Ryan reintroducing GOP health-care reform bill today

posted at 10:12 am on January 27, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Democrats have called a halt to health-care reform, mainly out of concern for their own electoral health.  The big question will be whether Republicans take advantage of the opening.  While the public is entirely disgusted with this attempt at health-care reform, Democrats have been right to point out that people want some reforms of the system, and usually rank it rather high on their list of priorities.  When the GOP held the power in Washington, they mostly ignored it and left the field to Democrats, who shaped it as a populist issue against the big, bad, “villainous” insurers, as Pelosi put it last year.  Republicans have an opportunity to make the free-market case of dismantling barriers to interstate competition, reducing the role of third-payers in the system, and creating real pricing pressures that drive drown actual costs rather than reimbursements.

With the Medicare entitlement disaster looming, Republicans can’t afford to ignore the opportunity again.  Rep. Paul Ryan apparently agrees.  He will reintroduce the GOP version of health-care reform ignored by Democrats last year in favor of their stampede towards government control:

Rep. Paul Ryan is re-introducing legislation in Congress today — amid criticism that his is ‘a party of no’ —  to offer Republican alternatives to health care and spending the same day President Barack Obama will deliver his State of the Union address to Congress.

Ryan, the House Budget Committee Ranking Republican and chief sponsor of the bill, said the legislation will “restore our long-held legacy of leaving the next generation of Americans better off.”

The legislation, “A Roadmap for America’s Future,” was initially introduced in 2008, yet the version introduced today “will reflect the dramatic decline in our nation’s economic and fiscal condition” since then, according to a release from Ryan’s office.

“Simply saying ‘no’ to the further government expansions – simply maintaining today’s ‘status quo’ – is no longer an option: our health care sector must be reformed; our economy needs sustained job creation and real growth; and we must tackle the greatest threat to our economic and fiscal future – the crushing debt burden driven by the unsustainable growth in entitlement spending,” Ryan said in a statement.

The bill has its own website, and it should, because it rolls up several GOP initiatives into a massive omnibus reform.  It attempts to delink employment and health insurance with a refundable tax credit that allows people to purchase their own plans, which makes a lot of sense, although it doesn’t address whether employer-based plans will get taxed as income. It also eliminates the barriers to interstate competition for health insurance, which will increase competition and lower costs.

But Ryan goes from there to Social Security reform through privatization, a plan that ran aground in 2005 when the stock market was seemingly healthy, income-tax reform using an optional simplification process, while only mildly addressing Medicare through medical savings accounts for low-income recipients. That’s three major reform projects in one bill, and Democrats ran aground on just two over the last seven months with a supermajority in the Senate.  It’s ambitious as a policy statement for the GOP rolling into the midterm elections, but practically speaking, this bill won’t move with all of these components in it, not with Democrats in charge of Congress and Obama in the White House.

It’s a good start, though, and as Ryan says, the American people need to understand that there are alternatives to government control:

In tonight’s State of the Union address, President Obama will declare a new found commitment to “fiscal responsibility” to cover the huge spending and debt he and congressional Democrats have run up in his first year in office. But next Monday, when he submits his actual budget, I fear it will rely on gimmickry, commissions, luke-warm spending “freezes,” and paper-tiger controls to create the illusion of budget discipline. Meanwhile, he and the Democratic congressional leadership will continue pursuing a relentless expansion of government and a new culture of dependency.

America needs an alternative. For that reason, I have reintroduced my plan to tackle our nation’s most pressing domestic challenges—updated to reflect the dramatic decline in our economic and fiscal condition. The plan, called A Road Map for America’s Future and first introduced in 2008, is a comprehensive proposal to ensure health and retirement security for all Americans, to lift the debt burdens that are mounting every day because of Washington’s reckless spending, and to promote jobs and competitiveness in the 21st century global economy.

The difference between the Road Map and the Democrats’ approach could not be more clear. From the enactment of a $1 trillion “stimulus” last February to the current pass-at-all costs government takeover of health care, the Democratic leadership has followed a “progressive” strategy that will take us closer to a tipping point past which most Americans receive more in government benefits than they pay in taxes—a European-style welfare state where double-digit unemployment becomes a way of life.

Republicans cannot afford to cede this ground to Democrats again, now or in the future.  By ignoring it for so long, they almost allowed a Trojan horse for a single-payer system to succeed.  Political parties have to offer real solutions in order to remain relevant, a lesson Ryan has learned — and hopefully can teach the rest of the GOP.


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Final nail in the coffin…

PatriotRider on January 27, 2010 at 10:16 AM

The big question will be whether Republicans take advantage of the opening.

Why? Why do we NEED a Healthcare bill at ALL? This is BS. Ed, why is it you seem to be okay with this?

Think about your diabetes…. think REAL hard.

Any Republican who brings this UP should be stripped of their seat and put out to pasture. No matter their age or how conservative.

upinak on January 27, 2010 at 10:17 AM

Good start but where is tort reform??? Reigning in those trial lawyers is like herding cats…

catlady on January 27, 2010 at 10:18 AM

Ryan says, the American people need to understand that there are alternatives to government control:

This is the key. This thing has no real chance of coming close to law, so why not use the opportunity to educate the American people on some of the major flaws in the current system, and the practical ways to fix them.

This proposal, while ambitious, accomplishes two very practical things: Chips away at the ‘party of no’ label, and plants a seed in any uninformed American who hears it that will hopefully lead to popular support for these solutions a few years down the road.

