James Pethokoukis

Politics and policy from inside Washington

Repealing healthcare reform

December 29, 2009

Assuming ObamaCare passes, the GOP is already making a pledge to repeal it ASAP part of their 2010 (and beyond) electoral strategy. But Igor Volsky over at the Wonk Room makes some good points indicating the political difficulty of doing so, putting side an Obama veto of any attempts:

1) The bill immediately prohibits insurers from rescinding coverage, imposing life-time or annual limits or denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions.

2) Applicants who are unable to find insurance in the individual market, can purchase catastrophic coverage and young adults can stay on their parents’ policies until their 27th birthday.

3) Small businesses that provide health coverage will also be eligible for tax credits beginning in 2010.

4) The bill requires health insurers to spend 80 to 85 percent of all premium dollars on medical care and reduces the size of the coverage gap in Medicare Part D “by $500 in the first year.” The bill also guarantees “50 percent price discounts on brand-name drugs and biologics purchased by low and middle-income beneficiaries in the coverage gap.”

5) These benefits could also improve as the Senate bill moves into conference. Several House progressives have pledged to push the conference committee to move up the implementation date of the exchanges in the final bill and front load more benefits into the interim period of the final legislation.

The news regs on private health insurance are likely to be quite popular. More than likely, any GOP efforts will have to work within the general framework that is created, such as healthcare exchanges.

Comments

Putting aside the inevitable Obama veto, I would agree that on the surface it looks politically dicey for the Republicans to retract these goodies. Did the Dems structure this deliberately, or was it just dumb luck?

But, but , but. Don’t discount the depth and breadth of anger in the country about all of this — both the content of the health care bill as well as the tawdry manner in which it was forced through the Senate. If that anger is as large as many think it is, then 2010 could see massive Republican gains.

And if that were to happen, Republicans would have the lattitide to take the position that while health care reform may be needed, the Democratic version is not the answer and just makes the problems worse and it would be better for the country to trash ObamaCare and start over. That might be a tough sell given the near term goodies that would evaporate. But in the context of significant Republican gains in 2010, it would not be an impossible sell.

Posted by Bill, Fairfax, VA | Report as abusive
 

Fat chance Republicans will get anything but token changes. They will eventually learn to live with this monstrosity.

Repeal is the wrong goal and is typical of a conservative. Replace is a better goal; fight to the death to replace as much as possible of the eventual monstrosity with consumer-oriented health care. We should buy and sell all products and services in the health care industry just as we do with other consumer-oriented products and services.

Posted by Liberty Lover | Report as abusive
 

So what.

If necessary, rescind the entire monstrosity and pass another with the 1% that makes sense.

Or pass a Republican version with tort reform, portability, limits on dropped coverage, and interstate competition.

It’s simply ridiculous to say we are stuck with a poison pill of 2700 pages when 20 pages might make sense.

And btw, a good bit of the 4 points listed are just plain stupid. Just because some nutter liberal likes government give-aways doesn’t mean that rational people can’t spot redistribution on a stick.

Posted by proreason | Report as abusive
 

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
  •