PDA

View Full Version : U.S. Issues The Republican turn against universal health insurance


|Zach|
07-02-2012, 06:55 AM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/06/30/the-republican-turn-against-universal-health-insurance/

by Ezra Klein

In 2007, Republican Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina sent a letter to President George W. Bush.

DeMint said he would like to work with Bush to pass legislation that would “ensure that all Americans would have affordable, quality, private health coverage, while protecting current government programs. We believe the health care system cannot be fixed without providing solutions for everyone. Otherwise, the costs of those without insurance will continue to be shifted to those who do have coverage.”

Read that closely. DeMint does not say he wants legislation that would ensure all Americans have “access” to coverage — the standard rhetorical dodge of politicians who don’t want to oppose universal coverage, but also don’t want to do what’s necessary to achieve it. He says that he wants legislation that ensures all American actually have coverage. He says that without making sure every American has coverage, “the health care system cannot be fixed.” For good measure, DeMint wants to achieve this “while protecting current government programs.”

DeMint was not alone. Signatories to the letter included Democratic Sens. Maria Cantwell, Kent Conrad, Herb Kohl, Ken Salazar and Ron Wyden, and Republican Sens. Robert Bennett, Mike Crapo, Trent Lott and John Thune. But it’s DeMint’s involvement that seems, in retrospect, most remarkable.
DeMint is arguably the Senate’s most conservative member, and he’s inarguably the chamber’s most aggressive champion of the tea party. He’s the guy, in fact, who has been helping the tea party knock off Republican incumbents for being insufficiently conservative. Yet in the letter to Bush, DeMint sounds like Barack Obama. Nor was that letter an isolated incident. DeMint also endorsed Mitt Romney for president in 2007, telling the National Review that Romney “has demonstrated, when he stepped into government in a very difficult state, that he could work in a difficult partisan environment, take some good conservative ideas, like private health insurance, and apply them to the need to have everyone insured.”

To some degree, the political debate over health care has been on hold while everyone waited for the Supreme Court to rule on the law. But now that the Court has had its say, we can, and should, turn our attention back to the election, where the two parties have clearly laid out their health-care platforms. The Democrats’ commitment is to provide every American with health insurance. The Republican Party’s commitment is to prevent any American from being forced to have health insurance.

It wasn’t always this way. Democrats and Republicans used to argue over how best to achieve universal coverage, but both agreed on the goal. The first president to propose a serious universal health-care plan was Harry Truman, a Democrat. The second was Richard Nixon, a Republican. In the 1990s, when President Bill Clinton was arguing for a national health-care system based on an employer mandate, Republicans were arguing for one based on an individual mandate.

In the 2000s, Romney used the individual mandate to make Massachusetts the first state to actually achieve near-universal coverage. On the national level, Republicans as diverse as Newt Gingrich, Lamar Alexander and Trent Lott joined him. Republicans sometimes like to present their support for the individual mandate as a youthful indiscretion, but as late as June 2009, Charles Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, was telling Fox News that “there is a bipartisan consensus to have an individual mandate.”

Today, Romney touts a health-care plan, to the extent he has one, that would almost certainly lead to reduced insurance coverage. He wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, cutting loose 31 million Americans who are expected to gain coverage under the law. Then he wants to drastically cut Medicaid spending by turning it over to the states and capping the growth of federal contributions. The Urban Institute estimates that such a policy would cause 14 million to 19 million Americans to lose Medicaid coverage.

This, perhaps, is one of the clearest differences between the Republicans and Democrats in this election: health insurance for 45 million to 50 million people.
It’s still possible that Romney will devise additional policies to offset, at least partially, the loss of coverage. Right now, he promises to “end tax discrimination against the individual purchase of insurance,” a pledge too vague to analyze. By this time in 2008, presidential candidates Obama and John McCain had both detailed health-care proposals loaded with specifics. Romney’s lack of detail, or even a general outline, confirms how little pressure Republican primary voters put on him to address the issue.

In part, this is because the Republican Party continues to be in opposition mode. Having jettisoned their support for the individual mandate in order to fight a Democratic bill with the mandate at its core, Republicans simply have no policies that could plausibly lead to universal coverage. Instead, they’ve moved in the opposite direction, vowing to reduce spending on government programs. One unfortunate consequence of cutting spending that goes toward health insurance for poor people is that fewer poor people have health insurance.