BadgerHawk on January 27, 2010 at 10:18 AM

An interesting idea, obviously going nowhere with Dem majorities in Congress.

But where is tort reform???

Steve Z on January 27, 2010 at 10:18 AM

It also eliminates the barriers to interstate competition for health insurance, which will increase competition and lower costs.

I agree that this would help reduce costs, but what does it do to the long held conservative belief in states rights?

rhombus on January 27, 2010 at 10:18 AM

It attempts to delink employment and health insurance with a refundable tax credit that allows people to purchase their own plans, which makes a lot of sense, although it doesn’t address whether employer-based plans will get taxed as income

.

It does–it says the exclusion will be eliminated, meaning that the employer-provided health insurance will be taxed as income:

“In place of the current Federal tax law creating the market distortion – the individual income tax exclusion for employer-sponsored health insurance – every American (except those enrolled in Medicare or a military health plan) will have the option to receive a refundable tax credit – $2,300 for individuals and $5,700 for families – to pay for health coverage. The tax credit is available solely for the purchase of health care.”

Jimbo3 on January 27, 2010 at 10:19 AM

Done with exactly the correct timing to be the key point in a response to H’s SOTU address — because you betcha that H will talk about health care there.

These guys aren’t missing a beat.

unclesmrgol on January 27, 2010 at 10:19 AM

Excellent move on Ryan’s part. Let the dem’s obstruct and be the party of no.

OmahaConservative on January 27, 2010 at 10:20 AM

Without even looking at Ryan’s proposal, and I haven’t, I have to ask: is this guy running for President? Every time I hear his name, the issue seems designed to get national exposure, not the kind of exposure a guy with a rural Wisconsin congressional district gets.

Is it Herb Kohl’s Senate seat he’s after, or something really big?

Jaibones on January 27, 2010 at 10:21 AM

It also eliminates the barriers to interstate competition for health insurance, which will increase competition and lower costs.

What about Republican’s respect for Federalism? Insurance regulation is tradionally a state responsibility. The states regulate home, life, auto AND health insurance. If eliminating state control of health insurance sales inside their borders is a good idea, how about removing state control of life, auto and property insurance; surely rates for those would come down too with the feds overriding the states.

In fact, why the H*ll do we even need states? Surely it would be cheaper and more efficient to do away with state governments and just let DC tell everyone what to do. Obama wants to do that with education, now even the Republicans want to do it with health insurance. Why should I pay for a big expensive government in Tallahassee if all they are going to do is do what DC tells them to do?

Remember the 10th Amendment and remember that health care is not enumerated anywhere in the Constitution.

johnsteele on January 27, 2010 at 10:21 AM

Ugh. I have no faith in the republicans, either. It seems like no matter what they want more money out of us.

Blake on January 27, 2010 at 10:21 AM

Just in….”new home sales ‘unexpectedly’ fall in December”

Maybe just maybe there is something more important than this healthcare crap to think about…Democrats and Republicans??

Huh….Bueller…Bueller?

PatriotRider on January 27, 2010 at 10:22 AM

Good for Ryan. Keep up the HEAT.

John the Libertarian on January 27, 2010 at 10:22 AM

This is a good tactical move as well.

Obama will have to change that part of his SOTU speech where he blames the Repubs for standing in the way, etc.

catmman on January 27, 2010 at 10:22 AM

A great way to counter the Dem’s claims that “the GOP is the party of ‘No’ and have offered no ideas of their own”.

Get this man media attention! Of course, there’s no way any GOP proposal gets passed. But as GOP PR and as an opportunity to educate the masses, it’s a good thing.

ROCnPhilly on January 27, 2010 at 10:22 AM

This could be Zero’s “Welfare Reform” bill. But he’s not as smart as Bill Clinton.

Maquis on January 27, 2010 at 10:22 AM

This is key. ANYONE with Presidential ambitions, including Palin, should be looking to someone like Paul Ryan.

This is a guy who gets the decentralization imperitive of the 21st Century brought about by the Personal Computer revolution. Obama and the Democrats were clueless about this because they were all about Power and Pork.

Republicans need to be smarter.

victor82 on January 27, 2010 at 10:23 AM

Good start but where is tort reform??? Reigning in those trial lawyers is like herding cats…

catlady on January 27, 2010 at 10:18 AM

Put a name and a face to tort reform: John Edwards.

BuckeyeSam on January 27, 2010 at 10:23 AM

It does–it says the exclusion will be eliminated, meaning that the employer-provided health insurance will be taxed as income:

“In place of the current Federal tax law creating the market distortion – the individual income tax exclusion for employer-sponsored health insurance – every American (except those enrolled in Medicare or a military health plan) will have the option to receive a refundable tax credit – $2,300 for individuals and $5,700 for families – to pay for health coverage. The tax credit is available solely for the purchase of health care.”

Jimbo3 on January 27, 2010 at 10:19 AM

Not smart. Replaces one governmental distortion with another. This is the equivalent to the “Cadillac Tax” in the ObamaCare plan. My guess is that this particular element is a slap at the unions for their attempts to get exclusions for their high-cost (to the employer) member plans.

