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Old 02-10-2014, 01:42 PM  
petegz28 petegz28 is offline
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A Winning Alternative to Obamacare

Obamacare is failing. Faced with this unpleasant reality, President Obama offered up during his State of the Union address his only remaining defense of his eponymous program: There is no alternative. “[M]y Republican friends…if you have specific plans…tell America what you’d do differently….We all owe it to the American people to say what we’re for, not just what we’re against.”

We accept the challenge. The 2017 Project, with which we’re associated, has developed an alternative to Obama’s 2,700 pages of federal largess. The proposal builds upon prior efforts by conservative policymakers and thinkers, including recent proposals from the House Republican Study Committee (RSC) and a trio of senior GOP senators (Tom Coburn, Richard Burr, and Orrin Hatch). It would solve the three core problems that called out for real reform even before the Democrats passed Obamacare: getting more people insured; dealing with the problem of preexisting conditions; and lowering costs. In providing politically attractive and substantively sound solutions to these three core concerns, it would justify bringing an end to Obamacare, and thus would pave the way for full repeal.

Just as important as what our proposal would do is what it wouldn’t do. It wouldn’t force anyone to buy insurance. It wouldn’t auto-enroll anyone in any plan. It wouldn’t reduce the tax break for employer-based insurance (aside from closing the tax loophole at the high end). It wouldn’t cost anywhere near the $2 trillion over a decade that Obamacare would cost. It wouldn’t undermine religious liberty. It would allow Americans to keep their current plan if they like it.

In order to increase the number of people with insurance versus the pre-Obamacare status quo without compelling anyone to buy anything, the 2017 Project proposal would address what has long been a basic unfairness in the tax code. Why should millions of Americans who get insurance through their employer get a tax break, while millions who buy it on their own through the individual market do not? We would end this unfairness by offering a refundable tax credit, one that would apply to everyone who buys insurance through the individual market (just as the employer-based tax break applies to everyone in the employer market). Since insurance costs increase with age, the value of the tax credit does too: $1,200 for those under 35 years of age, $2,100 for those between 35 and 50, and $3,000 for those who are 50 or over. There would also be a $900 credit per child. Those who didn’t use the full value of their tax credit could deposit what’s left in a health savings account (HSA). Figures from the Government Accountability Office suggest that—in the absence of Obamacare’s myriad mandates—such credits, combined with the reform of letting people buy insurance across state lines, would make a low-premium (“catastrophic”) policy affordable for everyone.

Obamacare’s taxpayer-funded subsidies are substantial for the near-poor and some of the near-elderly, but they do virtually nothing for most of the young or the middle class. Obamacare’s neglect of these two rather significant groups opens up a huge political vulnerability. A 2017 Project study of Obamacare’s subsidies in the 50 largest American counties shows that a typical 26-year-old man who makes $35,000 would get no Obamacare subsidy whatsoever for the cheapest-priced “bronze” plan. Nor would a 36-year-old woman who is making that same $35,000. Under our alternative, by contrast, they would get tax credits of $1,200 and $2,100 respectively, which they wouldn’t have to use for a government-run “exchange” plan but could use for any plan they’d like.

While most Americans don’t support Obamacare’s income redistribution, they also don’t want to see those with lower incomes tossed off their newly acquired insurance. In terms of effects on the near-poor and the middle class, the two most recent GOP alternatives tend to err in opposite directions. The RSC proposal relies on a tax deduction, not a credit. So it provides a significant assist to the upper half of income-earners, while millions of lower-income people would get comparatively little help in paying for their insurance. The Coburn-Burr-Hatch proposal, on the other hand, income-tests its tax credit, therefore doing little or nothing for much of the middle class. Our alternative effectively splits this difference, offering tax credits rather than deductions, but not means-testing them—thus helping both the newly insured near-poor and the neglected-by-Obamacare middle class.



To solve the problem of expensive preexisting conditions, our alternative would allocate $7.5 billion a year in defined-contribution federal funding for state-run “high risk” pools. Through such pools, anyone could buy affordable, partially subsidized insurance, and no one could be turned away because of a preexisting condition. We also propose (1) that no one could be dropped from, or re-priced by, their existing insurance—including insurance purchased under Obamacare—because of a preexisting condition; (2) that those who turn 18 (or leave their parents’ insurance) have a one-time, one-year buy-in-period during which they couldn’t be denied coverage, or charged more, for a preexisting condition—and that parents be granted a similar one-year buy-in-period for newborns; and (3) that people be able to move from employer-based plans to individual plans, or between individual plans of the same level, without being denied coverage, or being re-priced, for a preexisting condition.

