Opinion: The GOP health-care strategy? Chaos, pain and panic

obama_affordablecareact-1

President Obama signs the Affordable Care Act into law. (AP)

The GOP approach to health-care reform seems to be the product of desperation mated with audacity.

As we’ve already noted, they don’t have a plan. They’ve spent the last seven years telling the American people that they had a plan that would provide even better health insurance at even cheaper prices to even more people, but without ever bothering to devise such a plan or even anything that could plausibly be sold as such a plan.

Their dilemma is simple: Any plan ambitious enough to keep 20 million Americans on health insurance is far too ambitious for Republicans in Congress to support. And almost every element of the type of plan that conservatives would support — much higher deductibles, taxes on employer-provided health insurance, the gutting of Medicaid, the privatization of Medicare — would be deeply unpopular with the American people.

However, just because they don’t have a plan doesn’t mean that they aren’t groping their way through the darkness toward at least a strategy, a strategy that appears based on the creation of panic, pain, chaos and destruction.

Look, insurance companies and health-care experts are pretty clear that with adjustments of the sort made to every major government program after its enactment, Obamacare would continue to function and continue to drive the percentage of uninsured even lower than its current historic low.  Republicans of course have no interest in such adjustments. They don’t want to make it work; they want to make it not work.

Indeed, those same health-care experts also warn that if Republicans continue on the course they have set — repealing the taxes and mandates that support Obamacare while pretending to maintain its popular elements — the whole thing will fall apart. A study by the nonpartisan Urban Institute predicts that if the Republican repeal strategy is carried out through the reconciliation process, as planned, some 30 million Americans will lose insurance, doubling the number of uninsured.¹

With healthy people no longer mandated to buy insurance, they’ll drop out of the market and insurance rates will soar. Uncertain of their survival or source of revenue, insurance companies will stampede out of the market. With so many newly uninsured, hospitals and other care providers will see a four-fold increase in demand for uncompensated care, and they will confront that challenge with hundreds of billions of dollars less in revenue. It will be a complete and total mess.

Surely, Republicans want to avoid that calamity, right?

Well, some do. Some are suitably wary of that kind of brinksmanship, noting that in a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll, just 20 percent of Americans support a repeal before the details of a replacement plan are put in place.

But Republican leadership, particularly in the House, appears to see that not as a disaster to be averted but as an opportunity to be created, and that approach makes a certain amount of sense to people desperate enough to try it. They have hidebound conservatives within their own caucus who will try to gut any solution that violates their highly developed sense of free-market purity. They have Democrats unwilling to cooperate in any way with the dismantling of Obamacare. How can they possibly bring those groups to the table to negotiate, on purely Republican terms of course?

Crisis, panic and chaos, that’s how. They seem to have concluded that if millions of Americans start calling Washington demanding that something be done, and if they control the legislative mechanisms, that “something” can be done on terms that they find agreeable. Of course, navigating through that kind of self-induced meltdown would require a degree of leadership, vision, planning and coordination that is nowhere apparent in Washington, but if you’re in Republican leadership, you may nonetheless see it as the only option available to you.

———————-

¹According to the Urban Institute study: “Of the 29.8 million newly uninsured, 22.5 million people become uninsured as a result of eliminating the premium tax credits, the Medicaid expansion, and the individual mandate. The additional 7.3 million people become uninsured because of the near collapse of the nongroup insurance market.”

Reader Comments 1

963 comments
LordHelpUs
LordHelpUs

The guy that spent years questioning Obama's birthplace is being treated "unfairly. "

Words escape me....

LordHelpUs
LordHelpUs

Is Hannity the only rw BSer that doesn't let little elvis off the leash regularly?

td1234
td1234

Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham laid waste to all Democrat attempts to bash Sessions yesterday. They made the progressives look like fools. 

Eye wonder
Eye wonder

Russia is gonna make your new fuhrer look like a fool.

Philo_Farnsworth
Philo_Farnsworth

From what I saw, dems didn't lay a glove on him.

Al Frankin made a fool of himself, as did the BLM/Code Pink types in the gallery.

LordHelpUs
LordHelpUs

You mean "lyin' Ted"?

The one with the father Trump accused of helping to assassinate Kennedy?

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

Was Sessions the first ever AG nominee asked about sexual assault? I've gotta think so.

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

Can't wait for the reality tv star's press conference today.

gadem
gadem

@JeffreyEav I think I will pull out my toenails instead....


Where is the shoe thrower when you need him?

Peachs
Peachs

Trump is like the high school nerd who claims to want to fight the most popular boy in school, to get the attention from the girls. He realizes the popular boy is popular because he is mature, and maturity will not allow him to take up the challenge of the nerd. 


Then one day the popular boy gets a nuff of the nerd and waits in the kid's front yard and the nerd won't come out to fight.There my friends is the very weak president we have allowed to steal the job from the majority of this country. That mob will some day be on the front lawn of the White House demanding for this paper dictator to come out and face them.

gadem
gadem

@Peachs Donald is a man-child.....still immature at 70+....you have to question those that are drawn to that type of behavior.

padofetove
padofetove

my Aunty Savannah just got Mercedes GL-Class SUV just by working from a macbook. you 

could try here>>>>>>>>>>>www.jobs-sea.com



Peachs
Peachs

"The uncorroborated summary accompanying an intelligence report says that Russia had salacious information about President-elect Donald J. Trump."


Of course they do..

WW5
WW5

@Peachs  the Russians got the info from the national enquirer and the msm

Peachs
Peachs

@WW5 @Peachs same place they got Hillary's and used, it while they kept their powder dry on Trump, until they needed it.  