My question is what $5,700 will buy, because I’m paying more than that on my employer-paid family plan now.

unclesmrgol on January 27, 2010 at 10:24 AM

It attempts to delink employment and health insurance with a refundable tax credit that allows people to purchase their own plans, which makes a lot of sense

I thought refundable tax credits were opposed by conservatives, since it’s basically just welfare. I understand the value of getting rid of the employment link, but otherwise how does this address your complaint about ObamaCare that it’s just government spending to pay for people’s insurance?

It also eliminates the barriers to interstate competition for health insurance, which will increase competition and lower costs.

Doesn’t the Health Insurance Exchange do that too? Or does it not cross state lines?

tneloms on January 27, 2010 at 10:24 AM

Excellent move on Ryan’s part. Let the dem’s obstruct and be the party of no.

OmahaConservative on January 27, 2010 at 10:20 AM

ditto!

cmsinaz on January 27, 2010 at 10:24 AM

Convenient timing – I like it. It will offer a little ammunition for the Republican response and it will make it difficult for them to say this is a political ploy since it is legislation that has been introduced prior but ignored.

Gulchie on January 27, 2010 at 10:24 AM

I\’m glad the GOP is reminding people they do have a reasonable plan. But I hope they don\’t make too big a deal out of it – polls show that health care reform is not a big priority for most Americans. And lets be honest – the progressives of the Democrat party were in love with the idea of health care only partly because they want everyone to have healthcare for free – it\’s also because it is a convenient vehicle through which they could socialize 1/6th the economy, create a dependent populace and gain even more control over our lives.

gwelf on January 27, 2010 at 10:24 AM

Gives McDonnell something to offer in his response to the SOTU. Nicely timed.

jdpaz on January 27, 2010 at 10:25 AM

Put a name and a face to tort reform: John Edwards.

BuckeyeSam on January 27, 2010 at 10:23 AM

Hahaha! They should!!

deidre on January 27, 2010 at 10:25 AM

This proposal, while ambitious, accomplishes two very practical things: Chips away at the ‘party of no’ label, and plants a seed in any uninformed American who hears it that will hopefully lead to popular support for these solutions a few years down the road.

BadgerHawk on January 27, 2010 at 10:18 AM

If that’s all it accomplishes, it’ll be worth it. If only to watch democrat heads explode.

CurtZHP on January 27, 2010 at 10:26 AM

Remember the 10th Amendment and remember that health care is not enumerated anywhere in the Constitution.

johnsteele on January 27, 2010 at 10:21 AM

But the regulation of interstate commerce is. If you allow insurance companies to sell across state borders, you open the door to Federal regulation of those companies and their products.

unclesmrgol on January 27, 2010 at 10:26 AM

upinak on January 27, 2010 at 10:17 AM

I disagree. There are certainly problems with the current system. While I don’t favor the Dems plan at all, as it will do nothing to curb costs and is really just about going toward single-payer and tying more people to gov’t, offering no alternatives isn’t really an option either. The GOP ideas are no brainers in my book, and politically-speaking people need to understand that the Republicans have alternative proposals that may be more beneficial to them and to the country. Eventually you have to pivot from NO.

changer1701 on January 27, 2010 at 10:26 AM

Attn yoda:
Billboard on 72 & Pacific in Omaha, Priceless. Less than two miles from Sen Judas Nelson’s Omaha office.

OmahaConservative on January 27, 2010 at 10:26 AM

Ryan was on Bennett’s show this morning. He sounds so sane. Will normal people ever run this country again?

Akzed on January 27, 2010 at 10:26 AM

I really like Ryan. He’s young, fresh, decent ideas. I hope he keeps it up!

deidre on January 27, 2010 at 10:29 AM

Jaibones on January 27, 2010 at 10:21 AM

I have no doubt that he’ll eventually be on a Presidential ticket. He speaks so well on the economy that I could picture him being a VP pick (WI is a purple state, after all) in 2012 if things are still in the toilet.

BadgerHawk on January 27, 2010 at 10:30 AM

deidre at 10:25
Exactly right: No one should have ever been surprised at this plaintiffs’ lawyer being exposed as a lying cheat; that is their expertise.

GaltBlvnAtty on January 27, 2010 at 10:30 AM

Ryan, Pence and Cantor are hopefully the future of the Republican Party. Smart, practical, common-sense solutions to problems.

BadgerHawk on January 27, 2010 at 10:30 AM

TORT REFORM MUST BE PART OF THE PLAN.

MUST!

Also, reform to immigration and work programs to END ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION which is bancrupting our nation.

If we were not giving illegals free healthcare, that would eliminate about a quarter of our current cost problems.

stenwin77 on January 27, 2010 at 10:31 AM

I’ve got my own 2000 page bill:

Remove government from all aspects of the private sector and stick to national defense.

THE REMAINING 1999 PAGES INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK.

J.J. Sefton on January 27, 2010 at 10:31 AM

Let’s not forget … Tort Reform

J_Crater on January 27, 2010 at 10:32 AM

changer1701 on January 27, 2010 at 10:26 AM

their in only 2 things that need changing.

1. being able to use insurance in other states (which I haven’t had a problem with but some family and friends have)
2. and if you have a pre-exsisting condition.

That is it. There is nothing else in which I can see which would need to be changed.

