Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 6:28 PM ET, 01/19/2011

Repeal, but no replace

By Ezra Klein

PH20110106065971.jpg

As expected, House Republicans have voted to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Three Democrats voted with them, which is substantially less than the 13 currently serving Democrats who voted against the bill in the first place, and many less than prominent Republicans had been predicting. On health-care reform, the two parties are moving further apart rather than closer together.

What's not as expected, however, is that the GOP gave up on "repeal and replace" so early. Throughout the election, that was their message. If you look at their press language, it's still their message. Being on the side of the status quo is, according to the pollsters, a bad place to be. But that's where they are. They voted for repeal despite offering nothing in the way of replacement, save for the vague intention to have some committees come up with some ideas at some future date. Barry Goldwater might have wanted the GOP to offer a choice, not an echo, but Speaker Boehner saw more upside in a shout than a choice.

There's a reason for that: Opposition is easy, governing is hard. You have to get your members to agree on a single piece of legislation. You have to make the tough tradeoffs that are the hallmark of governance. You have to explain how you'll do things, rather than merely what you want done. You have to own the popular parts and defend the unpopular parts.

Democrats did that for health care. They fought ugly fights in their own party over the public option, the financing of the legislation, the levels of coverage in the bill, the way abortion would be treated in the exchanges. They made some easy decisions, like banning discrimination based on preexisting conditions, and some hard ones, like adding an individual mandate to the bill, and paying for it through Medicare cuts rather than a tax on the wealthy. And in the end, they managed to pass their law through the House and through the Senate. They governed. They sought to move the country forward.

Boehner's GOP, in deciding against offering the promised replacement for the Affordable Care Act, ducked the hard work and highest responsibilities of governance. Maybe, in the coming months, they'll do better than that. Maybe their committees will report out serious alternatives and they'll be brought to the floor of the House. But this isn't the first time health-care policy has come up in Washington. If the GOP had wanted to offer a plan of their own, there are plenty they could've taken off the shelf. If they'd needed more time, well, there was no hurry. But they didn't take more time, or dust off an existing piece of legislation. Backwards was good enough.

Today's vote was a statement, not a policy. Like the public option and cap-and-trade, both of which also passed the House, it will die in the Senate. But unlike the public option and cap-and-trade, it doesn't tell Americans much about how the Republicans would address the nation's toughest problems After the vote total was announced, you could hear some members of the GOP clapping and cheering. And fair enough: They have a win to be happy about. But not one to be proud of.

Photo credit: By Susan Walsh

By Ezra Klein  | January 19, 2011; 6:28 PM ET
Categories:  Health Reform  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Remember the uninsured?
Next: Reconciliation

Comments

Congratulations to the House on one of the most narcistic and inane votes in recent memory.

And what's your alternative? More of the free market solutions that brought us 50 million uninsured, rampant insurance and drug company price gouging, millions of bankruptcies due to un-payable medical bills, and inferior quality relative to all those industrial nations that have national or single payer healthcare systems.

The law passed by the Democrats last year has gaping holes, especially in costs and loopholes for the insurance pirates (as evident by the 59% premium hike by Blue Shield in California).

But the Republican solution is even worse, a head in the sand approach that would make our healthcare crisis far worse, and prolong pain and suffering for millions of Americans. Nice work.

Posted by: gschwartz1 | January 19, 2011 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Of course they're not going to suggest a replacement -- such a thing has no place in their worldview.

To the GOP, the state has two legitimate functions -- fighting wars, and providing a police escort for their own getaway cars.

Posted by: davis_x_machina | January 19, 2011 7:01 PM | Report abuse

I support the Affordable Care Act. The more the law is examined the better it looks. I invite you to visit my blog and review some of the materials I have compiled on the issue. In particular a post which discusses how the Affordable Care Act offers services for the mentally ill.

http://www­.whatiswor­king.com/2­011/01/hea­lth-care-r­eform-and-­mental-ill­ness.html

Posted by: whatisworking | January 19, 2011 7:03 PM | Report abuse

The Republican Plan is obvious. Can't afford medical care or have no insurance? Die, it's the "free market" solution.

Posted by: magnifco1000 | January 19, 2011 7:12 PM | Report abuse

As the current health care bill continues to be implemented during the next two years and beyond, many Americans will hold the Republicans accountable for their votes today. If the Democrats do not botch this, there is plenty of good campaigning that can be done in 2012. Obama's approval rating is inching upward and Palin's is going south.

