January 17, 2017 by David K. Sutton
GOP Won’t Put Forth A Better Healthcare Plan
You and I already know why it is not possible for Republicans to offer a healthcare plan better than Obamacare. Even if Republicans do eventually present a unified healthcare plan, and even if Republicans insist their plan is better than the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and even if you stubbornly continue to believe what Republicans say, Obamacare will still be better.
Do you know why I’m so confident Republicans will not come up with a better plan (and why I think you should be too)?
Money. It’s that simple.
A better plan will cost money, lots and lots of money, even more money than Obamacare, and that’s the death knell. Republicans may put forth a plan, but it will not be a better plan.
Because you do not get something for nothing. We should all beware when politicians promise something better for less money. — Oh, and we’ll throw in a tax break for the rich too!
It’s true that if we want a better market-based healthcare plan, it’s going to cost more. And if it costs more, it means somebody has to pay for it. But let’s remind ourselves where each political party prioritizes financial burdens. And after we reminisce on that, let’s also remind ourselves the entire purpose of healthcare reform is to reduce the financial burden for lower-income families. The only way you do that is by increasing taxes on the wealthy, because again, you don’t get something for nothing. Now ask yourself, is it really possible for Republicans to come up with a better healthcare plan? — Well, they could, if only they would recognize the bang for the buck advantage of a single-payer system, notably low administrative costs, which includes less waste in the form of profits for the few. — Don’t hold your breath.
So since we aren’t talking about a single-payer system, let’s sum-up how Obamacare makes healthcare insurance more affordable for low and middle-income Americans. It does so with (a) Medicaid expansion, and (b) tax credits to offset premium costs. This is largely paid for with tax increases to wealthier Americans. If you wanted a healthcare plan that covered even more people than Obamacare, you’d have to offer larger tax incentives and/or further expand Medicaid, both requiring an even greater increase in taxes for those able to foot the bill. If Republicans intend to offer a better plan, that plan should at least cover as many people as Obamacare. In fact, a better plan should cover more people than Obamacare. The number of people covered is one of many metrics that must be considered on the path to a better plan.
Because of the added tax burden to the wealthy, and because they will never reach enlightenment on a single-payer plan, you already know Republicans will be unable to offer a better plan. And I hope we can all agree magic will not be involved, although I can’t rule out magical thinking.
So how do Republicans replace the ACA with a better plan?
They don’t. They can’t. They won’t.
And that’s because we already know Republicans are unwilling to do what’s necessary to actually put forth a better plan.