We can agree to disagree.

upinak on January 27, 2010 at 10:33 AM

johnsteele on January 27, 2010 at 10:21 AM

I don’t think Federalism means that private companies from one state should be blocked from selling something to people from another state.

tneloms on January 27, 2010 at 10:34 AM

I am as conservative as they come but I feel healthcare reform is warrented. It can fit on one page:

Tort reform
Tax deductible for all Americans
Portability
Eliminate states dictating what is covered

chicken thief on January 27, 2010 at 10:34 AM

Yep, Ryan is doing the right thing. Give the Dems some reform to say No to—then let them sail their happy asses right into november as the party of …..nyet.

ted c on January 27, 2010 at 10:34 AM

TORT REFORM MUST BE PART OF THE PLAN.

MUST!

Also, reform to immigration and work programs to END ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION which is bancrupting our nation.

If we were not giving illegals free healthcare, that would eliminate about a quarter of our current cost problems.

stenwin77 on January 27, 2010 at 10:31 AM

If you can come up with a way to do tort reform that doesn’t infringe on states’ rights then fine. But I’m not sure there is such a thing.

johnsteele on January 27, 2010 at 10:34 AM

Anyone else think Paul Ryan looks like Matthew Morrison from GLEE?

Abby Adams on January 27, 2010 at 10:34 AM

OmahaConservative on January 27, 2010 at 10:26 AM

!!!

Akzed on January 27, 2010 at 10:34 AM

I’ve got my own 2000 page bill:

Remove government from all aspects of the private sector and stick to national defense.

THE REMAINING 1999 PAGES INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK.

J.J. Sefton on January 27, 2010 at 10:31 AM

just for effect.

ted c on January 27, 2010 at 10:34 AM

I am all for leadership. But this bill had BETTER stick to tried and true conservative values and not the No Child Left Behind or Medicare Drug “Fix” garbage that Bush championed.

NO MORE ENTITLEMENTS!!!!

search4truth on January 27, 2010 at 10:35 AM

I’ve got my own 2000 page bill:

Remove government from all aspects of the private sector and stick to national defense.

THE REMAINING 1999 PAGES INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK.

J.J. Sefton on January 27, 2010 at 10:31 AM

Yes.

johnsteele on January 27, 2010 at 10:35 AM

I thought refundable tax credits were opposed by conservatives, since it’s basically just welfare. I understand the value of getting rid of the employment link, but otherwise how does this address your complaint about ObamaCare that it’s just government spending to pay for people’s insurance?

It doesn’t. It looks like DC is still taking on responsibility for everybody’s medical care. What that EVENTUALLY will cost is anybody’s guess. This is a Republican plan, not a conservative one.

Chris_Balsz on January 27, 2010 at 10:36 AM

Ryan needs to throw the bill at Pelosi and Reid and say “Let’s see how bipartisan you really are, vote for this!”

I’d say the chances of Ryan’s bill being reported on by the prress are NON-EXISTANT and NONE.

GarandFan on January 27, 2010 at 10:37 AM

No tort reform?
No go.

bridgetown on January 27, 2010 at 10:38 AM

johnsteele on January 27, 2010 at 10:21 AM

I don’t think Federalism means that private companies from one state should be blocked from selling something to people from another state.

tneloms on January 27, 2010 at 10:34 AM

It does mean that states have the right to decide what products and services they regulate are sold inside their state. If they have no regulation then yes. The point is that we continue to erode the rights of the several states.

johnsteele on January 27, 2010 at 10:38 AM

A good start, though the Republicans will have to be wary of the Democrats attempting to co-opt the plan and add their own behind-the-scenes triggers and/or unfunded mandates that simply turn the proposal into some mini-ObamaCare® plan the Dems can tout as bipartisan going into the midterms.

(The left might still kill it anyway, due to their pathological hatred of giving the GOP any credit for anything, but the Republicans do need to get something done in the near future. The Obama people thought the mistake Bill Clinton made with a Democratic Congress in 1993-94 was getting too directly involved in the health care reform bill’s crafting at the initial stages, and instead this time left the crafting to Harry and Nancy, which actually has done worse than 16 years ago. But unless the GOP takes care of the truly needed reforms, than the next time the Democrats own both the White House and Congress with a new president hyped to the sky by the big media, they’re going to take the lessons of 1993-94 and 2009-10 and opt for a new strategy — make health care the first thing they take up as soon as they get into office, so there’s no time for reality to set in among the voters before national health care is the law of the land.)

jon1979 on January 27, 2010 at 10:38 AM

Any Republican who brings this UP should be stripped of their seat and put out to pasture. No matter their age or how conservative.

upinak on January 27, 2010 at 10:17 AM

You’re missing the forest for the tree’s. This is a great strategic move on the Republican’s part especially when the Democrat’s say “NO”.

It wipes out Barry’s “the Republican’s are obstructionists” meme and the gives the Democrat’s the new label of “the party of No”, who’s unwilling to the play that bi-partisan game that Barry kept bragging that he was going to change.

It’s genius.

Knucklehead on January 27, 2010 at 10:39 AM

Ryan has some good ideas, but I’m not sold on the idea of a $5,700 tax credit replacing my employer provided health care insurance. I have priced health insurance in the private market and would have to pay $1,200 per month cash out of pocket compared to an after tax cash benefit of $5,700.

Ryan also talks about an 8.5% consumption tax on businesses replacing the current corporate income tax. This sounds like a VAT type of tax to me. Once a VAT is in place, my fear is that the tax rate will inevitably get increased over time by the DEMS. I do like his “flat tax” proposal, as outlined in his article in the Wall Street Journal today, but I’m not sold on his ideas for health care. They aren’t better than what I already have.

