GOP Offers Up a New Health Care Propo….z z z z z….al


I hear that House Republicans have a shiny new health care plan they plan to introduce sometime soon. Before I read past the headlines, let me take a guess at what’s in it:

  • Tort reform
  • Health savings accounts
  • Interstate purchase of health plans
  • High-risk pools

OK, now let’s take a look. Here is Robert Costa in the Washington Post:

The plan includes an expansion of high-risk insurance pools, promotion of health savings accounts and inducements for small businesses to purchase coverage together. The tenets of the plan — which could expand to include the ability to buy insurance across state lines, guaranteed renewability of policies and changes to medical-malpractice regulations — are ideas that various conservatives have for a long time backed as part of broader bills.

Hmmm. It looks like I missed a couple of things: “inducements” for small businesses and “guaranteed renewability” of policies. Still, I nailed the main points. That’s a pretty amazing feat of crystal ball gazing, isn’t it?

No, of course not. It’s like predicting that a Republican tax plan will include lower rates on the rich. They might package it in different wrapping paper, but it’s always the same old stuff. And it’s worth keeping in mind that guaranteed renewability of policies has been the law for a long time, so it’s unlikely the GOP plan actually offers anything substantive on that point. Ditto for the small business “inducements,” which will probably just turn out to be tax cuts of some kind.

Basically, Republican health care proposals are always, always, always a repackaging of the four tired old points above. Nobody seriously thinks that any of them will expand access to health care in any serious way, but that doesn’t matter. These are the only things Republicans can all agree on, so that’s what they always propose. Whether it works or not isn’t really the point.

If you want more detail about all this, rather than just my exasperated Cliff Notes version, check out Jonathan Cohn here. He has it all covered.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.