The only option left to the Senate is to make health care reform someone else’s problem

I wish I had more time to blog. I really do. But I’m consumed with grant submissions, mentoring researchers, and writing columns about health policy because it’s clear that someone’s got to do it.

That said, I’m taking ten minutes out of my day here to rant. Read it or don’t.

If it hasn’t become abundantly clear, the only thing left for Republican Senators to try is to kick the can down the road. Again. They’re going to try and pass a bill which gives less money overall to states, a lot less money to some states, and then tells them to “figure it out”. Later, they can claim that they gave the states all the tools they needed to fix the health care system, so now it’s THEIR fault things don’t work.

This is ridiculous.

There is no magic. There is no innovation. If there was a way to make the health care system broader, cheaper, and better, we would do it right now. We would have done it years ago. No matter what you may think of Democrats in 2009, they didn’t choose the ACA because they wanted to keep states from fixing the health care system. The ACA was the best they could get.

There are no governors, of red or blue states, who have a magic plan for health care innovation. There are no state legislators (who likely work part-time) who have a secret plan to unleash the power of federalism. The Republicans in Congress have had seven years, all the money in the world, the phone numbers of every conservative wonk in the country, the CBO, experts eager to offer their help… If they couldn’t figure this out, do they think that Montana will? Oklahoma? Indiana? In less than two years?


Pretty much every health care organization is against this bill. The organization of Medicaid directors is against this bill. Most governors are against this bill. Nearly every wonk I can think of is against this bill.

There are legitimate ways to reform the health care system according to conservative principles. They all involve tradeoffs. The people defending this bill refuse to acknowledge that. Many are – at this point – seemingly just making stuff up and promising the moon. And – I’ll bet all the money in my pocket on this – when they can’t deliver, it’s going to be someone else’s fault.

Welcome to public service in 2017.


Hidden information below


Email Address*