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Instead of repeal and replace, repeal and repeal

September 20, 2010 - Mike Maneval

Jonathan Chait of the New Republic, in commentary published on the Web Monday, alleges the Republicans in congress who have advocated a "repeal and replace" strategy - repealing the health care reform act of 2010 and replacing it with different policies, have "absolutely no idea" what those different policies are.

Some possibilities include replacing all of Medicare with a voucher program. Chait cites senior Senator Charles Grassley, Republican of Iowa, who only could identify  as a specific "solution" limiting what reckless and irresponsible doctors have to pay the patients they've injured, and otherwise says more concrete suggestions will have to wait until after the election.

So, in hopes Chait's accusation that Republicans have no broader plans is true, allow me to suggest a different approach: Repeal and repeal.

As I've argued at numerous points in the past two years, several provisions within the health care reform act are problematic. A consumer mandate is invasive and overbearing, and when coupled with tax breaks to aid middle-class households with the cost of health insurance is a recipe for predictable and large increases in premium costs, increases even good ideas for cost containment are unlikely to alleviate. The medical devices tax is also a vicious and heartless burden on the afflicted.

So repeal these provisions, and perhaps more, from the law passed in 2010. And, as the larger law drew repeated criticisms for being "socialist," repeal earlier laws signed by President George W. Bush that are far more socialistic than anything in the 2010 law, and abolish Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage, programs under which the government spends borrowed money, to be repaid by future taxpayers, on buying prescription drugs and gym memberships for senior citizen handouts.


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