Business Review Board / June 22, 2016

GOP’s ObamaCare Reform — The Incremental Approach

It’s not the sweeping reform this nation needs, but…

Well, it’s not the sweeping reform this nation needs, but it’s a start and it would place America’s health care system on a better track. On Wednesday, congressional Republicans introduced a 37-page answer to Barack Obama’s 3,000-page “Affordable” Care Act. “Everyone knows Republicans are against ObamaCare. We have got that part down,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan. “What people need to know is that we have good ideas for what we ought to replace it with.” Among the policy proposals, the GOP’s plan would nix the O'care tax on high-cost insurance plans, a.k.a. the “Cadillac tax,” and give Americans tax credits to buy private insurance instead of relying on the government for a waterfall of subsidies. Republicans also propose doing away with some of the regulation ObamaCare imposed on individual health savings accounts. For six years, Republicans have protested this signature of the Obama era, a law that is quickly imploding.

In 2014, as Mark Alexander noted, Americans overwhelmingly voted Republicans into Congress as a referendum on Obama’s policies like his health care “reform.” As recently as this January, the GOP passed a measure to repeal ObamaCare, but to really lead, to really show the American people that conservatives can be more than just a vocal minority party, Republicans needed to propose a plan of their own.

Of course, Democrats criticized the plan. But unlike ObamaCare, which passed on a party-line vote back in 2009, the Republican plan offers compromise as it keeps some ObamaCare provisions, like the requirement that insurance companies can’t turn away people with preexisting conditions, or the one that lets 20-somethings stay on their parents’ plan until they’re 26. Plus, the plan gives a vision for the GOP platform headed into the election.

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