HERE’S A WAY Congressional Republicans can redeem themselves from the unseemly hash they’ve made of health care reform. Break up all their ideas into separate bills and hold votes on each piece.
There would be an up or down vote on repealing the individual mandate.
There would be another on repealing the employer mandate.
There would be one on repealing the medical device tax.
There would be a vote on allowing nationwide shopping for health insurance, which would lead to scores of companies vying for your business instead of the highly restrictive markets we have now in each state.
Among other items that should have separate votes would be the expansion and liberalization of health savings accounts (the House bill passed in May has such provisions); allowing states to enact reforms for Medicaid without having to get “waivers” from Washington (several states such as Rhode Island and Indiana have exciting changes that give better outcomes and slow the growth of Medicaid spending; a number of governors, such as Matt Bevin of Kentucky, are readying exciting pro-patient-care proposals); permitting individuals more flexibility on what insurance policies they wish to buy; and providing funding to set up robust high-risk pools that offer coverage for people, such as those with chronic conditions, who cannot otherwise obtain adequate insurance.
While we’re at it, separate votes should also be held on repealing other individual Obamacare tax increases, such as its levies on capital gains, dividends and insurance companies.
Not all of these would pass. But this approach would lead to a lot of sensible reforms being enacted instead of trying to bunch everything together into one piece of legislation, which would mean nothing good gets done.
Eminent economist Steve Moore came up with this brilliant approach in an article he wrote for the American Spectator. If Republicans don’t embrace this simple but dazzling idea, Moore rightly warns that there could well be a “compromise” in which “Obamacare will become like Medicare and Medicaid, gobbling up ever more tax dollars as its costs cascade year after year.” In other words, instead of repealing and replacing Obamacare, the GOP would end up saving it from bankruptcy.
Moore rightly concludes that “House and Senate Republicans’ best move forward is to hold stand-alone votes on the real reform measures.”