Thursday, January 30, 2014

GOP's Obamacare Alternative

The Republicans have finally proposed an alternative to the Affordable Care Act...that is very similar to the Affordable Care Act, according to Andrew Sullivan on The Daily Dish.

Reading it through in some detail yesterday, I was a little floored. After all the hysteria about Obamacare ending America as we know it, about its terrifying impact on the very nature of our polity, its devastating blow to the economy … the GOP’s alternative looks a hell of a lot like Obamacare – but with some gratuitous unconcern for some of the most vulnerable.

I think this new proposal, while certainly a substantive step forward, is so similar to Obamacare in so many ways, it effectively ends the real debate over it – although the rhetorical histrionics will no doubt endure. Any proposal that seeks to expand access, end the pre-existing conditions Catch-22 and control costs, turns out to look, in practice, much, much more like Obamacare than anything that preceded it. Once that is absorbed out there and the debate becomes a real one between actual alternatives, as opposed to an abstract one about America’s identity, the GOP is immediately on the defensive. The voters may well decide that if they’re going to get some version of Obamacare, better the real thing than an incoherent and vague knock-off. Or they may even decide that the GOP’s hysteria was bullshit. Because it was.

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