06 November, 2009

Your Daily Dose of Health Care Reform Stupidity

Dear, oh, dear.  We knew the Cons' "reform" bill would be bad, but this is really bad:

Republican lawmakers nevertheless submitted their plan to the Congressional Budget Office for a score. The office released a report (pdf) last night, and it's safe to assume GOP leaders hope no one reads it.
The Republican bill, which has no chance of passage, would extend insurance coverage to about 3 million people by 2019, and would leave about 52 million people uninsured, the budget office said, meaning the proportion of non-elderly Americans with coverage would remain about the same as now, at roughly 83 percent. [...]
According to the report by nonpartisan budget office, the Republican bill would reduce future federal deficits by $68 billion over 10 years, compared to a reduction of $104 billion by the House Democrats' legislation.
So, let me get this straight. The House Republican caucus has been working behind closed doors since June on a health care plan. Five months later, they unveil their plan, and it effectively leaves the broken status quo intact? That's the big GOP health proposal? Largely ignoring the uninsured, neglecting those with pre-existing conditions, and offering deficit reductions that are smaller than the Democrats' plan?

House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller (D-Calif.) said of the GOP plan in a statement, "It will leave 52 million Americans literally out in the cold, does nothing to help low-income and middle-class families afford quality health care, and protects insurance companies' power to deny claims and stand between patients and their doctors. Their bill fundamentally fails to repair our broken health care system."

Now, keep in mind, Republican leaders concede that their approach effectively ignores those who currently lack coverage. As far as the GOP is concerned, helping those with no insurance costs too much, so their plan barely tries to address this aspect of the health care crisis. Instead, they argue, the key to reform is cutting costs, so that's where Republicans focused their energies.

But this is wrong, too. Jonathan Cohn explained this week, "This is a politically clever construction, since it creates a narrative that is both intellectually simple (Democrats focus on coverage, Republicans focus on costs) and consistent with preconceptions about the parties (Democrats want to help the poor, Republicans want to help everybody else). But it's not actually true. President Obama and his allies have made controlling costs a top priority of health care reform ... and the bills moving through Congress show it."

I expected a bad Republican plan, but this is even worse than I imagined.
A little bit o' compare and contrast with the Dems' bill makes it look even worser.  What a pathetic effort.  I mean, we're talking a bill that wouldn't even cover the Con leadership if they were forced to rely on the private market rather than their cushy government plans.

They're leaving 52 million Americans uninsured, and yet Cons still believe our problem is too much insurance.

By the way, in case there was any doubt, bipartisanship is really, truly, completely, and beyond Miracle Max's help dead Eric Cantor pledged to the Teabagging masses that there would not be one single, solitary Con vote for reform.  And Queen Snowe's completely lost touch with the masses, and seems to have had a complete psychotic break in the bargain.  Either that, or she's just enjoying lying like a Con after having played the good little moderate game.

So we can write Cons off completely.  Now all the Dem leadership has to do is whip the Conservadems into shape, and voila - health care reform.  I do hope this takes place before I'm 987 years old.

Perhaps the fact that the AARP and the AMA have endorsed the Dems' health care reform bill will shake a few of the idiots loose.

We can but dream.

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