The two things that are unforgivable is that the Republicans decided not to participate in the crafting of a health care bill and offered no replacement for the bill that they just tried to repeal. You get the impression that, despite all of their huff and puff, they do not want to improve healthcare in this country.

Posted by: EarlC | January 19, 2011 7:12 PM | Report abuse

I've already gotten emails from various right-wing groups that I monitor by being on their mailing lists, including several GOP Senators, decrying the lack of an up-or-down vote. Now would seem a good time to re-visit filibuster reform since the GOP is making noises about not liking the filibuster.
Oh, and my reply so far to the emails about "repeal and replace" has been to ask about the status of "replace".

Posted by: ctown_woody | January 19, 2011 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Recent polls show people don't want repeal. They know it will do away with many positive things, things like insurers being required to insure those with "pre-existing" conditions, insurers being able to use recission, insurers not being able to cut children off after age 18. If reform is repealed the plank that does away with the doughnut hole will be repealed. And much more. The present reform requires insurers to spend 80% of each dollar in premiums to go toward actual health care, not overhead and profits. From what I've read, previously at least one-third of premium dollars were going to non-health-care related items. Why should we pump even more money into millionaire health-insurance CEOs and their billion-dollar corporations?

Besides, the CBO says repaling health care reform will add billions to the deficit. The GOP says the CBO doesn't know what it's talking about, but the same Republicans cite CBO figures (out-dated figures given before the final form of the bill) to say that the bill will cost jobs.

Keep the health care reform as it is. If you want to make it more complete to improve it, do that.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | January 19, 2011 7:23 PM | Report abuse

I just came back from Thailand where I got a complete physical: Blood work, EKG, CAVI test, Upper and Lower abdominal ultrasound, chest Xray, Cardio Stress Test, Urinalysis, Stool Examination...all for $400!!!
Just the Stress Test alone would have cost $3000-$4000 in the US!!

Americans are getting ripped off by the medical profession and the sad part about it is that they are blissfully ignorant about how expensive their "free market" health care system is. i've even heard some people say our American system is the best in the world. It may be the most expensive but all you have to do is visit a hospital in Thailand to know something is woefully missing in the US

Another thing about Thailand is hospitals post their costs for everything from hospital room rates to a colonoscopy to heart bypass surgery so you can shop and compare the cost at different hospitals.

You won't ever find a price list by any doctor or hospital in the US. It's all very secret. You can't compare or shop for better rates. The US medical profession doesn't want any comparison shopping...or advertising prices. That would force doctors and hospitals to start compete with other providers on price and that would be bad for the profits of the medical profession.

Another reason why I've been going to Thailand for the past 6 years is that it has a public health care system that is free for everyone and a private system that provides better service and more options if you are willing to pay for it. The private option is still much much cheaper than in the US because the public option forces it to be competitive in order to woo patients.

Two years ago I had a condition called Esophageal dysphagia. The throat doctor in my hometown in California said he could fix the problem for $2500 in his OFFICE. So I went to a Thai PUBLIC HOSPITAL in Bangkok (Chulalonkorn Hospital ....used my US passport as ID) and had the procedure done for $100 (one hundred)...including the doctor and the anesthesiologist and a biopsy!!!!

America's health care system is BROKEN

Posted by: naksuthin | January 19, 2011 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Ezra you got it exactly right. With a replacement bill, they could have demonstrated they are serious about governing AND maybe forced a vote in the Senate.

This was an utterly empty, completely idea-free, unserious waste of time. From the people who claimed they were all about "jobs, jobs, jobs." And the voters are paying attention, with support for the effort much lower than the GOP thought it would be.

If they continue to overplay their hand, as they show every indication of doing, they will pay for it in 2012 -- if by some miracle the Democrats can get their act together.

Posted by: Meridian1 | January 19, 2011 7:30 PM | Report abuse

I hope they do offer up a supplemental bill. The one they offered during the healthcare debate had some good ideas: tort reform and increased spending on fraud detection that would result in lower costs but in no way could have replaced the Affordable Care Act because it didnt increase the percentage of people insured.

They should offer it up now as a supplement to the current system and see if they can convince the Senate to vote on it. Maybe they could get the votes. That would be the productive and responsible thing to do, but they may not want to give Obama and the democrats something good to take some credit for. If they care more about good policy than good politics, they will offer up something like that again rather than just being the party of NO.

