RepubliCare: The GOP Alternative To ObamaCare Is A Corporatist Sham

Republicans in Congress just held their 56th vote to repeal or cripple the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare). It is a pointless waste of time and taxpayer dollars that will never become law, but the wingnut obsession with this boondoggle never seems to let up.

Throughout the debate over ObamaCare, conservatives have tried to pretend that they are concerned about the welfare of the American people and that they intend to replace ObamaCare with their own version of reform. But more than four years have elapsed since ObamaCare was rolled out and there has not been a single bill introduced as an alternative.

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Now the Republicans with a newly fortified majority in Congress are promoting a plan that they say can replace ObamaCare. There are, however, two major problems with their initiative. 1) It isn’t actually a draft of legislation at all and will not be voted on. And 2) it illustrates their bias toward corporations and their animosity to the American people they profess to support. Here is a summary of their “plan:”

The GOP’s Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility and Empowerment – or CARE – Act

  • Calls for the outright repeal of President Obama’s signature health care law, and with that, the individual mandate to buy insurance or pay a fine.
  • Provides for targeted tax credits to individuals and families up to 300 percent above the poverty line to encourage people to buy plans in the market place.
  • Allows insurers to sell plans across state lines.
  • Caps the amount of monetary damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice litigation.
  • Calls for a specific ‘continuous coverage’ protection where individuals moving from one plan to another cannot be denied.

What this amounts to is just another ObamaCare repeal bill decorated with gifts to the insurance industry. There is no realistic way to make insurance coverage affordable without broadening the customer base via mandates. The GOP plan would shrink the base and result in premiums that would be out of reach for most people due to the dominance of high-risk patients in the system. The provision to cap damages in lawsuits has been on the corporate wish list for decades and does nothing to help patients. To the contrary, it would result in people who suffered actual harm not being compensated fairly.

Most disturbing is the hoax that the GOP is proposing as their version of a coverage guarantee to people with preexisting conditions. In the RepubliCare model you would already have to have insurance and then you could not be denied a continuance. Of course they never explain how you got the insurance to begin with. And if you were attempting to get insured for the first time, the companies could reject you without consequence. In other words, it is no protection at all.

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The GOP likes to complain that ObamaCare is a government-run healthcare program, despite the fact that the government has no role whatsoever in providing healthcare. It merely sets standards for insurance companies to make certain that everyone has access to coverage that is effective and affordable. Meanwhile Republicans claim to favor a more “patient-centered” approach, but then offer this fraud that was very likely written by insurance company lobbyists.

If these Republicans are successful, millions of Americans will lose their current insurance and suffer both medically and financially as a result. In its place will be a windfall for corporations that expands their profits at the expense of the American people, particularly those who are already sick. Nice work, RepubliCare.


16 thoughts on “RepubliCare: The GOP Alternative To ObamaCare Is A Corporatist Sham

  1. Mark, why do you ignore the FACT that the existing ACA IS ALSO a handout to the insurance industry. You’re a blind fool on this issue – mandating everyone buy insurance is a form of corporatism and even possibly facism. We won’t agree on many things – but strip away your blind allegiance to Barack Obama and you may actually begin to see again. Stop ignoring what you know to be true – you don’t need to be on the republican side to see and acknowledge the truth.

    • Just to be clear – I’m NOT advocating for a republican approach – a true free market approach yes. I agree with you on their agenda and I’m sure some of what they would want isn’t so good, but I can see it all for what it is and am thinking much more clearly than you. The law has some genuine good in it, but to think forcing people to do anything is questionable AT BEST. What we really need is true reform and NEITHER party is up to the task.

      • Steve, there is no such thing as a “free market” anywhere in this world. Does not exist. At all. Period. If you can demonstrate how such a concept could exist or be brought about on a planet dominated by government-protected banks, trans-national corporations, sociopathic politicians, and multi-billionaires who play the world’s economy like a game of Monopoly without a rulebook… well, I’d be very interested to see that!

        Free market capitalism is no different than Marx’s vision of (non-authoritarian) communism… just a utopian theory that makes sense on paper but cannot be made real on a large scale because of the “pre-existing conditions” mentioned above.