Old Fritz on January 27, 2010 at 10:40 AM

It’s genius.

Knucklehead on January 27, 2010 at 10:39 AM

I went back and re read it. 6 am ish here.

Sorry Ed.

upinak on January 27, 2010 at 10:40 AM

I don’t think Federalism means that private companies from one state should be blocked from selling something to people from another state.

tneloms on January 27, 2010 at 10:34 AM

Yeah. I don’t get the argument that buying insurance from a provider in a different state is somehow a slap in the face of federalism.

2. and if you have a pre-exsisting condition.

upinak on January 27, 2010 at 10:33 AM

The problem with this is that it provides me with no incentive to pay for insurance prior to getting sick with something. If I know that a company has to give me insurance no matter what, why on earth would I pay for it when I’m healthy?

I’d prefer making all insurance tax deductable in the way that the interest you pay on your mortgage is. Provide people an incentive to buy insurance instead of a new flat screen tv.

BadgerHawk on January 27, 2010 at 10:41 AM

We know that no Republican plan is going to get the attention the Democrats plans get so I agree that by bringing up an alternative to the dems plan is a good idea. Let the dems chew on our plan and see whose side the American people want to take.

fourdeucer on January 27, 2010 at 10:41 AM

upinak on January 27, 2010 at 10:33 AM

I agree with your first point. They have 41 seats in the Senate and they want to keep Healthcare alive? If they’re doing it as a response to the SOTU speech, then ok.

I would add Tort Reform (ala John Edwards) and Medicare overhaul (docs make no money) to your list.

conservative pilgrim on January 27, 2010 at 10:42 AM

Regarding tort reform, Ryan covers it extensively in this bill, as well as his stand alone healthcare bill, H.R. 2520, a summary can be found on the bottom of page ten here: http://www.house.gov/ryan/PCA/PCAsummary15p.pdf

schmitty on January 27, 2010 at 10:43 AM

their in only 2 things that need changing.

1. being able to use insurance in other states (which I haven’t had a problem with but some family and friends have)
2. and if you have a pre-exsisting condition.

That is it. There is nothing else in which I can see which would need to be changed.

We can agree to disagree.

upinak on January 27, 2010 at 10:33 AM

Whether or not you can use your insurance from a company in New York in Utah is a function of what arrangements the NY company has made has made for coverage in Utah, not the function of the federal government. frankly i’ve never heard of coverage being declined out of state because the policy was issued in one state versus another, but i’ve never had a problem and never really looked into it; still it seems to me the beef would be with the carrier not the fact that the policy was issued in one state versus another.

Pre-existing conditions are a real nightmare. On the one hand I’d like to find a way to deal with it, but just blanket requiring insurance companies to cover them is its own nightmare. How is requiring an insurance company to cover your existing illness different than requiring a company to write insurance on your house while its burning down? Or cover your beach house for hurricane damage while the storm is coming ashore?

johnsteele on January 27, 2010 at 10:43 AM

catmman on January 27, 2010 at 10:22 AM

He’s not going to change anything about blaming republicans and Bush. It’s all he’s got, well that and TOTUS. Let him keep playing the blame game it’s only making things worse for him. People are getting sick of it.

Brat4life on January 27, 2010 at 10:44 AM

their in only 2 things that need changing.

1. being able to use insurance in other states (which I haven’t had a problem with but some family and friends have)
2. and if you have a pre-exsisting condition.

That is it. There is nothing else in which I can see which would need to be changed.

We can agree to disagree.

upinak on January 27, 2010 at 10:33 AM

Hey, upinak, I think #1 might be resolved if barriers are removed and insurance can be purchased across state lines. That’s what I think, but what do I know?

The whole pre-existing conditions thing is tough. I can understand that if there wasn’t a clause there that prohibits pre-existing conditions, no one would carry insurance until something major or catastrophic happened. I really don’t know if there’s a good answer.

Oink on January 27, 2010 at 10:44 AM

It’s genius.

Knucklehead on January 27, 2010 at 10:39 AM

It is.

BadgerHawk on January 27, 2010 at 10:45 AM

I’d prefer making all insurance tax deductable in the way that the interest you pay on your mortgage is. Provide people an incentive to buy insurance instead of a new flat screen tv.

BadgerHawk on January 27, 2010 at 10:41 AM

I agree. But there is one problem. You can’t make people pay.

upinak on January 27, 2010 at 10:45 AM

We can agree to disagree.

upinak on January 27, 2010 at 10:33 AM

I’d throw tort reform and lowering the barriers for interstate competition to your list, as well. Don’t get me wrong, the system needn’t be turned upside down or anything like they want. I have an individual plan that I happen to like. I also strongly believe that people need to take care of themselves and their bodies and not be reckless. Overeating, not exercising, smoking, drinking excessively, promiscuity and picking up/spreading STDs, etc…I think we’d do ourselves a world of good if more took better care of themselves and had more self-control.

changer1701 on January 27, 2010 at 10:46 AM

The problem with this is that it provides me with no incentive to pay for insurance prior to getting sick with something. If I know that a company has to give me insurance no matter what, why on earth would I pay for it when I’m healthy?

