• Did the Washington Post just notice this?

    From two days ago in the Washington Post:

    More than a year after Republicans first pledged to “repeal and replace” President Obama’s new health-care law, the GOP is still struggling to answer a basic question.

    Replace it . . . with what?

    Really? Shocked, shocked I am! There’s more:

    If “repeal” is enough for the GOP primary, they said, then the details of “replace” should wait until later.

    “You don’t want to be terribly detailed,” said Rep. Michael C. Burgess (R-Tex.), who advised McCain in his presidential run, and saw the details of his ideas turned into weapons by Obama. “It’s a whole lot easier to demagogue the ‘con’ than it is to defend the ‘pro.’ ”

    You can go read the rest if you like. If you’re a regular reader of the blog, though, then none of it will be new to you.

    AEC

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    • “It’s a whole lot easier to demagogue the ‘con’ than it is to defend the ‘pro.’ ”

      We noticed.

    • That’s right. The Republicans should provide their own half-baked alternative so there can be a reasoned discussion about what parts of the Affordable Care Act the Democrats would like to improve. Yuval Levin offered another policy-based approach and rationale in 2010.

      “Because Obamacare embodies a rejection of incrementalism, it cannot be improved in small steps. Fixing our health care system in the wake of the program’s enactment will require a big step—repeal of the law before most of it takes hold—followed by incremental reforms addressing the public’s real concerns.

      …….

      “Indeed, many conservatives, for all their justified opposition to a government takeover of health care, have not yet quite seen the full extent to which this bill will exacerbate the cost problem. It is designed to push people into a system that will not exist—a health care bridge to nowhere—and so will cause premiums to rise and encourage significant dislocation and then will initiate a program of subsidies whose only real answer to the mounting costs of coverage will be to pay them with public dollars and so increase them further. It aims to spend a trillion dollars on subsidies to large insurance companies and the expansion of Medicaid, to micromanage the insurance industry in ways likely only to raise premiums further, to cut Medicare benefits without using the money to shore up the program or reduce the deficit, and to raise taxes on employment, investment, and medical research.

      “The case for averting all of that could hardly be stronger. And the nature of the new law means that it must be undone—not trimmed at the edges. Once implemented fully, it would fairly quickly force a crisis that would require another significant reform. Liberals would seek to use that crisis, or the prospect of it, to move the system toward the approach they wanted in the first place: arguing that the only solution to the rising costs they have created is a public insurer they imagine could outlaw the economics of health care. A look at the fiscal collapse of the Medicare system should rid us of the notion that any such approach would work, but it remains the left’s preferred solution, and it is their only plausible next move… “

      • Do you really think that Republicans only have “half-baked” proposals to offer on one of the most important issues facing this country?