• A Republican response

    Look, there will always be those who think I’m not willing to listen to opposing arguments.  I promise I will.  I’ve made the case repeatedly that there are many avenues to reform.  Moreover, I’ve tried to make it clear that I believe we all benefit from hearing clear, opposing viewpoints.  They help us to clarify our own thoughts, and sometimes we learn something new.

    Because of this, I’ve been desperate to hear a Republican plan for health care reform.  But this is what we get:

    “We are trying to make the current system work better,” he said. “We take a step-by-step approach by allowing people to buy insurance across state lines, by allowing small business and other groups of individuals to group together for the purpose of buying health insurance at lower costs like big business and unions can… We need to do something about junk lawsuits.”

    Perhaps more telling, a GOP health care reform effort, he said, would be defined by incrementalism. “We do not attempt to cover 46 million more Americans,” he said. “We will cover millions more Americans but we won’t attempt to do this. This is not affordable… what this is going to do is bankrupt America.”

    ARGH.

    Let’s take this piece by piece:

    We take a step-by-step approach by allowing people to buy insurance across state lines

    That won’t work.

    [A]llowing small business and other groups of individuals to group together for the purpose of buying health insurance at lower costs like big business and unions can

    That’s called an insurance exchange.  I believe it’s part of every bill we’ve seen.

    We need to do something about junk lawsuits.

    The CBO already scored this.  Around $5.5 billion a year, at best?  We spent way more than that for health care each day this year.  Malpractice reform is not health care reform.

    This is not affordable… what this is going to do is bankrupt America.

    There are many reasons to oppose reform.  Bankrupting America isn’t one.  The CBO has scored these bills as deficit reducing.  Even if they’re wrong – and they cost a few billion a year – please.  Health care may bankrupt America, but health care reform will not.

    There are conservative ideas for reforming health care.  Some of them might even work.  The American people need to hear them – from their elected officials.  I’m looking at you, Republicans.

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