The Republicans appear to be coalescing around a “plan” for healthcare “reform.” This is the 3rd-4th example I’ve seen of GOP officials pushing these concepts in the last couple of weeks. Amazingly enough it’s a rehash of failed bad ideas from the Bush era. At least it’s better than plugging their ears and shouting “NO NEGATIVE NOTHING NOPE NEVER” repeatedly until passing out. Baby steps.
In short, the problem isn’t that your insurance costs too much or that you might lose it or anything like that. The problem is that you have insurance, especially insurance through your employer. Ideally you wouldn’t have insurance at all or at least you’d have much less of it.
That’s the essence of where Republicans want to go. And why Democrats aren’t making that a lot more clear is a very good question without any good answers. The problem is that you go to the doctor and agree to take the tests the doctor recommends. Shadegg and Hoekstra want a system where if your doctor suggests a biopsy for a suspicious lump you think about the pros and cons. Is it worth the money? Do you have the money? How suspicious is the lump anyway? Maybe you get the first one. But not necessarily the follow up scan six months later.
This is the essence of the Republican plan: the fact that you’re insured and aren’t directly feeling the cost of individual tests and procedures is the problem and getting rid of the insurance concept is the solution. Give you a structure where you can save money for future procedures and medications (the more money you have the better) and you decide how much medical care you think you can afford. That’s what HSAs are about (google it). That’s the gist of the column and it’s not surprising because that’s what most conservative policy ideas are about.
So the questions that make this interesting: is this a sign that they realize the “party of No” routine is losing steam? Are they concerned about how the next couple months plays out now that the White House is finally willing to start spelling out what they want from reform? What does the fact that they’ve felt the need to release this tell us?