Naturally, the GOP had a shit fit. They spread all kinds of lies around about what this would or would not do, and the "mainstream media" dutifully reported those as the truth. The GOP furthermore has made it a point to vote on at least one bill in the house (on average) every 4-5 weeks to cripple or overturn the Bailout Act.
Now, a few of the same GOP critters have claimed to have finally written a proposal of their own to "reform" health care. Slashdot member smitty_one_each mentioned this in a recent JE that he wrote, with a link to a highly biased comment on this "alternative". The problem, of course, is that it largely isn't an alternative to the current situation.
Here's my blow-by-blow on the summary:
I clicked the link to your GOP alternative proposal. Color me unimpressed.
First of all, I will point out that the Health Insurance Bailout Act of 2010 was passed in 2010. The republicans have had more than 3 years for a do-over and this is all they can come up with?
That said, it doesn't really do much. Much of what is in this is already in the bill that they so desperately want to kill.
- Article 1 - just kills the Bailout Act, and does nothing else.
- Article 2 - is a tax cut for buying health insurance, which we already have in the Bailout Act. It adjusts a few other things like HSAs but that isn't anything that rocks the earth.
- Article 3 - Only removes a COBRA requirement for people who are high-risk and currently unemployed. Being as the coverage is - to be kind - extremely biased, I'm not convinced that such a requirement actually exists but we'll let them claim it to be so for now.
- Article 4 - Is about "purchasing across state lines". This is at best massive window dressing, and at worst could make health care far more expensive. First of all, in the majority of situations nothing currently prevents people from purchasing health insurance from other states whcih makes this window dressing. However, if they want to make it law then they will force health care providers to accepts any number of crazy plans and train their staff to work on this, which will massively increase the cost of running a health care office.
- Article 5 - is about medical liability law. Sounds great, except in reality it has little to do with the cost of health care beyond what providers pay for malpractice insurance; which is a cost that is only minimally passed on to the consumer. In particular this targets the attorney's part of the take (while placing no limit on the patient's award) whch should tell you enough of what this proposal's author is after.
- Article 6 - an anti-abortion statement. This really doesn't have shit to do with this and doesn't belong here.
In other words, the parts of this that are not obviously partisan attacks on conservative boogeymen are taken from the Health Insurance Company Bailout Act of 2010. I will love to see what they say when the CBO evaluates the cost of this proposal.