansion. Texas leads the nation both in the number of uninsured residents and percentage of citizens without health insurance.
What we are now seeing is the last ditch efforts to undermine the ACA before its most important provisions become effective on January 1 2014. But these will ultimately fail and the Medicaid expansion will proceed in those states that accept it. The health insurance exchanges will become effective as well with those non cooperating states having the federal government running their exchanges.
But their efforts will ultimately fail. The provisions will take effect next January. Despite the house of representatives efforts to repeal the ACA (37 times since January 2011), it is an exercise in futility as well as a national joke. They might as well pass a bill repealing the law of gravity.
Then the people will discover next January that for most of them, there is very little difference in their health insurance. Those who are uninsured will be able to get covered and many will be covered either through the Medicaid expansion (in those states that accept it) or through the exchanges (which will be up and running on October 1 2013). Many will find that they are eligible for a premium subsidy that would make their health insurance much more affordable. Others will find that they have much better health insurance than previously because of the requirement that all individual policies be "qualified" as to the benefits covered.
The Republican party will look very foolish and behind the times. It would be the ultimate embarrassment for the GOP. This would be especially true in those severely red states that have rejected the Medicaid expansion and refused to cooperate with the exchanges as their citizens look at those states that have embraced the ACA and have more of thier citizens with health insurance and a much better economy.
That is what this is all about. The Republican party's very survival as a viable national party is at stake here. It is not about actually reforming health care in the United States. It is all based on politics.