Why Republicans Should Vote in Favor of the Affordable Care Act 38

Seventeen years ago, in response to President Bill Clinton’s efforts to reform the American medical system, the newly resurgent GOP caucus offered this plan for health insurance reform, universal coverage and an emphasis on medical best practices as a way to lower long-term costs.

Anyone even passingly conversant with the legislation passed by the US Senate without a single republican vote should be amazed at the hypocrisy of a “conservative” caucus that advocated virtually identical solutions less than a generation ago now being so venomously against such  measures.

A caucus staffed by many of the same people who wrote the conservative health care solutions that so closely echo today’s democratic proposals.

A bill that should have offered a bridge across troubled partisan waters, built at the behest of centrist legislators of both parties and none at all aiming to craft a moderate response to our pressing needs, was instead burned to the shoreline in fits of illogical and reflective partisan dogma by the faithful of both parties.

House republicans should take this singular opportunity to fix the Senate’s mistake, stop the party’s continuing hypocrisy on this issue and claim ownership of the very ideas they championed from the same seats in 1994 and delivers just about everything they said they wanted back then.

I don’t like using yesterday’s solutions to address today’s problems any more than the next guy, but many of these proposals still make sense and should have been supported by the republican party if they care to claim an ounce of intellectual integrity and ethical standards.

Perhaps Gingrich or Chafee should have been a little more forceful in reminding their former colleagues of the earlier republican reform package.  Especially Newt because as recently as 2005 he was still talking about the health insurance reforms his party’s Contract with America put forth as part of their small business package.

This could have been an historic win-win for the American people with just a little bit of creative thinking from our chosen representatives, right and left, but I fear it will only provide fuel for our Bonfire of Partisan Vanities in the weeks and months to come.

It is way past time we held these men and women accountable at the ballot box during primary elections, though I am not so sure We The People understand the true nature of the power we wield in a representative republic with universal suffrage.

The only universal right we really need if we could just be bothered to participate in our own destiny twice a year, every two years.

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38 thoughts on “Why Republicans Should Vote in Favor of the Affordable Care Act

  • acamus

    All the current republican party leaders are concerned with is winning in the next election. It is a reflection of the Bush White House under Rove when the other two facets of governance and policy where thrown to wind in favor of politics. This is a thread developed ever since 1994 and the Repubs realized they could seize control.

    As a variation of the parable of the tribes, the Dems have had to counter given the current media world. Not that they are perfectly innocent. But there continued push with the HCR in spite of the not so great poll numbers does give credence to the idea that there is still some integrity in the Dem party, no matter how small it is.

    • Jason Everett Miller

      Agreed, which is why I think the bill that passed in the senate should have had broad republican support given the historic proposals to reform health care.

      I think they may be “rewarded” by the voters in a way they didn’t anticipate given the democratic caucus’ intention to pass this bill over their vehement protests.

      I suspect Plouffe will offer the same comparison I did come November in response to such rank hypocrisy.

      • acamus

        The question is whether such nunance can get any traction with the general electorate. Generally speaking will it come down to the “independents” and “centrists” answering the question ‘am i better off than i was two years ago?” or “are things looking up?”

        • Jason Everett Miller

          Not sure how much nuance is going to get through the static, but Obama seems to have found his voice again.

          Perhaps that will come in handy explaining just what was passed in the House last night well enough to do some good in November.

          Based on the republican party’s ridiculous performance on this issue over the last year, I don’t want them in charge again anytime soon.

  • theCleverBulldog

    I didn’t see in the old republican bill a mandate to buy insurance and a penalty if you fail to do so, or a tax on high value plans, or medicare taxes on capital gains and dividends, or a 500 billion dollar cut to medicare. I also didn’t see in the new democratic bill restrictions on lawsuits against FDA approved drugs, or limits on lawsuit contingency fees. But you must be right, they are exactly the same, just completely different.

    • OldenGoldenDecoy

      Or really . . .

      Well that’s what happens when you’re only allowing a little warm air to be blown behind your ear as the Dems have allowed the corporate creeps to do instead of having the insurance, pharma and big-business corporate lobbyists shove their collective tongues down your throats as the the repulicants party of no have allowed year in and year out and decade over decade.

      How’s that tickling of the tonsils feel there pooch?

      woof woof . . .


    • WorkinJoe

      Subtitle F: Universal Coverage – Requires each citizen or lawful permanent resident to be covered under a qualified health plan or equivalent health care program by January 1, 2005. Provides an exception for any individual who is opposed for religious reasons to health plan coverage, including those who rely on healing using spiritual means through prayer alone.

      Bulldog, there’s your requirement in the 1994 GOP bill for every citizen to purchase insurance. Keep in mind that this article was a very brief summary. I’m sure the GOP plan was about 2000 pages long.

