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Republican Health Care Follies

acaHouse GOP leaders have postponed a vote on their AHCA until tomorrow morning. But according to OMB Director Mick Mulvaney, President Trump isn’t in the mood to let this fight drag out any longer. He wants a vote on THIS.  Now.  Otherwise, Obamacare remains intact.

 

The concerns from conservatives are valid.  Without getting too far into the weeds, the AHCA plan looks eerily similar to ACA.  It ends the mandate, which is good—but it does little to address the 25 million Americans with unsubsidized individual-market coverage.  Those are the ones who have been hammered by Obamacare.  The measure leaves ACA’s insurance regulations intact, with plans to offset those costs with even more subsidies.  It would basically shift that burden to the states while creating a new entitlement in the process.  In other words, more of the same.

 

Here is a novel idea.  Let’s try something that has a damned-near perfect batting average when its been tried before.  Let’s go with something called the “Free Market.”

 

Do you remember when the Baby Bells formed?  Do you remember when that market stabilized and the price of long distance plummeted to next-to-nothing?  Do you remember when your inbox was constantly bombarded with offers for cheap long distance?

 

How about when the airline price wars were underway?  Remember the copious pop-up windows from the airlines and other vendors who offered to fly you to Timbuktu for $99?

 

Do you know what those price wars had in common?  Competition.

 

We’ll know we’ve succeeded in Health Insurance when we begin seeing obnoxious offers from carriers who promise to give you maximum coverage at minimum prices.  We’ll know we’ve arrived when we get bombarded with spam asking us “Are you satisfied with your current Health Insurance company?”

 

I realize this is a hard sell in a nation that has become inured to the idea that somehow government is responsible for paying for your doctor to remove a splinter from your ass. But the only economic system that has a proven track record in consistently lifting people out of poverty is pure Capitalism.

 

Republicans love to talk about free markets and competition—when they are in the minority.  Now is the time to grow a pair.


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