The GOP Health Care Policy – ‘We don’t do policy’

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

In the “post policy nihilism
of the GOP, Republicans are no longer guided by any real policy
“asks,” but rather are chronically positioning themselves only in
opposition to the
president's policies. "Just say no."

The latest example: Three years after campaigning on a vow to "repeal and replace" President
Obama's health care law, House Republicans have yet to advance any
alternative for the system they have voted more than three dozen times
to abolish in whole or in part. GOP yet to detail any alternative to health overhaul:

Officially, the effort is "in progress" – and has been since Jan. 19, 2011, according to GOP.gov, a leadership-run website. [Actually, since 2009.]

But
internal divisions, disagreement about political tactics and Obama's
2012 re-election add up to uncertainty over whether Republicans will
vote on a plan of their own before the 2014 elections, or if not by
then, perhaps before the president leaves office, more than six years
after the original promise.

* * *

The current state of intentions contrasts sharply with the Pledge to
America, the manifesto that Republicans campaigned on in 2010 when they
took power away from the Democrats. That included a plan to "repeal and
replace" what it termed a government takeover of health care.

Steve Benen adds the details the AP leaves out, The elusive GOP alternative on health care:

Most of the political world has forgotten about this, but in the
summer of 2009, congressional Republicans swore that they would produce
their own health care reform plan and present it to the public for
scrutiny.

In November 2009, GOP leaders actually delivered on this
promise and released the Official Republican Health Care Plan. Why
doesn't this sound familiar to you? Because it was a spectacularly awful
proposal that even GOP lawmakers hoped you wouldn't hear about.

As we talked about a year ago, congressional Republicans missed a series of self-imposed deadlines in 2009, before throwing together a half-hearted joke
— the GOP "policy" largely ignored the uninsured, did nothing for
those with pre-existing conditions, and offered nothing for those
worried about losing coverage when it's needed most.

We learned shortly after the Republican plan was defeated that the proposal included provisions that mirrored "the suggestions put forth by the lobbying entity of the private insurance industry way back in December 2008." Imagine that.

As Matt Yglesias noted
at the time, the Republican approach to reform sought to create a
system that "works better for people who don't need health care
services, and much worse for people who actually are sick or who become
sick in the future. It's basically a health un-insurance policy." And as
ThinkProgress added
in 2009, the CBO crunched the numbers and found that the Republican
alternative would leave "about 52 million" Americans without access to
basic medical care.

Pressed for some kind of alternative to Obamacare, this was the best congressional Republicans could do.

And
here's the punch line: in July 2012, Tom Brokaw asked House Majority
Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), "[W]hen will we see a Republican plan that
would replace more meritoriously the Obamacare plan that you're so
unhappy with?" Cantor replied,
"Tom, you knew back in 2009 when the Obamacare bill was being
considered on the House floor, we put forward our alternative. So to sit
here and say we don't have a replacement is not correct."

In
other words, the demonstrably ridiculous reform "plan" that Republicans
were embarrassed by in 2009 was still considered Eric Cantor's go-to
replacement for Obamacare as recently as a year ago.

So the point isn't that GOP lawmakers can't come up with a health care plan; the point is they can't come up with a good health care plan.

These Tea-Publican economic terrorists are threatening to shut down the government in September unless Democrats surrender to their extortionary demands to repeal or defund "ObamaCare," Conservatives Desperately Move To Shut Down Government Over Obamacare, but they do not have any alternative health care plan to replace it with, as promised for years. The hostages these economic terrorists are threatening to harm are the millions of Americans already benefitting from the provisions of "ObamaCare," and the millions more who will benefit beginning later this year.

BLAST FROM THE PAST: John Boehner admitted back in March that holding must-pass bills hostage to the anti-Obamacare effort isn’t feasible. “Do you want to risk the full faith and credit of the United States over defunding Obamacare?” Boehner told Sean Hannity. “That’s a very tough argument to make.”

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