The GOP’s Bad/Inadequate Ideas on Health Care

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I was going to write a post about how unworkable the health care plan in the GOP’s new “Pledge to America” is. But Jonathan Cohn already did it so well, I see no need to repeat. Click here to read Cohn’s explanation of how the Republican plan to cover pre-existing conditions is pretty much bogus.

A few other things Republicans are also proposing in the Pledge that Cohn didn’t mention:

* They want to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but how will they pay for it? The Congressional Budget Office says the law will reduce the federal deficit by about $140 billion over ten years, so repealing the law will add to the deficit.

* Medical malpractice reform isn’t necessarily a bad idea, but it would reduce overall health care spending by about 1%. Not exactly a silver bullet.

* The reason buying across state lines reduces costs is that insurers operating in states with less regulation – and fewer consumer protections – sell cheaper, less valuable products. It open the door to that race to the bottom problem, along with the adverse selection problem and a few others. More here.

* “Strengthen the Doctor-Patient Relationship” is one of the GOP planks. Sounds good – who could be against that? It’s the “how” that seems to be missing from the document.