        I don’t know, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some actual “communes” still exist… maybe in NorCal or Oregon? It’s theoretically possible to have a voluntary community that lives by the principles of communism, over a long period of time, but everybody would have to agree to live by the rules and strictly limit commerce with the outside world. A “free market” functioning by libertarian principles is a similar proposition – a small population living by agreed-upon rules, limited trade with “corporate capitalists” on the outside, etc…

        This might seem like I’ve gone off on a tangent here, but the point I’m making is that the “free market” is just a nebulous concept that corporate entities (like insurance companies) use as a lever against government regulations that might cut into their bottom line. None of this helps sick people in any way, shape or form. I don’t like the ACA either (single-payer works), but putting profits for the 1% above the health of the 99% makes no sense and does not advance capitalist economics over the long haul. That’s not theoretical – that’s reality.

        • Free market capitalism hasn’t existed as long as I’ve been alive and will not exist so long as the banks run the world and the government. Free market capitalism is a threat to anyone who values power and control (big government) so you’re right, it probably won’t exist on a large scale anytime soon. It’s is truly the only way to equitably distribute wealth – so because of that it won’t happen. I wish I could say otherwise – but we’re all too busy fighting with each other under the false belief that republicans and democrats are different. So the best we can do is take control of our own lives individually and protect ourselves the best way we can. People here will continue to sell the lie that Barack Obama is on their side – what a laugh.

          Now I’m sure Desdinova will slither out from whatever rock it calls home to lecture me on how stupid that all is and why I’m so wrong. Mark and his minions are blinded by their ridiculous beliefs and people still believe the nonsense written here. We’ll continue to fight each other just as those in power want.

          For your information – if people had to pay for their own health care vs. the insurance companies – prices would come down and be controlled – that’s how you do it. Insurance still needed to cover major illnesses and operations – but everyone believes now someone else should be paying – which is what is happening now. There is no price discovery possible with 3rd parties paying the bill. With the ACA – the health care system was handed over to the insurance companies – you’ll see what that means in a few years. You think it’s bad now, just wait.

          • Poor people can’t pay for health care… because they got no money.

            Capitalism had a good run because it worked better than the feudal system it replaced. But after hundreds of years of expansion, we still have a world teeming with disease, misery and grinding poverty. The fatal flaw in capitalism is that when a few people get so wealthy that they lose touch with humanity, they will corrupt the system to make sure they get richer and more powerful until even sovereign governments end up working for them. That’s where we are now.

            The free market is an idealized theory that is unreachable. Not because of “big” government, but because of corrupt government. But it wasn’t corrupted by people who value govt for the good it can do – it was corrupted by people who said it was too big and needed to be brought under control… but not under the control of We The People… it was handed over to plutocrats.

            What we’re slowly finding out is that much (probably most) of human activity cannot be driven by a profit motive. I suspect we’ve gone about as far as we can by means of ruthless competition; now we need to start figuring out what can be done thru cooperation. None of the economic theories offered by the two “official” parties address this reality. When people realize that all ideological religions are obsolete, then we’ll see what the 21st century really looks like.

            • You say poor people cannot pay for healthcare – so because of that we all need to live under this system that is the primary cause of cost imbalances? There will always be poor people – either you allow some of us to not be poor or you continue to support a system that favors broad misery. It sounds cold, but losers will always be losers no matter what you do or how you try to help them. Poor people are much worse off with a paper money system like we have where the value of what little they have is syphoned off while more of it is created so their crappy low paying job can’t buy a can of beans to eat. The system as it exists today is worse for the poor and middle class than ANY

            • OOPS ….ANY form of free market capitalism with real money.

              Big Government and corrupt government are the same thing – one comes with the other no matter how you convince yourself it doesn’t. The saying “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” is directly applicable to big government.

              Free market capitalism was much closer to what we had until 1963 – then our current form of government and economy took root starting. We had pretty good living standards under that system – it wasn’t perfect but it was way better than today. What we have today is just the natural evolution of the corrupted system of war and unlimited money printing and it’s a disaster for the honest hard working people who just want to live their lives free of bullshit. Constant wars – worthless paper that we work for – involuntary taxation (ie theft) – banks running the governments of the world, and on and on. I have a hard time falling in love with chains so I do what I can to free myself. Accept the shit sandwich you’re being fed if you like, I’m not so willing to just lay there and take it. It doesn’t need to mean anything violent – just choice you make in your life. Mark and others have been trying to convince us the shit sandwich we’re being fed by democrats is somehow better than the shit sandwich we’re being fed by the GOP. I say there is no difference except at the margins – shit is shit so stop the insanity.

    • Steve, by calling people fools when your comments are so transparently stupid you only strengthen my argument. You prove that you have no coherent rebuttal to anything I wrote, so you lash out emotionally.