Indeed, influential conservatives have been turning on the idea of universal coverage entirely. In June 2007, National Review published an editorial arguing that Republicans should reject “the goal of universal coverage. Deregulating health insurance would make it more affordable, and thus increase the number of Americans with coverage. But to achieve universal coverage would require either having the government provide it to everyone or forcing everyone to buy it.” Michael Cannon, director of health-care policy at the libertarian Cato Institute, formed the “Anti-Universal Coverage Club,” whose members “reject the idea that government should ensure that all individuals have health insurance.” This attitude is now the norm within the Republican Party, even if it is rarely acknowledged so starkly.

As the Republican Party has become more ideologically opposed to the goal of universal coverage, Democrats have become more flexible in their efforts to achieve it. They have compromised from single payer to an employer mandate to an individual mandate. They have sacrificed the public option. It has been a stark difference: As Democrats have shown themselves willing to strike new compromises to attain universal coverage, Republicans have turned against their own ideas.

The battle over the Affordable Care Act has largely distracted voters from this tectonic shift in the Republican Party. Yet unlike in past elections, in which even the most conservative Republicans argued that we should “ensure that all Americans would have affordable, quality, private health coverage,” voters this year will choose between one party that supports universal health care and one that doesn’t, with health insurance for as many as 50 million voters hanging in the balance.

Ace Gunner
07-02-2012, 07:01 AM
Dems & Gop -- the one two punch that KO'd america.

Iz Zat Chew
07-02-2012, 07:05 AM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/06/30/the-republican-turn-against-universal-health-insurance/

by Ezra Klein

In 2007, Republican Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina sent a letter to President George W. Bush.

DeMint said he would like to work with Bush to pass legislation that would “ensure that all Americans would have affordable, quality, private health coverage, while protecting current government programs. We believe the health care system cannot be fixed without providing solutions for everyone. Otherwise, the costs of those without insurance will continue to be shifted to those who do have coverage.”

Read that closely. DeMint does not say he wants legislation that would ensure all Americans have “access” to coverage — the standard rhetorical dodge of politicians who don’t want to oppose universal coverage, but also don’t want to do what’s necessary to achieve it. He says that he wants legislation that ensures all American actually have coverage. He says that without making sure every American has coverage, “the health care system cannot be fixed.” For good measure, DeMint wants to achieve this “while protecting current government programs.”

DeMint was not alone. Signatories to the letter included Democratic Sens. Maria Cantwell, Kent Conrad, Herb Kohl, Ken Salazar and Ron Wyden, and Republican Sens. Robert Bennett, Mike Crapo, Trent Lott and John Thune. But it’s DeMint’s involvement that seems, in retrospect, most remarkable.
DeMint is arguably the Senate’s most conservative member, and he’s inarguably the chamber’s most aggressive champion of the tea party. He’s the guy, in fact, who has been helping the tea party knock off Republican incumbents for being insufficiently conservative. Yet in the letter to Bush, DeMint sounds like Barack Obama. Nor was that letter an isolated incident. DeMint also endorsed Mitt Romney for president in 2007, telling the National Review that Romney “has demonstrated, when he stepped into government in a very difficult state, that he could work in a difficult partisan environment, take some good conservative ideas, like private health insurance, and apply them to the need to have everyone insured.”

To some degree, the political debate over health care has been on hold while everyone waited for the Supreme Court to rule on the law. But now that the Court has had its say, we can, and should, turn our attention back to the election, where the two parties have clearly laid out their health-care platforms. The Democrats’ commitment is to provide every American with health insurance. The Republican Party’s commitment is to prevent any American from being forced to have health insurance.

It wasn’t always this way. Democrats and Republicans used to argue over how best to achieve universal coverage, but both agreed on the goal. The first president to propose a serious universal health-care plan was Harry Truman, a Democrat. The second was Richard Nixon, a Republican. In the 1990s, when President Bill Clinton was arguing for a national health-care system based on an employer mandate, Republicans were arguing for one based on an individual mandate.

In the 2000s, Romney used the individual mandate to make Massachusetts the first state to actually achieve near-universal coverage. On the national level, Republicans as diverse as Newt Gingrich, Lamar Alexander and Trent Lott joined him. Republicans sometimes like to present their support for the individual mandate as a youthful indiscretion, but as late as June 2009, Charles Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, was telling Fox News that “there is a bipartisan consensus to have an individual mandate.”

