For months now, the Democrats/liberals have been mocking Republicans/conservatives for having no ideas or solutions for healthcare reform or to address the energy issue or jobs & the economy, etc. (I pointed out in a previous post that this was baloney.) In his State of the Union Address, President Obama went on record again challenging the GOP for better alternatives. As Sarah Palin stated in her article “The Credibility Gap”,

He dared us to ‘let him know’ if we have a better health care plan, but he refused to allow Republicans in on the negotiations or consider any ideas for real free market and patient-centered reforms. We’ve been ‘letting him know’ our ideas for months from the town halls to the tea parties, but he isn’t interested in listening. Instead he keeps making the nonsensical claim that his massive trillion-dollar health care bill won’t increase the deficit.”

At RealClearMarkets, the Manhattan Institute’s Diana Furchtgott-Roth recently took a look at alternative healthcare proposals by two GOP members of the House of Representatives. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-WI, has reintroduced his “Road Map for America’s Future”, which includes a food stamps-like approach to healthcare reform. People would receive tax credits (low-income individuals would get extra) to purchase the insurance plan of their choice among those available in their state, and the insurers are free to price those plans according to the market. (All state-licensed plans would be eligible.) High-deductible/low-premium plans would be allowed for use with HSAs or more traditional managed care or fee-for-service plans, and special, government-subsidized high-risk plans would be available for those with chronic illnesses. No changes in Medicare for those currently 55 or older; when the rest of us turn 65, we “would receive $11,000, adjusted for inflation, to buy a Medicare certified plan. Those with lower incomes or with more serious health conditions would receive more funding.”

Republican Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) (AP, via the Daily Caller)

According to the CBO, “national health expenditures would almost certainly be lower [under Ryan’s plan] than they would under the alternative fiscal scenario. Federal spending for health care would be substantially lower, relative to the amount in that scenario, for working-age people and the Medicare population.”

Rep. Tom Price, R-GA, is sponsoring the Empowering Patients First Act, H.R. 3400. Similar to Rep. Ryan’s proposal, under this plan people would be able to purchase health insurance with money from tax deductions. (If your employer provides health insurance, you can keep it.) States would subsidize high-risk pools for the chronically ill. Etc. Here’s an interesting innovation: Companies would be allowed (not required) to offer their employees a certain $ amount to pick-n-choose whatever plan they wanted on the open market, and that plan would be portable to their next job. Plus, the employer would retain the tax benefits it now receives for providing its workers with tax-free health coverage.

Federally-controlled public utility w/ mandated coverages VS. All Americans (even w/ special needs) able to buy whatever plan they want on the open market. I know which one I prefer….

In an attempt at bipartisan communication and reconciliation, President Obama joined “the opposition” at the House Republicans’ Annual Meeting in Baltimore last night (1/29/2010). Before the President took the stage, Republican Leader John Boehner, R-OH, presented him with a compilation of Republican policy alternatives for healthcare reform, energy crisis/independence, jobs, the budget, and housing. These were not brand new proposals but had been created and presented in Congress over the past year. Want to read them for yourself? Visit GOP Solutions for America.

President Obama, are you listening? (Reading? Paying attention and giving serious thought?) I hope so.

  1. pastorjeffcma says:

    This was really good to hear. Even though I certainly knew and heard about the meeting I did not know the plan had been personally presented to him. Not much hope, but, who knows–maybe even the President will listen to a voice of reason at this point

  2. Jay says:

    The Dems claim bipartisanship but only follow through if you’re willing to “see it their way”. It is the my way or the highway approach that has permiated politics in Washington and it has to stop. I thought it interesting how Mr. Obama attended the House Republicans’ Annual Meeting. It shows his desperation and clues us into the fact that he is finally coming around. He can no longer just ram his stink down our throats anymore and I think he knows it.

    We’ve never been the party of no. It’s the Dems slamming doors in our faces when it comes time to “get things done”. One can only hope Mr. Obama was serious about opening those doors closed by his own party. So far he has done a good job of saving capital at the expense of those carrying out his agenda. He doesn’t have much time left to make a correction in the hopes of a re-election.

    Great post, my Friend!

    • sirrahc says:

      Thanks for the “attaboy”, Jay. And you are so right about the current definition of “bipartisanship” — at least, according to the Democratic leaders.

  3. LD Jackson says:

    I was encouraged to see President Obama attend the meeting and be willing to take questions from the opposition. I truly hope a compromise can be worked out on issues such as the out of control spending, the deficit, etc. etc. I think the President would be willing to work something out, but I am not so sure about the Democratic leadership in the House or the Senate. They seem to be very exclusive and want no input that does not go the way they want.

  4. sirrahc says:

    I don’t know, guys. I’m trying not to be either naively optimistic or cynical. Even if the President recognizes the need and sincerely desires to tack more to the center, he still has to wrestle with the demands of the radical Left and other special-interest groups who a) helped get him into power and b) seem to be controlling the Democratic Party in both houses of Congress.

    It’s going to be a tough balancing act for him/them to get anything meaningful done w/o pushing the U.S. further towards socialism and/or putting us and our allies in increasing danger from the jihadists (al Qaeda et al.), crazy dictators (e.g., Kim Jong Il and Hugo Chavez), power-mad nationalists (like Putin), and anyone else with something to prove.

    • LD Jackson says:

      I agree. He is going to have his hands full with Pelosi and Reid if he tries to take a more moderate stance and really try to compromise with the Republicans.

  5. betabob says:

    Great post.

    I have been intrigued by the proposal of Judd Gregg from a few months ago. You’re right in pointing out there have been plans submitted. It was good to see Obama admit this in Baltimore. I blogged about the attempt at post partisanship today.

    I’d love to see Congress start off with the parts of a Republican plan that are palatable to the Dem’s and go from there. Pick some low hanging fruit first to get momentum. Unfortunately I’m afraid the first sign of progress would be followed by a fght to take credit.

  6. […] February 23, 2010 Posted by sirrahc in Uncategorized. trackback In my original post titled “So, Republicans Don’t Have Any Better Ideas, Huh?“, I explained some of the healthcare reform ideas proposed by Congressmen Paul Ryan, R-WI, […]

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