Well, well, here we are, five years after the fact and Utah’s Republican Senator Orrin Hatch and two of his GOP senate pals, North Carolina’s Richard Burr and Oklahoma’s retiring Tom Coburn, finally came up with an alternative to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly called ObamaCare.
Call me crazy but I’m wondering what you’re probably wondering . . . what took ‘em so long?
Could it be that the honorable Senators Burr, Coburn, and Hatch were forced to wait for five years for the health care industry to finally understand that Republicans members of Congress would never (after 47 attempts) be able to repeal the ACA?
If that’s true, could it be that Senators Burr, Coburn, and Hatch decided to produce the Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility, and Empowerment (CARE) Act as a shield behind which the GOP could finally maneuver the repeal of ObamaCare?
Let’s take a close look at how Hatch introduced the CARE Act to his Utah constituents . . . it came in a letter with an intriguing sub-heading, “A Proposal to Lower Health Care Costs, Increase Access to Affordable, Quality Care Without Government Centered Regulations, Mandates”.
Senator Hatch, a man who’s been in the United States Senate for the nearly 4 decades and who never before gave a whit about helping Americans access affordable, quality health care, suddenly said, “Dear Friend: This week, along with Senators Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Tom Coburn, M. D. (R-Okla.), I unveiled the Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility, and Empowerment (CARE) Act to repeal ObamaCare and replace it with common-sense, patient-centered reforms to reduce health care costs and increase access to affordable, high-quality care. In contrast with Obamacare’s government centered mandates and regulations, our proposal empowers the American people to make the best health care choices for themselves and their families.”
Hatch goes on to say, “Obamacare is a disaster. It forces too many Americans out of the insurance they have, away from the doctor they trust and, for some, out of the job they need. With our plan, we’re making it possible once again for Americans – not Washington – to make the best informed health care decisions for themselves if given the right tools, information, and opportunities.
After first repealing the President’s health law,” (my emphasis)” we take aim at the chief concerns of the American people - greater economic security by driving down costs and expanding access to high-quality care through increased insurance market competition and reforms. What we’ve put forward is sustainable and achievable – and without the tax hikes, mandates, and budget-busting spending that have made Obamacare so unpopular with the American people.”
Interesting . . . so, Senator Hatch and friends want us to believe that they will first repeal ObamaCare and then actually replace it with the Patient CARE Act?
Forgive me for doubting someone who's been in Washington for nearly 40 years and suddenly decides that he's going to give Americans access to affordable health care but I have to say, "Double hmmmm!"
Hatch assures us that the Patient CARE Act would “establish sustainable, patient-centered reforms, modernize Medicaid, Reduce unnecessary defensive medicine practices and rein in frivolous lawsuits, increase health care price transparency to empower consumers and patients, and reduce distortions in the tax code that drive up health care costs.”
The Burr-Coburn-Hatch plan has no individual mandate, no employer mandate, or minimum coverage requirements, thereby removing any incentive for any individual to purchase health care insurance while at the same time giving employers an easy-out for dropping health care benefits for their employees.
So, a thinking person would understandably ask, "If there are no incentives, what’s the point?"
Is it possible that White House press secretary Jay Carney had it right when he said, “PACE is just another way to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Republican energy on this issue has been focused on repeal, focused on again and again and again, the ideological pursuit that would result in depriving millions of Americans of what are core benefits.”?
What do you think?
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