Today, Romney touts a health-care plan, to the extent he has one, that would almost certainly lead to reduced insurance coverage. He wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, cutting loose 31 million Americans who are expected to gain coverage under the law. Then he wants to drastically cut Medicaid spending by turning it over to the states and capping the growth of federal contributions. The Urban Institute estimates that such a policy would cause 14 million to 19 million Americans to lose Medicaid coverage.

This, perhaps, is one of the clearest differences between the Republicans and Democrats in this election: health insurance for 45 million to 50 million people.
It’s still possible that Romney will devise additional policies to offset, at least partially, the loss of coverage. Right now, he promises to “end tax discrimination against the individual purchase of insurance,” a pledge too vague to analyze. By this time in 2008, presidential candidates Obama and John McCain had both detailed health-care proposals loaded with specifics. Romney’s lack of detail, or even a general outline, confirms how little pressure Republican primary voters put on him to address the issue.

In part, this is because the Republican Party continues to be in opposition mode. Having jettisoned their support for the individual mandate in order to fight a Democratic bill with the mandate at its core, Republicans simply have no policies that could plausibly lead to universal coverage. Instead, they’ve moved in the opposite direction, vowing to reduce spending on government programs. One unfortunate consequence of cutting spending that goes toward health insurance for poor people is that fewer poor people have health insurance.

Indeed, influential conservatives have been turning on the idea of universal coverage entirely. In June 2007, National Review published an editorial arguing that Republicans should reject “the goal of universal coverage. Deregulating health insurance would make it more affordable, and thus increase the number of Americans with coverage. But to achieve universal coverage would require either having the government provide it to everyone or forcing everyone to buy it.” Michael Cannon, director of health-care policy at the libertarian Cato Institute, formed the “Anti-Universal Coverage Club,” whose members “reject the idea that government should ensure that all individuals have health insurance.” This attitude is now the norm within the Republican Party, even if it is rarely acknowledged so starkly.

As the Republican Party has become more ideologically opposed to the goal of universal coverage, Democrats have become more flexible in their efforts to achieve it. They have compromised from single payer to an employer mandate to an individual mandate. They have sacrificed the public option. It has been a stark difference: As Democrats have shown themselves willing to strike new compromises to attain universal coverage, Republicans have turned against their own ideas.

The battle over the Affordable Care Act has largely distracted voters from this tectonic shift in the Republican Party. Yet unlike in past elections, in which even the most conservative Republicans argued that we should “ensure that all Americans would have affordable, quality, private health coverage,” voters this year will choose between one party that supports universal health care and one that doesn’t, with health insurance for as many as 50 million voters hanging in the balance.


The falacy in your post rings around Americans having health care, what are you going to do with illegals? Can't charge them for health care, can't deny them services.

Also, the current ACA is loaded with mechanisms to allow the government into your private lives that it doesn't need to be involved with. Your banking, your way of life as well as using things in your past that they deem dangerous, presently anyone that has been in the military seem to be dangerous people, anyone following the christian faith seem to be dangerous and just based on personal opinion, anyone white is classified as dangerous.

We need health reform, but we need a clean bill to present to the president, not one so full of back door avenues into your life.

BucEyedPea
07-02-2012, 07:24 AM
That's why both are economic fascists and Mitt plans to just replace it.

La literatura
07-02-2012, 08:07 AM
This is a similar, though smaller, piece to one Klein wrote for The New Yorker two weeks ago: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/06/25/120625fa_fact_klein

BucEyedPea
07-02-2012, 08:22 AM
I've been reading about some of the forced testing in Obamacare, even on stuff that doesn't do a bit of good.
How does this affect the right to refuse medical treatment and tests? This is important to me.

Pawnmower
07-02-2012, 08:43 AM
I've been reading about some of the forced testing in Obamacare, even on stuff that doesn't do a bit of good.
How does this affect the right to refuse medical treatment and tests? This is important to me.

Obviously you have refused testing and treatment for stupidity, Low IQ and assbergers syndrome.

We are all very proud of you here at CP. Keep up the brave work.

BucEyedPea
07-02-2012, 08:47 AM
Obviously you have refused testing and treatment for stupidity, Low IQ and assbergers syndrome.