There’s more to our proposal, and we invite readers to take a look at it at www.2017project.org. We’re certain it’s not perfect, and we hope others will find ways to improve upon it. But we do think it sketches a compelling alternative to Obamacare, one that should allow Americans to have confidence in what would follow repeal. For this proposal can make the following winning claim: under this conservative alternative, health costs would drop, liberty would be secured, and any American who wants to buy health insurance would be able to do so. And we can be freed from the nightmare of Obamacare.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/...re_778872.html
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Old 02-11-2014, 09:25 AM   #16
patteeu patteeu is offline
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Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
It won't help bring down costs--not if people want pre-existing conditions gone. Mandates NEVER bring down costs. They simply push the demand curve higher while the supply remains the same.
So are you comfortable forcing everyone who contracts a serious disease (and their families) into poverty first (after their insurance is canceled and they can no longer afford coverage) and then medicaid, or do you want to repeal socialist medicaid as well and watch people die in the streets? If you've ever expressed support for an alternative to these two possible scenarios, I've never seen it. Educate me.
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Old 02-11-2014, 09:50 AM   #17
blake5676 blake5676 is offline
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Originally Posted by Chiefshrink View Post
It just slows down the cancer is all, but the cancer will eventually kill you if not completely cut out. What don't you all get ? Is there any political will at all from any of you to go after this 'turd' as HCF says to flush this away permanently? Who cares about the Left dominated politics and what they think and how they will paint us as evil. What's new about that ? Fight for your country I say !!!

BTW 25% of this bill is only about healthcare and the other 75% is about $$(taxes) and control(UnConstitutional) regulations. WHY ?

I must be missing the part where anyone said they didn't want to throw Obamacare where it belongs...the trash

You are correct that health insurance is only a small piece of the pie. Cost control should be a primary focus. Generally, I'm against increasing regulations but there are certainly areas where we could police better and start curbing and possibly decreasing healthcare spending. But it's hard to reverse a trend...just like it's going to be hard to get rid of this shit law. Hospitals might be the biggest culprits in this ordeal. Insurance companies should get some blame as well. Hospitals should NOT be non-profit. All that does is allow them to spend tons of money on useless stuff. Have you seen the inside of some hospitals? Some of them look like a goddamn space station. And they have million dollar art and waterfalls inside. They have a board with 20 people making 7 figures who never touch a patient. It's ridiculous. But the reason they do that is because they can and we allow them to do things like charge 2k for an emergency room fee when someone needs stitches, or 15k/night for room and board. There is ZERO transparency in health care cost, which leaves the patient (who often has no choice) bent over and grabbing their ankles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
Thank you. Instead of selling out the Republicans need to bring their message effectively to the people to educate them--not become socialists to match the socialism of the left. Reagan did it.
This is a great idea in theory...educate the masses. It's a joke in reality though so you can say it all day but it carries little weight other than making you feel good. You (not you specifically) vastly overestimate people's competency when it comes to something like health care and health insurance.

Here's what people care about: do I have health insurance? is it free? why do I have to pay when I have health insurance? what does it cost me to get this done or that?

People are stupid. People use health insurance for shit they shouldn't. I have pt's in my office every day with GOOD health insurance that think their $1,000 deductible is a shitty plan or as they call it a "high deductible" plan! It's a rude awakening for most people when they have a high expense health issue that THEY are paying for the majority of it until a deductible is met. I can't tell you how many times a pt says "I have health insurance so it should pay for this." They think because they pay a monthly premium that their health insurance covers the rest, or that a $20 copay is their only responsibility. MOST people have no understanding of what health insurance even is and how it works. It's just a fact.
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Old 02-11-2014, 09:54 AM   #18
BucEyedPea BucEyedPea is offline
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Originally Posted by blake5676 View Post


This is a great idea in theory...educate the masses. It's a joke in reality though so you can say it all day but it carries little weight other than making you feel good. You (not you specifically) vastly overestimate people's competency when it comes to something like health care and health insurance.
Your post is apathy. What worked before can work again.

Your post which views the "people" being incompetent, is one that asserts the federal govt knows better for millions. It does not. Never has. So in truth, your idea which was once a theory, has not worked. Your post implies socialism is the solution. It's been the cause of the problem...in its real world application.

You need to move to Europe. Oh wait, some of those countries are moving toward free markets....come more so than us.
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Old 02-11-2014, 11:13 AM   #19
blake5676 blake5676 is offline
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Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
Your post is apathy. What worked before can work again.

Your post which views the "people" being incompetent, is one that asserts the federal govt knows better for millions. It does not. Never has. So in truth, your idea which was once a theory, has not worked. Your post implies socialism is the solution. It's been the cause of the problem...in its real world application.

You need to move to Europe. Oh wait, some of those countries are moving toward free markets....come more so than us.
Show me a single place in my response where I suggest the government knows best, you loon. I said people are stupid and don't understand health insurance, and even further...the difference between health insurance and health care. I've stated numerous times, because I think the ACA is a pile of garbage, that the government has no right OR idea about what an essential health benefit should be for any person, let alone EVERY person. Nor should they be allowed to mandate this law across the board on everyone.

I'm also a realist. Your argument that Republicans should just go out and educate people is nice in theory as I said. People still care about their wallets when all the rhetoric disappears though.
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Old 02-11-2014, 11:55 AM   #20
BucEyedPea BucEyedPea is offline
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Originally Posted by blake5676 View Post
Show me a single place in my response where I suggest the government knows best, you loon.
Seriously, you need this pointed out?