      • Jason Everett Miller

        Good catch, Joe. This is part and parcel of our problem in this country – not enough intellectual curiosity to keep us honest.

    • JNagarya

      You didn’t see anything in that bill because you didn’t read it, Unclever Bullshitter. Any more than you read that most recent — which didn’t stop you regurgitating the lies against it like a good little brainwashed lock-step duped sheeple.

    • Jason Everett Miller

      The two plans are close enough that the differences are negligible and should have been worked out during negotiations. Of course, the caucus didn’t come to the table with any of their ideas because they sounded too much like the democratic ideas.

      The rest of your comment sounds a lot like Glenn Beck or Sean Hannitty’s latest talking points, especially this new-found “conservative” love of Medicare, a program the GOP has been trying to kill for years or that somehow mandates are the problem.

      I am finding it tiresome to defend the indefensible, such as the inability of a national party to muster even an ounce of integrity. If the republican party really had a sense of history they would have worked with democrats to make a mediocre bill even better.

      That is called governing rather than simply playing politics.

      • theCleverBulldog

        Look idiot, I don’t want any part of a socialized, national medical plan. I’ve been to Canada, I know how that system works, and I don’t want it here. The fact that a democrat moron pretending to be a republican, Lincoln Chafee, wrote some crap 10 years ago means nothing to me at all.

        I could have supported some reforms on the insurance business, removing anti trust, allowing interstate competition, restrictions on pre existing condition exclusions, serious tort reform and lawsuit limitations. But the democrats are not honest. They want a single payer system and this is the first step to that. They will not stop until they get full government control of health care. Then a bureaucrat will decide who gets care and who dies, and our health care will be delivered with the customer service of the DMV and the efficiency of Amtrak.

        • Jason Everett Miller

          Anything that starts out with “Look idiot” isn’t worth responding to. Based on your comment, you apparently haven’t read this bill and have no idea what socialized medicine looks like, because this legislation isn’t it.

          This is not the first step toward single-payer, no matter how much the democrats may have used that “evil” notion to position their “compromise” position. For what it worth, bureaucrats decide who gets health care now, they just don’t work for you and me so there is no recourse if they decide poorly.

          Not sure what you have against holding insurance companies accountable using mechanisms the republican party touted as indispensable not that long ago.

          • theCleverBulldog

            Democrats are openly talking about the camels nose being under the tent. You are kidding yourself if you think that is not where they are heading, and if you think that is a good idea then you know nothing about how socialized medicine has worked in other countries and what it has done to their culture. England is pathetic, with the bulk of the population completely complacent, living off the dole in subsidized housing, with nothing to look forward to other than getting drunk.

          • Jason Everett Miller

            You are reading way too much into those sorts of statements since nothing in the current legislation would lead us to the British National Health Service.

            At best, we will end up with a private, not-for-profit health insurance industry operating under a set of strict guidelines that doesn’t allow them to profit from killing their clients.

            A system much like the one found in Switzerland or the Netherlands or Germany. One that delivers better returns on our outrageous investments in health care.

            Education system should come next.

          • Bwakfat

            At best, we will end up with a private, not-for-profit health insurance industry operating under a set of strict guidelines that doesn’t allow them to profit from killing their clients.

            Not even a little profit?


          • SleepinJeezus

            Hmmmmm…… Drunk Englishmen in the house next door on one side. Clever Bulldog in the house next door on the other side. I wonder which neighbor I would find to be more agreeable?

            I’m not sure your caricature of the English is at all accurate. But the mere fact of you making such a demeaning comment says a whole lot more about you than anything we might learn about the target of your abuse.

            You’re a real piece of work, sport. Arf!

          • OldenGoldenDecoy

            Dayum . . .

            The only thing the crotchety crotch sniffer left out about the Brits, er–I mean the English, er–I mean the “drunks” is bad teeth.


        • stillidealistic

          Then don’t be part of it. There are plenty of countries with better overall health care ratings than we have here…find one, and don’t let the door hit you in the butt when you leave.

          It does not make any sense at all to have the best possible medical care in the world, when only the rich and famous from all over the world can afford it, and people here, cannot.

          • stillidealistic

            Maybe you can go to Costa Rica w/ rushbo…Has he made his reservations yet? I’d like to be at the airport to see him off!

  • Watt Childress

    This is a very interesting post, Jason. The insurance mandate package that was passed exclusively by Democrats is basically Republican legislation.

    Both Democrats and Republicans are now on record supporting bills that attempt near-universal coverage by mandating that all Americans become customers of the private health insurance industry.

    Which shows that both parties are beholding to the same corporate interests. To claim otherwise is hypocritical.