      You ignorantly criticize me as having a blind allegiance to Obama although there is nothing in this article praising Obama at all. You ignorantly call me a blind fool with regard to ObamaCare, although there is nothing in this article praising ObamaCare. This is just your way of avoiding the actual topic (RepubliCare) because you’re too stupid to engage in a substantive debate. You do this pretty much every time you comment here.

      For the record, I have long been a supporter of universal healthcare and not the sort of insurance reform that ObamaCare represents (although it’s better than nothing). And while the ObamaCare mandates are a giveaway to insurance companies, it comes at a cost to them by forcing them to cover everyone (including those with preexisting conditions and other patients that insurers historically have discriminated against). It also forces them to provide honest coverage without caps or other tricks that rip patients off, and it prohibits them from canceling policies when patients make claims.

      The GOP plan, however, is a blatant handout to corporations and asks nothing in return for patients. That’s the subject of this article that you’re determined to avoid in favor of your broken-record bitching about free markets, which you clearly know nothing about.

  2. Mark, how anyone can be sooo blind I don’t know. You’re blind and can’t see the way things are – I didn’t disagree with you over what the GOP wants, what I find laughable is your continued belief in people and parties that will do or have already done the exact same thing. I may not know everything – nor do I claim to – but I know bullshit when I see/hear it. Maybe you need to try a little harder. The ACA is the same blatant hand out to the insurance industry – get your head out of your ass.

    • Mark – you carefully frame your arguments so you can hide from real dispute. In the end – you’re just trying to convince everyone the chains forged by a democrat party are somehow better than those forged by a republican party. That false choice is all you have and you refuse to see it – that makes you a fool. You’re being screwed by both – stop defending one over the other. The crumbs you’re so willing to accept as good make you look like a willing slave – we’re not all happy with that existence. Maybe the GOP is more obvious, but make no mistake both are screwing you equally – regardless of what you say about me – at least I’m being honest and have my eyes wide open.

      • As I expected, you didn’t respond to a single thing I actually said. Not one. Obviously you are intellectually unable to do so.

        Instead you chose to just make ridiculous assumptions about me that you have no knowledge of. The vast majority of your posts here are just delusional characterizations of me. It’s kinda funny, actually. But it also shows how shallow and uninformed you are about issues, and how obsessed you are with little ol’ me.

  3. The King v Burwell case is a great cause of concern. The SC was reaching when it took this case on. If it is ruled for plaintiff the middle class and poor will again take a hit once again from this Court. The most activist in history, I might add.

  4. Steve, you are not the only lit bulb on the planet even though you think you know everything that nobody else knows. Yes, politicians of both parties are alike in some ways—they all take graft from the rich. But the parties are different nonetheless and if you can’t see that, you are not playing with a full deck. The Dems want higher Soc. Sec. benefits, higher wages, equal pay for women, fully funded Soc. Sec. and Medicare, the ACA, and they really wanted Medicare for all but didn’t get it. The Pubs want none of that. The Dems want some tax credits cut for corporations and none for poor and middle class individuals. The Pubs want more tax credits for corporations, and they want to take away the mortgage interest, and property tax deductions from the poor and middle class. These things are just for starters. Pubs also want a government ruled by religion—but of course, each Pub wants it to be their own religion. Steve, you can argue until you are dead about both parties being exactly the same but you are still going to sound totally insane.

  5. Also, Steve in York: You sound like you think only the fittest should survive. Only the people rich enough to afford health insurance should get medical care. Right? The sick should just die off. Hmmm, Hitler had that same philosophy. A master race. We shouldn’t help the sick and the poor as they are unworthy, right? Why should the rest of us pay for them? Here’s why: they buy goods and contribute to the economy. For every dollar we give to the poor, it generates $2.00 for the economy. No, I’m not going to lay out the economics of that for you. Do your own research. It’s already been done by experts. It makes sense to help people up and to help people survive. We already pay for the poor who can’t pay their hospital bills anyway. They do NOT get free treatment! Also, YOU are a leech on the government, too. Get off your high horse and quit looking down on others. If you have employer-provided health insurance, YOU are subsidized by the government. Always have been. Businesses get huge tax credits for providing you insurance. That keeps your premiums down. That keeps your deductibles and drug costs down. You are mooching off the government—us taxpayers. If you claim deductions on your taxes—you are mooching off the rest of us taxpayers. Get it? Everybody gets government money in different ways. Everybody is a moocher. The poor who rent can’t claim mortgage interest, property taxes, education expenses, child care, charity contributions, medical expenses, etc. So they are helped in other ways. Same tax money that goes to you and me. So, it’s like the Pubs think of sin: their sins are OK, other people’s sins are not.

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