I’d prefer making all insurance tax deductable in the way that the interest you pay on your mortgage is. Provide people an incentive to buy insurance instead of a new flat screen tv.
BadgerHawk on January 27, 2010 at 10:41 AM

That’s what happened when Hawaii tried Healthcare. Everyone took the govt. plan even if they had insurance. Hawaii went from a surplus to the red in record time and suspended the whole thing.

conservative pilgrim on January 27, 2010 at 10:47 AM

I am as conservative as they come but I feel healthcare reform is warrented. It can fit on one page:

Tort reform
Tax deductible for all Americans
Portability
Eliminate states dictating what is covered

chicken thief on January 27, 2010 at 10:34 AM

Perfect

I’ve got my own 2000 page bill:

Remove government from all aspects of the private sector and stick to national defense.

THE REMAINING 1999 PAGES INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK.

J.J. Sefton on January 27, 2010 at 10:31 AM

Should be on a T-shirt

Sugarbuzz on January 27, 2010 at 10:48 AM

johnsteele on January 27, 2010 at 10:43 AM
Oink on January 27, 2010 at 10:44 AM

example of pre-exsisting conditions (or if someone else can come up with better)

My mom has mechanical mitro vales in the heart due to rhumatic fever as a child. She can no switch insurance. she can not recieve new isnsurance. She can (because of where we live) go to a different state ONLY if the insurance comp see fit, to get another surgury on her heart. She will need the valves replaced in the next cople years. I canno put her on my insurance.

This is a problem.. she is not evn 60 yet and does exactly what the doc asks. Does anyone else see this as a problem?

upinak on January 27, 2010 at 10:49 AM

Why? Why do we NEED a Healthcare bill at ALL? This is BS. Ed, why is it you seem to be okay with this?

upinak on January 27, 2010 at 10:17 AM

Are you saying there is nothing wrong with the current health care system?

The things in this bill are all items that most of us have declared our support for over and over again.

MarkTheGreat on January 27, 2010 at 10:50 AM

At a minimum, it puts Democrats in position where they have to say “no”. Then Republicans get to say, “You don’t want to do nothing, do you?”

forest on January 27, 2010 at 10:50 AM

You’re missing the forest for the tree’s. This is a great strategic move on the Republican’s part especially when the Democrat’s say “NO”.

It wipes out Barry’s “the Republican’s are obstructionists” meme and the gives the Democrat’s the new label of “the party of No”, who’s unwilling to the play that bi-partisan game that Barry kept bragging that he was going to change.

It’s genius.

Knucklehead on January 27, 2010 at 10:39 AM

Seems more like punting on 3rd down. I am an obstructionist myself; I’d rather 300 million people worked something out with $14 trillion in the private economy, than have everybody wait on Washington to dictate a balance of welfare and taxes to grease the wheels. I thought there was a moral weight behind obstructing nationalization as unAmerican, unconstitutional and impractical. If we’re just arguing how Washington discharges its obligation to provide universal health coverage, we just met them more than half-way.

Chris_Balsz on January 27, 2010 at 10:51 AM

I don’t think Federalism means that private companies from one state should be blocked from selling something to people from another state.

tneloms on January 27, 2010 at 10:34 AM

Yeah. I don’t get the argument that buying insurance from a provider in a different state is somehow a slap in the face of federalism.

The fact that the insurance company is in another state is not the issue; there are not many insurance companies and for the most part they are in ‘some other state’ anyway. The problem with these proposals is that it overrides the states’ authority to regulate these companies and their products as they see fit. Some states allow only “n” companies to write insurance in their state — for whatever reason they think this makes sense. Requiring them to allow any and all companies to write insurance removes the states’ ability to control this business inside their borders — the states are still, technically anyway sovereign entities linked together in a federal system; they, the states, have rights independent of the citizens rigthts.

johnsteele on January 27, 2010 at 10:51 AM

Uncle and Old Fritz–a tax credit is a credit against taxes owed. So, for instance, if your employer pays $16,000 for your health insurance and you’re at the 35% tax bracket, the elimination of the deduction for health insurance costs you $5600. A tax credit of $5600 gets you back to neutral.

Jimbo3 on January 27, 2010 at 10:51 AM

I agree. But there is one problem. You can’t make people pay.

upinak on January 27, 2010 at 10:45 AM

Nor should you. If I provide you an incentive to protect yourself with insurance and you choose not to, the negative consequences of that decision should not fall on me.

BadgerHawk on January 27, 2010 at 10:52 AM

Ryan may have kept tort reform out of the bill thinking that it would have a better chance of passing that way.

I believe that would be a mistake.
First, the chances of any real reform passing are slim anyway.
Second, the Democrats would take tort reform out long before it came to a vote. In the meantime, the fight over the issue would play to the Republicans favor. One of the few groups in this country less popular than politicians, are lawyers.
Third, as someone else said, even if it has no chance now, by laying out the issue before the public, the chances of passage down the road improve.

MarkTheGreat on January 27, 2010 at 10:53 AM

Did I read this right? Does Ryan’s bill include Social Security privatization? If so, he is an idiot. This is the Republicans’ Third Rail just like health care is the Democrats’. He cannot be serious about proposing this at a time when most Americans have lost 30-50% of their private retirement savings since 2007.

Americans are telling both parties in Congress to slow down, stop with the gigantic bills that propose massive changes that nobody can understand and have possible huge unforeseen consequences, and start working on some smaller and more realistic reforms.

rockmom on January 27, 2010 at 10:53 AM

example of pre-exsisting conditions (or if someone else can come up with better)

My mom has mechanical mitro vales in the heart due to rhumatic fever as a child. She can no switch insurance. she can not recieve new isnsurance. She can (because of where we live) go to a different state ONLY if the insurance comp see fit, to get another surgury on her heart. She will need the valves replaced in the next cople years. I canno put her on my insurance.

