Republicans and Conservatives Missed Opportunity to Reform Healthcare

Republicans have an opportunity of a lifetime to deregulate healthcare but they are blowing it.

Senate Republican unveiled their blueprint for repealing Obamacare and replacing it with something better. They blew it. Through a combination of a zeal to have some legislative accomplishments, being distracted with what Democrats say, and lack of principle and imagination, Republicans in the Senate, the House, and the Trump admin have come up with crap.

If this does not bring down health insurance premiums strongly and quickly, they’ll get blamed, and rightly so.

There is little free market competition in healthcare. Providers, such as hospitals and doctors, try to finagle getting paid by insurance companies or the government. They look through their patients to their payers, the government or insurance companies. They don’t look at their patients and try to offer products and services to meet their needs. He who pays the piper calls the tune.

The problem of healthcare in the US goes back decades. Getting health insurance through employment started during WW II as a way for employers to pay employees while wage caps were imposed. Government let employers deduct the cost of benefits to employees instead. Fast-forward to the 1960’s. Medicare and Medicaid are imposed on the people. Conservatives called it socialized medicine back then and that’s that, not really explaining how that corrupts voluntary exchange and the price system we enjoy for many other products and services we freely buy.

Then conservatives said healthcare is a Democrat issue, which let Republicans and conservatives myopically concentrate on cutting taxes and increasing military spending. It also left them mentally lazy.

All the while through the 1960’s, 1970’s, 1980’s, 1990’s Democrats extended coverage through Medicare, Medicaid and other programs, sometimes with Republican support such as the CHIP program.

Enter the 1990’s and Hillarycare. The Clinton Administration and Democrat Congress try to impose government run healthcare on a larger slice of the population. Republicans and conservatives defeat that attempt. Rush Limbaugh played a hilarious musical parody named Womb to the Tomb. But, and this is crucial, Republicans and conservatives did not pursue market-based healthcare reform  thereafter, they did not talk about it. Hey, healthcare was a Democrat issue, and cutting taxes and military spending were for Republicans. They went along with Democrats with the CHIP program.

You see the problem here. Republicans and conservatives like Rush, Hannity, et al were NOT explaining how market-based health insurance might work, so no swaying of the population, no educating, so it just hung there that government must provide health insurance and regulate healthcare markets. Republicans and conservatives enjoyed President Clinton’s scandals but ignored the opportunity delve into healthcare reform

Mitty Romney gets elected to the governorship of Massachusetts in 2006 and helps enact Romneycare. This is based on a plan from the conservative Heritage Foundation and includes. . . the individual mandate:

An individual mandate to purchase healthcare was initially proposed by the politically conservative Heritage Foundation in 1989 as an alternative to single-payer health care.

Candidate Barrack Obama gets elected president, with a Democrat congressional majority. They pass ACA aka Obamacare over united Republican and conservative opposition. Now Republicans and conservatives start thinking about healthcare reform. But again, it’s just opposition to Obamacare. Replacement would come later. Yeah sure. Well, that later is now, and Republicans and conservatives never coalesced around healthcare reform, but they can sure talk eloquently about cutting taxes.

Republicans and conservatives must now accept the reality that resulted from their failures. And the American people suffer.


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