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Originally Posted by blake5676
I can get on board with a lot of these ideas. They certainly make more sense than what we have now.
Since you said this regarding the original post about a Plan that is essentially still Obamacare and was promoted by the Weekly Standard.

Do you know that's Bill Kristol's publication? He loved Obamacare at first. This makes you the loon.
Quote:
I said people are stupid and don't understand health insurance, and even further...the difference between health insurance and health care. I've stated numerous times, because I think the ACA is a pile of garbage, that the government has no right OR idea about what an essential health benefit should be for any person, let alone EVERY person. Nor should they be allowed to mandate this law across the board on everyone.
Yet you essentially keep it -- just with a few changes and twerks.
Quote:
I'm also a realist. Your argument that Republicans should just go out and educate people is nice in theory as I said. People still care about their wallets when all the rhetoric disappears though.
Only when you alter my words for a strawman argument. Psst! You're not the realist you claim to be. You'd essentially keep Obamacare. You're just another socialist claiming to be a "realist."

Sometimes compromise is necessary. Here it's a HUGE mistake. People like you is why this country is in the shape it's in economically.
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Old 02-11-2014, 12:06 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
Seriously, you need this pointed out?


Since you said this regarding the original post about a Plan that is essentially still Obamacare and was promoted by the Weekly Standard.

Do you know that's Bill Kristol's publication? He loved Obamacare at first. This makes you the loon.


Yet you essentially keep it -- just with a few changes and twerks.

Only when you alter my words for a strawman argument. Psst! You're not the realist you claim to be. You'd essentially keep Obamacare. You're just another socialist claiming to be a "realist."

Sometimes compromise is necessary. Here it's a HUGE mistake. People like you is why this country is in the shape it's in economically.
Can we dispense with this ridiculous notion that the 2017 project is the same as Obamacare? I get that you don't like either one of them, but there are plenty of significant differences and to blur those distinctions seems either dishonest or ignorant. If there are critical similarities that are at the heart of your objections, please specify them.

Could you link me to evidence that "Kristol loved Obamacare at first"? Something tells me that this is another case of blurring distinctions.

Also, could you address my question in post 16?
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Old 02-11-2014, 12:14 PM   #22
blake5676 blake5676 is offline
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Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
Republicans need to bring their message effectively to the people to educate them--not become socialists to match the socialism of the left. Reagan did it.
This to me reads that you believe education is the key to solving our healthcare problem, no?

Also, I've been against essentially everything in and about Obamacare since day one. I don't think the government has any business deciding for me or telling me how much and what type of insurance I need to carry. Me saying I could get on board with some of the ideas in the OP is nowhere close to stating that the shit we're stuck with now needs only a few tweaks. Letting people get a tax credit for the premium they pay for insurance? Or allowing people to stay on the plan they currently have? Not forcing people to buy insurance? These all sound JUST like Obamacare to me
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Old 02-11-2014, 12:21 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by blake5676 View Post
This to me reads that you believe education is the key to solving our healthcare problem, no?

Also, I've been against essentially everything in and about Obamacare since day one. I don't think the government has any business deciding for me or telling me how much and what type of insurance I need to carry. Me saying I could get on board with some of the ideas in the OP is nowhere close to stating that the shit we're stuck with now needs only a few tweaks. Letting people get a tax credit for the premium they pay for insurance? Or allowing people to stay on the plan they currently have? Not forcing people to buy insurance? These all sound JUST like Obamacare to me
I'm with you 99%, but to be fair, a refundable tax credit is a little like the Obamacare subsidies. For example, the poor get these credits even if they don't pay taxes. But there are at least a couple of big differences too. Because this plan seeks to encourage people to buy catastrophic care plans instead of forcing them to buy more comprehensive plans, the credits aren't as large (or redistributive) as the Obamacare subsidies. And because there isn't a means test for the credits, there isn't the work discouragement element that has been so widely discussed following the recent CBO report. Of course, if this plan were ever implemented, political pressure for means testing would surely follow.
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Old 02-11-2014, 12:34 PM   #24
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I'm with you 99%, but to be fair, a refundable tax credit is a little like the Obamacare subsidies. For example, the poor get these credits even if they don't pay taxes. But there are at least a couple of big differences too. Because this plan seeks to encourage people to buy catastrophic care plans instead of forcing them to buy more comprehensive plans, the credits aren't as large (or redistributive) as the Obamacare subsidies. And because there isn't a means test for the credits, there isn't the work discouragement element that has been so widely discussed following the recent CBO report. Of course, if this plan were ever implemented, political pressure for means testing would surely follow.
Fair point. Honestly I didn't really liken the two that way in my head. You are correct in that it would be wise to push people towards catastrophic plans. Let them bank money for emergencies in an HSA account. People need to stop thinking health insurance pays for every little issue they have though. It should come into play to get "in-network" lower negotiated prices for routine health care the patient pays out of pocket and then be there for when something bigger happens. The amount people would pay in premiums would be miniscule in comparison to the bloated policies the ACA is mandating.
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