And if Russia can hack, what makes us think a country that invented Apple and Microsoft can hack Trump too, and show those dirty lying taxes that shows the man is a fake.  Like we were too dumb to know we have a clown for president unless we have proof.


This country, as a whole, does not like Trump, someone will hack this man and use what they find, and it won't be Russian, it will be freedom loving Americans, who hate weakness.

Peachs
Peachs

@honested @WW5 @Peachs to think Trump hasn't got a treasure chest ,that dwarfs Hillary's den of sins is hallucinating.  And this guy is president, no retired school teacher.  

honested
honested

@WW5 @honested @Peachs 

When did I claim to be tolerant or compassionate to the enemies of the United States?


You bought it, you own it. We will all remember. Keep your chump bumper stickers on your pickup.

Peachs
Peachs

@WW5 @honested @Peachs our biggest enemies are the crowd right here trying to turn our nation into a dictatorship.  When most of them can't even spell dictatorship.

honested
honested

@WW5 @Peachs 

Yet they have it and it will demonstrate what fools the deplorable collaborators are once all of the facts are revealed.

honested
honested

@Peachs 

Poor guy is going to get tired of days going by without hearing expressed adoration from the Majority of Americans.

I hope his feelings are sufficiently hurt so that he resigns quickly.

WW5
WW5

another  opinion based on zero information

honested
honested

@WW5 

Refusal to accept legitimate information does not diminish it's value.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

On Obamacare, Robert Wolfson of Marietta, has written these closing lines in the Letters to the Editor of the AJC, this morning, which are worthy and should be shared:


"I believe a country should be more than a collection of selfish people individually scratching out survival as best they can. It should be a pact where we care enough about one another to build protections that benefit us all."


I believe, like Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt, that that sentiment should be a worldwide commitment.

honested
honested

It was nice to hear a President with a concept of subject-verb agreement coupled with a love for America wish us well last evening.


Now we prepare to succumb to the sullen pontifications of a russian spy as our country becomes divided into patriots and russo-republiklan collaborators.


What a sad day will be marked by January 20th.

WW5
WW5

@honested  people in 31 states looking forward to 1/20/17

WW5
WW5

@honested @WW5  labeling people doesn't make you correct or change things

honested
honested

@WW5 @honested 

Otherwise known as 'the minority'.

Square miles shouldn't get to vote.

I guess we can chalk you up in the 'collaborator' category

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

Bruno2 9 hours ago
@MaryElizabethSings @Bruno2 We'll have to wait and see how racial attitudes shape up in the next 4 years.  Under Obama, they got worse according to every survey I've seen, particularly the past 4 years when the media started pushing a false narrative of Black Victimhood by making martyrs out of the likes of criminals like Michael Brown.------------------------I don't know why you keep parroting this falsehood that things started getting worse because the media started pushing a false narrative of Black Victimhood.  The media reported on Michael Brown as well as victims such a John Crawford who was shot in a Walmart while holding a bbgun.  Divisive has always been in the US it's just that people couldn't avoid the topic when a black man became president.  There was plenty of divisive things say by others in President Obama's first years ie calling him a muslim or asking for his birth certificate.  Even though no President was asked for his college application plenty have asked for it because some people thing the President is really a "foreigner" as TD said here this past week.

gadem
gadem

@PaulinNH the caps make it more convincing. Donald has not told the truth in years, why would he start now. Sex with hookers is ok, as long as he did not email them after he was done.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@gadem @PaulinNH 

Trump is so full of cynicism that he believes people are gullible enough, and programmed enough, that they will accept his statements of truth as actual truth.  

He had said that as long as a man has power, women will let him grab their private parts without protest.  That is what investment in a hierarchical consciousness will do to shriveling the soul of the person, or nation, who believes that way.  As Obama said last evening, "It is up to Americans of all races to take the ideals of America's founding fathers (of egalitarianism and liberty) into the future."

mgunter
mgunter

My health insurance has doubled since Obama care. I now carry only catastrophic insurance. Dems have almost bankrupted th country and have now lost White House, House and Senate. The good news is ......they still have th entertainment industry.

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

@mgunter Before Obamacare, your health care cost probably was rising.

gadem
gadem

@mgunter you probably need to shop around for better insurance. Don't blame the ACA because of your health insurance rates. I highly doubt you have insurance....to be honest.

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

Russia has dirt on the reality tv star. Awesome.

omark
omark

Jay talks about millions of Americans losing their health care. If one things certain, it’s that millions of Americans don’t care about millions of Americans. That’s not to say Americans are heartless. Show them a puppy stuck in in a well, and they’ll blubber their eyes out. It’s just big scary numbers that don’t sink in. Though Republicans have spent 87 million dollars repealing Obama care, so far no one’s lost their coverage. No harm, no foul right? Give them a couple of Tic Tacs, and they’re ready to grope every crotch in North America.

There’s a problem though. They haven’t faced the poster child yet. Americans might not care about millions of Americans, but somewhere out there’s a little doe eyed girl, with cancer, that’s about to lose her health care. That my fellow Americans is going to go over like a led balloon.

Speaking of led balloons, how about taxing my health care benefits, privatizing Medicare, Social Security, and selling all the public lands Bubba used to hunt and fish on.

After eight years of bragging about what they’d do, the back seat drivers, from hell, just got the steering wheel. God help us when they find the long skinny pedal on the right.

Cherokee51
Cherokee51

Approval ratings for President-elects during their transition.


Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama - all over 65%.


President Golden Showers - 37%

Trackbacks