On Capitol Hill yesterday, Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) told reporters that his party’s health care plan is “much better than Obamacare.” Asked why, the Georgia Republican wasn’t sure. “I’ve got to read it first,” Perdue replied*.
Oh. So the senator hadn’t read the GOP plan, but he’s nevertheless certain that it’s not only an improvement on the status quo, but it’s “much better” than the Affordable Care Act.
This almost certainly captures the attitude most Senate Republican will adopt, probably without a whole lot of effort. They know they’re supposed to hate the ACA; they know their party has a far-right alternative; and so they know how they’re going to have to vote next week.
But when it comes to the between the Affordable Care Act and the GOP alternative, I think this is a better answer.
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) expressed his support for the Senate Republicans’ Obamacare repeal bill Friday, although he told the hosts of “Fox & Friends” that he had yet to commit to voting for it.
Asked if the bill bettered the state of health care, Cassidy replied: “It depends on how you define ‘better.’”
Well, yes, I suppose it does.
Would the Republican plan cover more Americans than Obamacare? Actually, no, it would cover far fewer, and the uninsured rate, currently at its lowest point on record, would increase if the GOP legislation is implemented.
Would the Republican plan lower costs for American consumers as compared to Obamacare? Actually, no, it would do the opposite, increasing costs by design.
Would the Republican plan offer better coverage than Obamacare? Actually, no, it would offer worse coverage through weaker plans.
The GOP’s alternative does excel, however, in satisfying partisan and ideological goals. In Cassidy’s Fox News interview, for example, co-host Steve Doocy said the Republican bill “eliminates the individual and employee mandate,” and people will “love” such a change. That may be true in many cases, but it’s not an especially substantive observation. After all, Americans won’t have better health security because of the elimination of various mandates.
It’s also true that many wealthy people and industries within the health care system would get a sizable tax cut, and that too may be popular in some circles, but it’s not a credible metric for evaluating the merits of a health care policy blueprint."