Aaron Carroll and Austin Frakt: The Republican Study Committee has a “replace” plan:
For years now, we have heard that those opposed to Obamacare had a plan to “repeal and replace” it. They’ve certainly been working on the “repeal” part…. We’ve not heard a word about “replace”…. Today, a group of House conservatives presented their version of a replacement plan, endorsed by the Republican Study Committee… [that] throws poor Americans under the bus. The centerpiece of the plan is a universal, standard tax deduction of health insurance premiums, up to $7,500 for an individual and $20,000 for a family…. There are two problems…. The first is that it will obviously cost a lot of money. How much is not clear, but it won’t be insignificant. How will that be paid for? The second is that a tax deduction is much more valuable to someone who makes a lot of money than someone who makes little. But people with large incomes aren’t the ones who need help affording coverage…. The rest of the proposal is a grab bag of old ideas that cannot work well as sketched out, won’t do very much, or are wasteful giveaways….
The Affordable Care Act is intended to help people who don’t have insurance, especially those who are less than healthy, get it. The House proposal is intended to make insurance cheaper and easier to get if you are healthy…. If you’re committed to coming up with a way to expanding coverage while preserving the private insurance market, at least the ACA follows an established model. It happens to be how Massachusetts did it. It’s how Switzerland did it. And it’s how the conservative Heritage Foundation suggested doing it in 1989. The House is claiming it has a new way. But to us it only looks like a way back to the same problems that plague the system today.