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Don’t hold your breath: GOP to discuss an actual alternative to the ACA Thursday

In my own quest to be fair and balanced, I subscribe to e-mail updates from both John Goodman and Paul Keckley. Keckley’s newsletter comes out on Monday; Goodman sends out several updates each week. Reading these two analyses one after the other is a great way to start the week with a perfect point-counterpoint look […]

In my own quest to be fair and balanced, I subscribe to e-mail updates from both John Goodman and Paul Keckley. Keckley’s newsletter comes out on Monday; Goodman sends out several updates each week. Reading these two analyses one after the other is a great way to start the week with a perfect point-counterpoint look at healthcare in America.

In today’s post, Goodman writes about an event this week designed to create a real alternative to Obamacare: Fresh ideas and a new vision for health reform. He certainly nails the problem that Republicans have faced in producing something coherent so far:

Even though the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) is a Rube Goldberg contraption that no one can explain and even though its roll out has been a complete disaster and even though the delay of one provision after another makes it seem as though the entire enterprise is coming apart . . . Even with all that, Barack Obama in his sleep can articulate a clearer vision for health reform than Republicans and all their think tanks combined — after spending four years thinking about it!

The Galen Institute is hosting the event this week. Former Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin is to talk with Republicans who have introduced major health reform legislation. Their goal is to “paint a picture of what true market-based health reform would look like if consumers had more control over choices in a truly competitive market.”

There will even be a debate between journalist Ezra Klein and Avik Roy, opinion editor of Forbes and Manhattan Institute senior fellow, over the role of health policy in the 2014 and 2016 elections.

Goodman has his own advice for the legislators about what the replacement for Obamacare should look like:

  • A universal tax credit
  • Roth Health Savings Accounts
  • Medicaid as an option for everyone
  • Change of health status insurance
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He has another dose of reality for Republicans:

With these elements we will insure more people and spend less money than ObamaCare. But (and this will come as a surprise to many in the GOP) that is not a vote-inspiring vision. A real vision follows. And, come to think about it, it’s not just a vision for Republicans. Democrats may discover they like it as well.

Usually there is a lot of sarcasm in his posts, but that last line seems to be meant in good faith. As he goes on to cover elements that the “replace” plan should include, he hits on topics that any Democrat would support:

  • Choice
  • Fairness
  • Simplicity
  • Jobs
  • Universal coverage
  • Portability
  • Patient power
  • Real insurance
  • Efficiency

I hope the Republicans at the event listen to Goodman and take their assignment seriously. The country deserves an honest effort to reform healthcare from both sides of the aisle. Yes, the ACA is imperfect, but the correct response to those flaws is not “repeal” or “impeach.” It’s get to work finding fixes and improvements.

[Image of 3D get real crossword from Bigstock]

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