After eight or nine months of shouting down Democratic health care reform proposals from Congressional Democrats and President Obama, Republicans have finally come up with a health care proposal of their own. House Minority Leader John Boehner, one of the top-ranking Republicans in Washington, has announced the Republican-designed alternative health care plan. The proposal, now being scored by the Congressional Budget Office, promises deregulation and a modest price tag. But it has earned no real support from conservatives and has garnered significant mockery from liberal bloggers, who see the plan as transparently political and full of bad ideas.
- 'Health Un-Insurance' Matthew Yglesias describes the plan as "BoehnerCare: No Soup For You" and lambastes it "the de facto total deregulation of the health insurance industry." He writes, "It looks like Republicans are getting ready to shift from having no plan for reforming health care to having a plan that won’t do anything." Yglesias sighs, "The result of all this will be a situation in which the health insurance systems 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."
- Shows GOP Failure on Health Care Jonathan Cohn takes apart the plan to dismantle regulation. "Without those regulations, insurance would become cheaper. But it'd be cheaper only because it provided less protection--and was available only to people or small groups with predictably good health," he writes. "And that's really the key distinction between what the Republicans and the Democrats are offering. Because of their aversion to regulation and government spending, Republicans embrace reforms that make health insurance cheaper by offering less security. The healthy win, while everybody else loses. Democrats prefer reforms that offer a combination of lower costs and more security--not for the medically fortunate, but for everybody."
- Great If You Never Get Sick Think Progress's Igor Volsky decries the proposal. "It is designed for the healthy while they’re healthy," he writes. "The Republican legislation even undermines the existing consensus surrounding cost control," Volsky writes, outlining cost-cutting reforms even insurers have agreed to. "But the Republican plan doesn’t invest in comprehensive reform that opens up the system to more people and begins to control skyrocketing health care costs. It only marginally lowers the costs of insurance for the healthy — while they’re healthy."
- Alan Grayson Was Right Digby quotes Rep. Grayson's famous diatribe. "Finally, the long awaited Republican alternative is upon us. And essentially it is 'don't get sick. And if you do get sick, die quickly.' Imagine that," she writes. "What are we waiting for? This is the completely substanceless health care reform that they've all been waiting for. It will change absolutely nothing! It's perfect."
- 'High-Risk Pools' Don't Work Time's Karen Tumulty singles out Boehner's proposal to set up "high-risk pools" in every state that would sell more expensive insurance to people at greater health risk. "These pools already exist in more than 30 states, but they tend to be too expensive for those with limited means to buy into. And often, people cannot get into them for as long as a year after they apply. When my brother developed kidney disease and his health insurance refused to pay to treat it, I looked into Texas' high-risk pool and discovered it would be far out of his reach, with premiums that typically run twice as expensive as regular insurance policies. California's high-risk pool has been a disaster, covering only 2% of the medically uninsurable."