In case you missed it in last night’s post because I kind of buried it, the latest Republican amendment to their health care bill allows states to opt out of Obamacare’s essential requirements. But it doesn’t apply to Congress. They are exempted. Just to refresh your memory, here’s the list of essential benefits:
- Ambulatory patient services.
- Emergency services.
- Maternity and newborn care.
- Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment.
- Prescription drugs.
- Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices.
- Laboratory services.
- Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management.
- Pediatric services, including oral and vision care.
The state of Wisconsin, for example, could choose to approve plans that don’t include doctor visits (#1), hospitalization (#3), or prescription drugs (#6). House Republicans apparently think that’s just fine.
But for themselves, their plans will include every single benefit on that list. I’m not normally too bothered by political hypocrisy, but this really jumps the shark. Back in 2009, Republicans gleefully proposed an amendment to Obamacare that would make it apply to Congress. They apparently figured that this would show up Democrats who didn’t want to eat their own dog food. But no: Democrats were perfectly willing to be covered by their own law. They shrugged, voted for the amendment, and Republicans were then stuck using Obamacare for their insurance.
But now that they’re in charge, Republicans are dead set on not eating their dog food. And who can blame them? Their dog food sucks.
This really ought to drive home just how horrible the Republican health care plan is. And maybe it will. Finally.