Yes, because you know what it was turned down for to say this. This is what's Low IQ—forming opinions without having all the facts. You know what they say about making ASSumptions. They make an ass out of you—a clear case of projection here. As well as reveals how much of a economic and medical fascist you are.

Mr. Laz
07-02-2012, 08:50 AM
That's why both are economic fascists and Mitt plans to just replace it.

<iframe width="640" height="360" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/TTByvLtYIYA?feature=player_embedded" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

BucEyedPea
07-02-2012, 08:53 AM
<iframe width="640" height="360" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/TTByvLtYIYA?feature=player_embedded" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Same for Gingrich. It actually comes from the Heritage Foundation originally.

Oh, and I'd like to add DeMint is one of the guys in Congress who refuses to have the Fed audited even if just for more transparency. He's in the pocket of the big banks. He's no free-market guy at heart.

patteeu
07-02-2012, 10:22 AM
Same for Gingrich. It actually comes from the Heritage Foundation originally.

Oh, and I'd like to add DeMint is one of the guys in Congress who refuses to have the Fed audited even if just for more transparency. He's in the pocket of the big banks. He's no free-market guy at heart.

Jim DeMint is a RINO now too, huh? You guys are a trip.

patteeu
07-02-2012, 10:29 AM
I don't think Ezra Klein is right that the GOP is irreversibly opposed to universal coverage, but I do think he's right that they've worked themselves into a corner with their demonization of a mandate. It will be interesting to see how they deal with this. But one thing is clear, democrats failed to address the much more important issue of rapidly rising health care costs when they had full control over the political branches of government and I fully expect them to try to demonize any attempts that Republicans might make to seriously address the cost issue. Of course, I doubt that Ezra Klein will point that out in his column space when it happens just as he didn't point out democrat hypocrisy on Iraq when they were undermining the war effort.

BucEyedPea
07-02-2012, 10:41 AM
Jim DeMint is a RINO now too, huh? You guys are a trip.

“ensure that all Americans would have affordable, quality, private health coverage..." - DeMint

• DeMint also endorses pro-amnesty RINO Jeff Flake for Senator.

•On June 28, 2002, the debt ceiling was raised from $5.95 trillion to $6.4 trillion. DeMint voted in favor of what became Public Law 107-199.

•On April 27, 2003, the debt ceiling was raised from $6.4 trillion to $7.384 trillion. DeMint voted in favor of what became Public Law 108-24.

•On November 18, 2004, the debt ceiling was raised from $7.384 trillion to $8.184 trillion. DeMint voted in favor of what became Public Law 108-415.

•On March 20, 2006, the debt ceiling was raised from $8.184 trillion to $8.965 trillion. DeMint voted in favor of what became Public Law 109-182.

Plus he's a warmonger practices military idolatry. Since when is that conservative?

You can't spot a phony because you buy the rhetoric—not the record. Or you don't understand conservativism or republicanism.

Amnorix
07-02-2012, 10:48 AM
I don't think Ezra Klein is right that the GOP is irreversibly opposed to universal coverage, but I do think he's right that they've worked themselves into a corner with their demonization of a mandate. It will be interesting to see how they deal with this. But one thing is clear, democrats failed to address the much more important issue of rapidly rising health care costs when they had full control over the political branches of government and I fully expect them to try to demonize any attempts that Republicans might make to seriously address the cost issue. Of course, I doubt that Ezra Klein will point that out in his column space when it happens just as he didn't point out democrat hypocrisy on Iraq when they were undermining the war effort.


By pointing out how badly BushCo was fucking it up? That's not undermining, that's damn near a patriotic duty. You can't just let an adminstration keep throwing away billions of dollars and young American lives on failed policy and cheer it on based on a misguided belief that being a myopic cheerleader is some kind of patriotic duty.