This is a problem.. she is not evn 60 yet and does exactly what the doc asks. Does anyone else see this as a problem?

upinak on January 27, 2010 at 10:49 AM

–Of course it’s a problem. It’s why I supported ObamaCare. Your mom has insurance. She’s not a deadbeat waiting to get sick to buy insurance. She needs a way to keep that insurance.

Jimbo3 on January 27, 2010 at 10:53 AM

That’s what happened when Hawaii tried Healthcare. Everyone took the govt. plan even if they had insurance. Hawaii went from a surplus to the red in record time and suspended the whole thing.

conservative pilgrim on January 27, 2010 at 10:47 AM

Just to clarify: You’re saying that people waited until they got sick then jumped on the govt. plan or bailed from their normal insurance and went to the subsidized plan because it was cheaper, correct?

Because that’s the main problem with mandatory coverage no matter what. It discourages responsible behavior and actually drives up costs.

BadgerHawk on January 27, 2010 at 10:54 AM

Jimbo3 on January 27, 2010 at 10:53 AM

If you look in the guidelines of obamacare… she is past the age of receiving another surgury for her hear as she has had 3 already. A. you don’t know what you are talking about. B. you really have no clue about insurance and what it may or maynot include.

C. under obamacare.. she has already reached her “max” and would not allow it. AKA Death Panel. Thanks for playing, have a nice day.

upinak on January 27, 2010 at 10:56 AM

johnsteele on January 27, 2010 at 10:43 AM
Oink on January 27, 2010 at 10:44 AM

example of pre-exsisting conditions (or if someone else can come up with better)

My mom has mechanical mitro vales in the heart due to rhumatic fever as a child. She can no switch insurance. she can not recieve new isnsurance. She can (because of where we live) go to a different state ONLY if the insurance comp see fit, to get another surgury on her heart. She will need the valves replaced in the next cople years. I canno put her on my insurance.

This is a problem.. she is not evn 60 yet and does exactly what the doc asks. Does anyone else see this as a problem?

upinak on January 27, 2010 at 10:49 AM

I’m certainly sorry for your mother’s condition. But we need to find a way to deal with these problems and simply forcing insurance carriers to write insurance for existing conditions doesn’t make good business sense. If you force them to cover any and all preexisting conditions then two things will happen:
1. They will raise their general rates to cover their exposure and probably make insurance so expensive no one can afford it;
2. People will not buy insurance until they are diagnosed with some seriosu (i.e. expensive)condition, at which time they will go out and tell an insurance company ‘you have to cover me, its the law.’
3. Insurance companies go out of business leading to guess what, nationalized healthcare. This gets to where the socialist want to be, it just gets there by a different road.

johnsteele on January 27, 2010 at 10:56 AM

Good start but where is tort reform??? Reigning in those trial lawyers is like herding cats…

catlady on January 27, 2010

That is the single biggest obstacle that must be overcome. And the “herding cats” analogy is entirely too optimistic.

Crusader Rabbit on January 27, 2010 at 10:57 AM

upinak on January 27, 2010 at 10:17 AM

I get it, but look at the bill, it really is a pretty good bill.
Most of the people, the vast majority want something.
This gives tax credit so you can purchase whatever bill you want…other words it gives you back the money you pay so you can purchase what you need.
It has tort reform. And if you graduate from med school, become a doctor and go into military service as a doctor, your medical school is paid for (or at least a major portion).
Tax write-offs, tort reform, incentive to serve your country, sell across state lines, and encourages free market (gov. does not compete)…not a bad bill as far as bills go.

right2bright on January 27, 2010 at 10:57 AM

I agree that this would help reduce costs, but what does it do to the long held conservative belief in states rights?

rhombus on January 27, 2010 at 10:18 AM

My purchasing healt insurance for my family from a different state than where I live has absolutely nothing to do with states rights. The only thing the State can do is mandate what is required of insurance that is sold in the state. As long as an insurance company complies with that mandate they should be able to sell insurance to any state in the US.

Johnnyreb on January 27, 2010 at 10:57 AM

Does anyone else see this as a problem?

upinak on January 27, 2010 at 10:49 AM

Yeah, it is a problem. I don’t really have a good solution for that type of situation either. I don’t believe that mandatory coverage for any type of pre-existing condition, no matter how fair and compassionate it sounds, is the way to go.

rockmom on January 27, 2010 at 10:53 AM

See my first post about why I think this bill is so ambitious.

BadgerHawk on January 27, 2010 at 10:58 AM

I agree that this would help reduce costs, but what does it do to the long held conservative belief in states rights?

rhombus on January 27, 2010 at 10:18 AM

The constitution directly and explicitly gives congress the authority to resolve trade disputes between states. Forbidding purchasers in your state from buying out of state, is a form of trade dispute.

Several years ago, the SC struck down several state laws that forbad people from buying wine out of state.

MarkTheGreat on January 27, 2010 at 10:58 AM

Look everyone.

I don’t want government in my healthcare. There is already enough government in it. Social Security, Medicare (when or if I turn 65), and so on.

