“Fee Fo’ High Sum’, The Health-Tax Giant Said

“Fee Fo’ High Sums”, the big government president said.

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What would replacing Obamacare look like?

July 02, 2012|Kevin Ferris

Thursday was the easy part for conservatives — well, except for learning that the chief justice who once talked about calling balls and strikes also has a wicked curveball.

But cranking out the press releases from think tanks, candidates, House and Senate offices, and one presumptive presidential nominee obviously wasn’t difficult. And two words shared top billing in almost all of them: Repeal and Replace.

Now comes the hard part, assuming opponents of the Affordable Care Act are ever actually in a position to pull off repeal. Replace Obamacare with what?

Strict constructionists might argue that there’s no reason to go beyond repeal, that this is just a matter of getting the government out of the business of health care. But unless they also repeal Medicaid, Medicare, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and a host of other programs, government is in health care to stay. Therefore what needs addressing is the government’s business model for health care, which is exacerbating the problems, especially the spiraling costs.

Reforms in the nation’s health-care system have been desperately needed for a long time, but conservatives refused to recognize this and act, according to the article “How to Replace Obamacare” in the spring edition of the journal National Affairs.

“If the problems that are today obvious to the public had been addressed by market-oriented policies over the last few decades, there would have been no political opening through which to ram Obamacare,” write James C. Capretta and Robert E. Moffit, fellows at, respectively, the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation.

To do away with the costly, intrusive, tax-increasing Obamacare, now blessed by the Supreme Court, means dealing with the issues — among them costs, the uninsured, covering preexisting conditions — that inspired the push for reform.

The authors note that scores of plans offer a market-based approach to health care — the only way to control costs and make coverage both affordable and accessible — but they all share seven core “pillars.” (I’ll give highlights, but read the whole article at http://www.nationalaffairs.com; look under “archives” for either author’s name.)

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