    • Jason Everett Miller

      Switzerland and the Netherlands both achieved universal coverage by doing the very same thing – mandating coverage via private insurers.

      Of course, they enjoyed a broader non-profit insurance industry than we did starting out, but since ours used to be non-profit as well, that is most likely the next destination for the country’s health insurers.

      Simple fact of the matter is that whether public or private, profit or non-profit, our steadily sickening population is why costs are going through the roof and neither party is addressing that problem.

      I try not to look at things in terms of conspiracies out to get us. The more likely answer is a combination of ruthless self-interest on the part of corporation and Washington’s natural reluctance to things in a logical fashion.

      As I have mentioned before, though, I think We The People remain the real problem in America.

    • SleepinJeezus

      You are spot on, Watt. The most frustrating thing about this whole mess we’ve been in this last year in trying to arrive at legitimate HCR is that Obama/Rahm and the Dems had to twist themselves into pretzels to make certain they didn’t overreach and provide more HCR than the oligarchs were willing to allow.

      It could have been a whole lot easier if only We The People were the primary constituency for the pols in Washington. Alas, they must first serve their monied masters, and this is what we get as a result.

      Think this was fun? just wait until we get seriously involved with Financial Industry Reform. You’re talking about having to deal with the very top of the food chain for that, and Goldman Sachs and friends are not to keen on seeing the party on Wall Street being reined in anytime soon. Ought to make for some real entertaining kabuki theater, but will ultimately offer little real reform.

  • Ex Counter Intelligence Officer

    Conservatives do want HC reform, but not reform with Government involvement. Every program the Democrats have put forward over the last 50 years has been an abject failure. Every one of them bankrupt as our country soon will be under this new entitlement. Look at previous nanny states, i.e. the now defunct USSR, the flatlining and weak UK, Europe, and my favorite…Canada whose wealthy come to the U.S. for treatment because our medical service is second to none and they do not want to wait months for life saving treatment. In the U.S.,anyone can and does recieve treatment if they need it regardless of insurance coverage.

    A requirement that Americans must purchase a product will not stand and will be struck down by the Supreme Court. If by chance it is not, it will be repealed and a more sensible program with zero government involvement will replace it. In 8 months a large majority of Democrats in the house and senate will be voted out…two years later Obama will be heading back to Chicago.

    • SleepinJeezus

      Counter intelligence seems just about right. Counter reality too.

      Guess what? You and the Repub leadership lost the election in 2008. And because you guys never quite got that fact into your collective head, you lost even bigger last night.

      Elections have consequences. You’re about to figure that out as virtually everyone except for the whacko Repub base begins to grow comfortable with a truly remarkable piece of legislation that was passed in keeping with a campaign promise.

    • Jason Everett Miller

      I find this take on the current legislation to melodramatic and not in keeping with what is actually in the bill, most of which republicans have promoted since Nixon was president.

      Something that Raging Lefties and Tea Partiers hate as well as the insurance companies must be finally heading us in the right direction as far as I am concerned.

      The republicans will regret the hypocrisy of not supporting solutions they themselves advocated as the answer to our problems.

    • Ripper McCord

      …the flatlining and weak UK, Europe, and my favorite…Canada whose wealthy come to the U.S. for treatment because our medical service is second to none and they do not want to wait months for life saving treatment. In the U.S.,anyone can and does recieve treatment if they need it regardless of insurance coverage.

      Funny how only wealthy Canadians can take advantage of treatment in the U.S. In that respect, they’re no different than Americans.

  • bluesplashy

    Thank you for posting this, Jason. I sent it around to all my friends that are celebrating today. I wish sometimes that I could see through republican eyes because all I can see now is the Party of F… No.

    • Jason Everett Miller

      I think it is cognitive dissonance from too many years of acting counter to their stated beliefs. I suspect the voters will wake up well before Congress.

    • OldenGoldenDecoy

      Oh yeah . . .

      The wonderful moderate World of Newt?

      “Especially Newt because as recently as 2005 he was still talking about the health insurance reforms his party’s Contract with America put forth as part of their small business package.”

      Yup, he sure was singing a totally different tune in 2005.

      Let’s see what’s been blowing even more recently out of the blustery piehole of the great savior of the moderate right.

      Poland and the tea-partiers overcoming totalitarians?

      Oh brother …


      • OldenGoldenDecoy

        And also keep in mind . . .

        Expecting the worst from Newt Gingrich means we will never be disappointed. If we’re wrong and Newt does not try to create a world without history, without philosophy, without science, without reason—a world without beauty of any kind, without art, without literature, without culture—we’ll be relieved. If we’re right and he does, we’ll be prepared.