Old Dogs, Old Tricks

The Republican Study Committee announced it finally had come up with a replacement for Obamacare. Ed Kilgore:



Through carefully cultivated sources in my own cerebellum, I’m able to reveal the mysterious House conservative health care plan:

High-risk pools, HSAs, tax credits, interstate insurance sales, “tort reform,” “entitlement reform.”

Pretty exciting, eh? Encourage bad and expensive insurance for the people who actually need it, probably while easing Medicare into a private insurance system and Medicaid towards the dustbin of history.

Kevin Drum finds the actual plan, and checks to see how well Ed called it:

OK, smartypants, let’s just compare that to reality. Here’s the actual plan:

  • Spurs competition to lower health care costs by allowing Americans to purchase health insurance across state lines….
  • Reforms medical malpractice laws….
  • Provides tax reform that allows families and individuals to deduct health care costs….
  • Expands access to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)….
  • Safeguards individuals with pre-existing conditions … by bolstering state-based high risk pools….
  • Protects the unborn by ensuring no federal funding of abortions.

Hah! You didn’t mention that last one, Ed. What makes this plan unique and exciting is its ban on federal funding for abortion. Boo-yah!

Some days the snark writes itself. Or, at least other people write it.

6 thoughts on “Old Dogs, Old Tricks

  1. ◾Spurs competition to lower health care costs by allowing Americans to purchase health insurance across state lines….
    ◾Safeguards individuals with pre-existing conditions … by bolstering state-based high risk pools…

    Not that anything the repugs put out should be taken seriously, but isn’t there an apparent conflict between those two points. It just seems to me that if you have a high risk pool that is state based and you allow the purchase of insurance across state lines then it either defeats the logic of being state based or high risk/pre-existing individuals would have to be denied the benefit to shop across state lines.. It’s like they’re two incompatible entities…one’s open and one’s closed.

    • high risk/pre-existing individuals would have to be denied the benefit to shop across state lines.

      Absolutely right, because without a mandate to purchase insurance, the insurance companies can’t very well be expected to sign up people who are high risk. How this would work is that insurance companies would set up shop in low-regulation states like Texas. Then they’d sell bargain-basement policies across state lines, but only to relatively young and healthy people. Everyone else looking for non-group insurance would be left in the risk pools within their states. But assuming that insurers within their states will take them as customers, their insurance costs will shoot up, because the young and healthy people have been lured out of state. High-risk pools already have been tried, and they are hideously expensive. They soak up taxpayer dollars like a Dyson vacuum. Either the state subsidizes only a small portion of the insurance cost — leaving many individuals out — or the state goes broke. Again, we know this is true, because it’s already been tried in several states.

      Meanwhile, when the young and healthy person is hit by a bus, he may find that his bargain basement leaves him paying for more of his own medical bills than he can afford.

      So you’d end up with a situation in which millions of people still can’t get insurance and health care costs are draining federal and state treasuries. It’s a lot like what we’ve had in the past, but worse. But the insurance companies could make out like bandits.

  2. No abortion coverage?
    But surely ALL immigrants will be included!
    So… LOL! Sorr… LOL!! SORRY!!!

    Sometimes I even crack myself up!!!

    This reminds me of a well-written Mad Magazine or National Lampoon piece, which tracked this one kid’s papers from 5th grade trough to his PHD.
    His 5th grade paper, “What I Did This Past Summer,” was about his visit to some relatives pig farm.
    And so were his papers in JHS and HS – in every class, he wrote about pigs, farms, or pig farmers.
    Ditto the kids college papers no matter what class he took.
    I forget what his Masters Major was, but it had nothing to do with Animal Husbandry – and STILL he wrote his Masters Thesis about that pig farm.
    Ditto his PHD.

    The difference is, the kids writing got more sophisticated as he got older.
    I guess you could say – as he grew-up, he evolved.

    The GOP keeps handing in that same 5th grade paper, about the visit to a pig farm.
    And that’s because they ARE pigs.
    Time to change that GOP logo from Elephas maximus to Sus scrofa domesticus.

    No insult is intended to the actual intelligence of pigs, which are smarter.
    But they do swallow pretty much everything that’s given them, and they do wallow in their own sh*t, so, there is a resemblance there.

  3. Brace for impact! This time the Repugs are taking us over the cliff.. The game playing is over. Either you repeal Obamacare or you’ll regret the day you were born.

    Boehner says the gloves are coming off. No more Mr. nice guy.

  4. Maha, you say “the insurance companies make out like bandits.” A simpler and more accurate version would be that the insurance companies are bandits.

  5. Pingback: The Mahablog » Does the U.S. Need an Intervention?

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