Why do we need more? I don’t want it… they already tax me enough on what I own. I don’t want to be taxed to live as well.

upinak on January 27, 2010 at 10:59 AM

Uncle and Old Fritz–a tax credit is a credit against taxes owed. So, for instance, if your employer pays $16,000 for your health insurance and you’re at the 35% tax bracket, the elimination of the deduction for health insurance costs you $5600. A tax credit of $5600 gets you back to neutral.

Jimbo3 on January 27, 2010 at 10:51 AM

But if your employer cancelled the company plan you’d still pocket $5600 from Uncle Sucker. That’s why we say tax credits = welfare.

Chris_Balsz on January 27, 2010 at 10:59 AM

rhombus on January 27, 2010 at 10:18 AM

Let me put that another way.

The people’s rights to buy from whomever they choose, over rides states rights on this issue.

The hierarchy is thus:

People’s rights trump state’s rights.
States’s rights trump federal rights.

MarkTheGreat on January 27, 2010 at 11:00 AM

OOPs, my mistake, I thought this was another bill that was proposed by the Republicans…I have to read this bill, it is different from the one that was proposed back when.

right2bright on January 27, 2010 at 11:00 AM

BadgerHawk on January 27, 2010 at 10:58 AM

No I understand what you are talking about. But to me it doesn’t matter. Government, no matter how good it sounds, never turns out the way it is suppose to be…. does it?

upinak on January 27, 2010 at 11:00 AM

The states regulate home, life, auto AND health insurance.

johnsteele on January 27, 2010 at 10:21 AM

You can buy all of those from out of state companies if you want.

MarkTheGreat on January 27, 2010 at 11:01 AM

Just to clarify: You’re saying that people waited until they got sick then jumped on the govt. plan or bailed from their normal insurance and went to the subsidized plan because it was cheaper, correct?
Because that’s the main problem with mandatory coverage no matter what. It discourages responsible behavior and actually drives up costs.
BadgerHawk on January 27, 2010 at 10:54 AM

Yes and yes. It surprised the govt. officials when people did that. From my understanding, it was a primary reason for it failing because they overloaded the system.

conservative pilgrim on January 27, 2010 at 11:02 AM

rhombus on January 27, 2010 at 10:18 AM

My purchasing healt insurance for my family from a different state than where I live has absolutely nothing to do with states rights. The only thing the State can do is mandate what is required of insurance that is sold in the state. As long as an insurance company complies with that mandate they should be able to sell insurance to any state in the US.

Johnnyreb on January 27, 2010 at 10:57 AM

Tell it to your state insurance commissioner. States to mandate what must be covered, but if i recall some earlier discussion, some states have shose to limit the number of companies allowed to write insurance in their state — states’ rights. It isn’t a federal government matter, the complaining ought to be to the state capitol.

johnsteele on January 27, 2010 at 11:03 AM

But the regulation of interstate commerce is. If you allow insurance companies to sell across state borders, you open the door to Federal regulation of those companies and their products.

unclesmrgol on January 27, 2010 at 10:26 AM

The Fed’s already regulate these companies, through dozens of other backdoors.

MarkTheGreat on January 27, 2010 at 11:05 AM

The states regulate home, life, auto AND health insurance.

johnsteele on January 27, 2010 at 10:21 AM

You can buy all of those from out of state companies if you want.

MarkTheGreat on January 27, 2010 at 11:01 AM

Not in my state you can’t. The company HQ may be out of state but they must a) have a physical presence in the state and b) (and this is the biggie) be subject to state regulation on rates, terms etc. I think you will find this to be true in your state as well.

johnsteele on January 27, 2010 at 11:06 AM

I’m certainly sorry for your mother’s condition. But we need to find a way to deal with these problems and simply forcing insurance carriers to write insurance for existing conditions doesn’t make good business sense. If you force them to cover any and all preexisting conditions then two things will happen:
1. They will raise their general rates to cover their exposure and probably make insurance so expensive no one can afford it;
2. People will not buy insurance until they are diagnosed with some seriosu (i.e. expensive)condition, at which time they will go out and tell an insurance company ‘you have to cover me, its the law.’
3. Insurance companies go out of business leading to guess what, nationalized healthcare. This gets to where the socialist want to be, it just gets there by a different road.

johnsteele on January 27, 2010 at 10:56 AM

–One way to solve this is to require states to set up high risk pools for insurance. My understanding is that the COBRA law (which required employees to continue to provide insurance for a limited time to people who leave their employment) requires every state to have a means to insure people after COBRA coverage expires. Many (like Texas) have set up high risk pools to do that. But the rates under those pools are pretty high–200%. What you probably need is additional funding from the federal government for those pools in return for some restrictions on the premiums that can be charged. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to have national insurance exchanges, so you can take your policy with you when you move. Right now, if Blue Cross of Maine has your policy, you have no right to have Blue Cross of New Hampshire issue you a policy if you move.

Jimbo3 on January 27, 2010 at 11:07 AM

Look everyone.
I don’t want government in my healthcare. There is already enough government in it. Social Security, Medicare (when or if I turn 65), and so on.
Why do we need more? I don’t want it… they already tax me enough on what I own. I don’t want to be taxed to live as well.
upinak on January 27, 2010 at 10:59 AM

Exactly.

You said this in your first comment–the GOP is keeping this issue alive when it just needs to die for now. I would not trust the Dems if they accepted any of the GOP plan either. They’d sneak in some of their junk. Let it go for now.

conservative pilgrim on January 27, 2010 at 11:07 AM

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