How do you sell a conservative on Obama health care? Take away his job, cancel his group health plan, and send him to a high-risk pool for what seemed like a harmless, pre-existing condition. There you have it. A new Obamacare acolyte.
Republicans forget conservatives need health care, too.
It’s not fair, but Democrats aren’t the only ones who get sick. Even the staunchest conservative needs health insurance and can be denied coverage in less time than it takes to answer a few innocent questions. So why is the GOP committing partisan suicide by making a bad idea like Obama health care look appealing, suggesting we not only block what little is good about the Affordable Care Act, but proposing to shut down the government and throw the SNAP Program into the mix to make it happen?
GOP’s big health care mistake was not doing anything.
When it comes to health care the biggest problem is partisanship, not the cost of unclogging arteries. The GOP has proposed plans for reforming our health care system, but its efforts never picked up much momentum. Is the party too aware of its innate, conservative resistance to big government? We don’t need more government to start fixing health care.
HIPAA is already on the books and Republicans have known for a long time what needs to be done to fix the worst offenses of the system. The problem is they never did anything about it (see: Why Are Republican Lawmakers Helping Obama?).
It’s not that hard to make a difference. Find a way to make high risk plans more affordable so those with pre-existing conditions can get coverage without having to cash in their 401ks. Pass a law so your insurer of thirty years can’t dump you because of a cancer diagnosis. Make it easier to transition from a group plan to private insurance. Stop forcing Americans to take Medicare because of their age if they are working and want to keep their health insurance.
A conservative plan for high-risk health care: make other countries pay.
Want to get Americans who hate Obama health care behind a substitute bill? Democrats whine about conservatives wanting to cut programs like SNAP, but we happily ship money overseas to fund similar types of assistance in other countries.
The Obama administration’s 2014 international affairs budget request topped $50 billion, including assistance for Egypt, Afghanistan, South Africa, and Pakistan. Even Mexico gets U.S. handouts, not including what we spend to take care of millions of Mexican citizens scrounging in the U.S. Instead of wasting billions in foreign aid, a good deal of it to countries that hate us, let’s spend Obama’s foreign assistance budget right here at home (see: Is America’s Role World Leader and Superpower, or Sucker?). Defund the Affordable Care Act and use foreign aid dollars to help subsidize tax deductions for high-risk pools. Then pass a law to deal with pre-existing condition exclusions. It’s not Obama health care, it’s not a Republican-endorsed take on a big government solution, and it’s not universal coverage. It is a place to start without creating a bigger mess than we have. An added bonus: it will give us a nice, warm feeling knowing we aren’t shelling out money that buys resentment and hatred for America.
Now if we could only figure out a way to quash the bad PR over that food stamp vote …