July 13th, 2017

Dueling health insurance reform bills from the GOP

Republican senators Lindsay Graham and Bill Cassidy have rolled out their proposal:

Graham and Cassidy, who have been working closely with former Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Rick Santorum, argue that one of the main reasons that Republicans are having such a hard time agreeing is because they are working from the Obamacare template — particularly federal control of health insurance.

“The reason we can’t pass a bill is because we are trying to do it in Washington, so stop it,” Santorum, a CNN contributor, told CNN. Both senators agree that the key to making their plan work, is giving states flexibility. “A blue state can do a blue thing, a red state a red thing,” Cassidy said. “My state is going to repeal and replace Obamacare with something that gives power to the patient, but that starts with us giving power to the states.”

Basically, the bill would do a very Republican/conservative thing, which is to give the power back to the states. However, it would also retain some of the Democrat/liberal things from Obamacare, such as keeping in place the taxes that support Obamacare (but giving the revenue to the states, which is a more Republican thing), as well as a nation-wide ban on considering pre-existing conditions. Graham also said that the retention of the taxes might be temporary: “‘It may be that those taxes that are being kept will be eventually repealed, but it will be done as part of comprehensive tax reform, not as part of this,’ said Cassidy.”

They added that they are also supporting the McConnell effort, but putting this plan out as an alternative, and that we’ll “see which one can get 50 votes.”

More details at the link.

Not a bad compromise, in my book.

As for the McConnell plan, here’s a summary of the new provision adopted after a suggestion by Ted Cruz. It gives a lot more choices to the consumer, including catastrophic plans as one option, as long as insurers offer at least one plan that conforms to Obamacare as well. Subsidized high-risk pools would handle the pre-existing condition situation.

I’ve written several posts on the earlier GOP proposal and many on the health care insurance conundrum as a whole. To me, both of these bills would be improvements over what have now. I have no idea whether either of them will be able to pass. The MSM would have us think the answer is “no way.” But although I think the GOP will indeed have trouble getting behind one of the plans, I also don’t trust that the MSM is doing much more right now than stating its own wishful thinking. Prognostication has not been their strong suit lately.

12 Responses to “Dueling health insurance reform bills from the GOP”

  1. vanderleun Says:


    Not this blog, but this subject. Time for a summer vacation on this subject.

  2. parker Says:

    Health care, insurance, and government involvement in both is like a Rube Goldberg nightmare.I think nothing can be ‘sold’ to the American people.

  3. MnJack Says:

    “It may be that those taxes that are being kept will be eventually repealed…”
    Glad I wasn’t drinking coffee when I read that.

  4. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Another Soros false flag from Lind boy I see.

  5. Brian E Says:


    As you’re probably aware, the original proposal was to repeal the taxes as part of the reconciliation bill, essentially being that much farther ahead when they get to the tax reform bill, which I hope would be more centered on reducing corporate tax rate.

    The optics looked bad, since it gave the democrats an easy target– cutting medical care for the poor to give tax breaks to the rich.

  6. Philip Ngai Says:

    If there is “a nation-wide ban on considering pre-existing conditions”, then it is not insurance.

  7. Big Maq Says:

    “Subsidized high-risk pools would handle the pre-existing condition situation.” – Neo

    If this is the case, then it implies that folks can be rejected by the insurance for an “obamacare” policy.

    Or, that there must be a much wider multiple from the cheapest “obamacare” plan to the most expensive one, by demographic, offered.

    Anyone know?

  8. Frog Says:

    Philip is 100% correct. Pre-existing conditions require higher insurance premiums, since possible needs for payout already exist.

    The GOP problem is 74 million Americans are now covered by Medicaid, and the lying Democrats will bewail any reduction in Medicaid enrollees as “Killing people”, though po’ people dying in the streets was not a pre-Obamacare complaint nor observation.

    The dissembling Sen. Heitcamp (D-ND) actually said on the Senate floor yesterday how important preventive care was, since it saves $$$$. Which is a flat-ass lie, a patent absurdity but one that most people cannot understand, or do not wish to understand.

    No Federal healthcare insurance statute should dictate scope of coverage or policy requirements.
    All that is needed are
    -interstate portability
    -choices of coverage
    -No HMOs or PPOs allowed
    -perhaps, premium parity between group (employer) and individual coverage policies. An individual is a member of a large group of individuals, after all, and the risk of ill health is the same in both groups, given demographic similarity.
    -renewability without restrictions on coverage or costs from the earlier coverage to the successor coverage.
    -And no welfare statism!

    I would get rid of my Medicare instantly if–IF– there were any other source of insurance available to me on the free market.

    Ain’t none of this gonna happen, though, due to GOP cowardice (“We might lose seats!”) and Democrat power greed (“Buy more votes”!). Dems unilaterally shoved Obamacare down the nation’s throat, but no matter. The two parties will converge into an unholy compromise.

    I pity my kids and grandkids. Ah, hell, just get the Fed to print another trillion with which to buy US Treasuries. Every year. And dammit, let’s get some good old inflation going to keep the Fed happy. It is all quite insane.

  9. Brian E Says:

    “I would get rid of my Medicare instantly if–IF– there were any other source of insurance available to me on the free market.”

    Since Medicare is subsidized by general revenues to the tune of $400 billion, it’s not likely you’re going to find a comparable plan.

    Here’s an interesting factoid. Utah has the lowest per capita spending in the US at $5900, compared to the national average of $9900. Why are they so much lower? Younger demographic and lower rates of smoking, alcohol consumption and other behaviors that contribute to healthcare costs. So are all the old people kicked out of Utah at a certain age, or is it because they have larger families?

    Looking less likely that the Senate is going to pass a healthcare bill. The Cruz amendment which allowed non-conforming plans to be sold has been stripped from the bill at the recommendation of the BCBS and the healthcare industry association.

    Plus liberal Republicans didn’t like the Medicaid cuts– which of course aren’t actual cuts in spending, but slower rates of increased spending.

  10. Brian E Says:

    I have sympathy for the working poor the last two decades whose jobs have been outsourced, to find their wages falling, to be replaced by increased government dependence.

    So I support giving the states more flexibility to administer Medicaid, but if we are going to leave the Obama expansion in place, conservatives should do the right thing and fund it.

    Wouldn’t it be a novel idea when congress expands government largess to actually pay for it rather than saddle future generations to pay for their generosity.

  11. Brian E Says:

    This would be funny if it weren’t so tragic.

    The GOP can’t pass a replacement plan unless it’s more liberal than the one the dems passes, and don’t even have enough votes to repeal the ACA.

    Talk about stuck.

    The GOP is a coalition of the Conservative Party and the Republican Party. More so than the Democrat Party a coalition of liberals and leftists. Though the leftists are doing a pretty good job of destroying the democrat party.

    The question is who’s destroying the GOP– the conservatives or the moderates?

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    we live in the twenty-first century. There are numerous researchers
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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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