Silly us! And we thought the Republicans had no plan. They have now come up with a “plan” that is getting some attention in the media, but don’t hold your breath. It is the same old plan that they’ve always had and that is to take back (repeal) the affordable health care benefits won by millions of people through President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordability Act and to replace it with… wait for it…nothing.
According to the New York Times, Republicans said their plan would “rebut criticism from Democrats who say the Republicans have no ideas on health care.” Because of course that is their true priority – to make it look like they have a plan where there is none. Sorry GOP, but we already knew about your plan to take back health insurance from the millions who are now covered because of the ACA. This is just more of the same.
Will the media coverage point this out or let them have a pass and call this a health care plan? That remains to be seen, but it appears that their “plan” is nothing more than their continued efforts to undo everything President Obama has accomplished, while doing damage control for their continuing unconscionable behavior and their lack of ideas.
Here is what the GOP plan would do among other things according to the NYT:
– halt the expansion of Medicaid and scale back subsidies for middle-income people to buy private insurance.
– reduce federal requirements of insurance policies. States would be allowed to specify the “essential health benefits” that must be provided by insurance. In the GOP plan, insurance policies would no longer be required to cover maternity care.
– reinstate the pre-existing condition problem applying the ACA rule that says “no one can be denied health insurance due to a pre-existing condition” only to people who have had continuous insurance coverage. For people who are uninsured, the Republican plan envisions “a one-time open enrollment.”
– states could opt out of the provision allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ health care plan until age 26.
Jason Easely at Politicsusa also has harsh words for the GOP plan.
“The Republicans have introduced a health care plan that doesn’t contain any health care. At the very bottom of the list of what the bill does, you will see that the legislation will provide tax credits for people to buy health care. The problem for tens of millions of Americans will be that they will first have to buy the policy in order to qualify for the tax credit. If a person or family can’t afford the policy, they won’t have insurance.
It also does not contain any mechanism for transferring people who are currently enrolled in health care exchanges to new subsidized coverage. Instead of expanding Medicaid, the Republican plan caps funding. This means that all of the people who have gotten health care through the Medicaid will be thrown off of their insurance.
These are the same old ideas that Republicans have been trying to dress up as health care reform for decades. The Republican plan will drive up health care costs, and throw millions of people off of their current coverage. It will allow insurance companies to discriminate and price gouge. It will drive up the cost of prescription drugs for seniors. The Republican plan would also toss 3 million children off of their parents’ health insurance.
“Repeal and replace” is another GOP empty slogan that may have (arguably) worked well enough in the mid-terms in certain races. We can only hope Republican-voting Americans will soon snap out of the fog they are in regarding the Republican party’s true nature and the path that they are leading us down.