BucEyedPea
07-02-2012, 10:53 AM
In addition to voting in favor of invading Iraq in 2003, DeMint voted for every major war spending appropriation bill until the election of Obama. After that he has a mixed record. Here are the major war bills he voted for under Bush along with the amounts appropriated:

FY2001 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Recovery from and Response to Terrorist Attacks on the United States, P.L. 107-38, 9/18/01, $13.9 billion
FY2002 Department of Defense and Emergency Terrorism Response Act, P.L. 107-117, 1/10/02, $3.4 billion
FY2002 Emergency Supplemental, P.L. 107-206, 8/2/02, $14.1 billion
FY2003 Consolidated Appropriations, P.L. 108-7, 2/20/03, $10.4 billion
FY2003 Emergency Supplemental, P.L. 108-11, 4/16/03, $66.0 billion
FY2003 DOD Appropriations, P.L. 107-248, 10/23/02, $7.1 billion
FY2004 Emergency Supplemental, P.L. 108-106, 11/6/03, $86.1 billion
FY2005 DOD Appropriations Act, P.L. 108-287, 8/5/04, $27.8 billion
FY2005 Supplemental Appropriations, P.L. 109-13, 5/11/05, $79.0 billion
FY2006 DOD Appropriations Act, P.L. 109-148 12/30/05, $50.8 billion
FY2006 Emergency Supplemental, P.L. 109-234 6/15/06, $69.2
FY2007 DOD Appropriations Act, P.L. 109-289 9/29/06, $70.5 billion
FY2007 Supplemental, P.L. 110-28, 5/25/07, $98.7 billion
FY2008 Continuing Resolution, P.L. 110-92 9/29/07, $5.2 billion
FY2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act, P.L. 110-161, 12/26/07, $73.2 billion

The FY2007 Supplemental bill also contained an increase in the federal minimum wage by $2.10 an hour.

DeMint voted in favor of the Patriot Act (H.R.3162, P.L. 107-56) and for its most recent renewal (S.990, P.L. 112-14). He voted for the Protect America Act (S.1927, P.L. 110-55) to allow warrantless electronic eavesdropping. He also recently voted for the original Senate version of the National Defense Authorization Act (S.1867) that contained the same indefinite detention provisions that appeared in the final bill. He also voted against an amendment to this bill (S.Amdt1126) to limit the authority of the Armed Forces to detain U.S. citizens (Senators Mike Lee and Rand Paul voted for the amendment; Senators Pat Toomey and Marco Rubio voted for the original Senate bill, against the amendment, and for the final bill).

DeMint's solution—vote Republican. (http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance285.html)Democrats solution—vote Democrat.

America cannot survive another 4 years of Obama though.

stevieray
07-02-2012, 11:00 AM
By pointing out how badly BushCo was ****ing it up? That's not undermining, that's damn near a patriotic duty. You can't just let an adminstration keep throwing away billions of dollars and young American lives on failed policy and cheer it on based on a misguided belief that being a myopic cheerleader is some kind of patriotic duty.



LMAO

classic lib bs.

KILLER_CLOWN
07-02-2012, 01:23 PM
Keep pushing that left vs right thing, it's worked so well for us to this point!

Mr. Flopnuts
07-02-2012, 01:30 PM
Keep pushing that left vs right thing, it's worked so well for us to this point!

LMAO Maybe at some point we'll have the fucking brains to realize it's not left vs right, it's us vs them!

KILLER_CLOWN
07-02-2012, 01:35 PM
LMAO Maybe at some point we'll have the ****ing brains to realize it's not left vs right, it's us vs them!

I've found that if you beat your head against a brick wall, life doesn't really exist...we're not really here..it's just a consciousness ya know? We must continue to do things that have never worked..it's really for the best.

patteeu
07-02-2012, 02:30 PM
By pointing out how badly BushCo was ****ing it up? That's not undermining, that's damn near a patriotic duty. You can't just let an adminstration keep throwing away billions of dollars and young American lives on failed policy and cheer it on based on a misguided belief that being a myopic cheerleader is some kind of patriotic duty.

I'm not talking about reasonable and sincere differences of opinion on strategy (we need more troops, we need fewer troops, etc.). I'm talking about disingenuous demagoguery for partisan political gain. Here are a few examples:

* Several prominent democrats who had previously been just as convinced that Saddam was a threat and that he possessed WMD flip flopping and taking up the line that we'd been lied/misled into war.

* Dick Durbin comparing Gitmo to Soviet gulags and Pol Pot's notorious regime.

* Harry Reid desperately trying to convince Americans that the war was lost just before the war was actually won.

* Several democrats advancing the idea that our CIA and our military were practicing state sanctioned torture, some of whom had been fully briefed on the interrogation program and had allowed it to continue and in some cases encouraged it.