Here is the CBO report on the policy they offered up before, its good information: http://cbo.gov/ftpdocs/107xx/doc10705/hr3962amendmentBoehner.pdf

Posted by: DeanofProgress | January 19, 2011 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Hear Hear.

Posted by: qwerqwer1 | January 19, 2011 7:34 PM | Report abuse

It is ironic that the US points the "Human Rights" finger at China, while simultanously it votes to deny basic health care insurance for US citizens. Is the US more interested in "Human Rights" for Chinese citizens, than US citizens?

I don't know what level of health care is provided in China, but I do assume that health care is available to all citizens, even though, the US claims China is not serious about "Human Rights." Perhaps, the "Human Rights" issue is a canard?

Posted by: rmorris391 | January 19, 2011 7:34 PM | Report abuse

I disagree with Mr. Klein when he states that this doesn't tell Americans much about how the Republicans would address the nation's toughest problems. I think it tells us precisely what Republicans would do....NOTHING!

Posted by: cgl3 | January 19, 2011 7:35 PM | Report abuse

And so two years of inane "message" bills from the Republicans has started. If government by platitude actually worked, they would be successful instead of just foolish. What a sad thing.

Posted by: Joel100 | January 19, 2011 7:37 PM | Report abuse

I just came back from Thailand where I got a complete physical: Blood work, EKG, CAVI test, Upper and Lower abdominal ultrasound, chest Xray, Cardio Stress Test, Urinalysis, Stool Examination...all for $400!!!
Just the Stress Test alone would have cost $3000-$4000 in the US!!

Americans are getting ripped off by the medical profession and the sad part about it is that they are blissfully ignorant about how expensive their "free market" health care system is. i've even heard some people say our American system is the best in the world. It may be the most expensive but all you have to do is visit a hospital in Thailand to know something is woefully missing in the US

Another thing about Thailand is hospitals post their costs for everything from hospital room rates to a colonoscopy to heart bypass surgery so you can shop and compare the cost at different hospitals.

You won't ever find a price list by any doctor or hospital in the US. It's all very secret. You can't compare or shop for better rates. The US medical profession doesn't want any comparison shopping...or advertising prices. That would force doctors and hospitals to start compete with other providers on price and that would be bad for the profits of the medical profession.

Another reason why I've been going to Thailand for the past 6 years is that it has a public health care system that is free for everyone and a private system that provides better service and more options if you are willing to pay for it. The private option is still much much cheaper than in the US because the public option forces it to be competitive in order to woo patients.

Two years ago I had a condition called Esophageal dysphagia. The throat doctor in my hometown in California said he could fix the problem for $2500 in his OFFICE. So I went to a Thai PUBLIC HOSPITAL in Bangkok (Chulalonkorn Hospital ....used my US passport as ID) and had the procedure done for $100 (one hundred)...including the doctor and the anesthesiologist and a biopsy!!!!

Posted by: naksuthin | January 19, 2011 7:40 PM | Report abuse

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.

We sent you folks to Congress to work for us, not to grandstand. You've each got 21 more months, at the most, to actually do your jobs. If you don't, we can fire you.

Fellow citizens, note the names and districts of the people who engaged in this charade. Let's make a map; we can mark each such person's district with a band-aid, a reminder that we wish to cure the dereliction of duty by replacing the non-performing Congressperson at our first opportunity. It may take a lot of band-aids, but we hold the power to cure our body politic.

Posted by: nan_lynn | January 19, 2011 7:41 PM | Report abuse

The republicans/baggers are morally bankrupt and only have hate and opposition to thrive on. American's are seeing that in in 2012, they are OUT.

Feel it baggers.... 2012

Posted by: mjcc1987 | January 19, 2011 7:46 PM | Report abuse

"...it doesn't tell Americans much about how the Republicans would address the nation's toughest problem..."

To the contrary, it speaks volumes of the lengths the Republicans will go to do nothing.

Their idea of governance seems to be keep the rich happy and the rest at bay until the next election.

Posted by: tomcammarata | January 19, 2011 7:51 PM | Report abuse

"...it doesn't tell Americans much about how the Republicans would address the nation's toughest problem..."

To the contrary, it speaks volumes of the lengths the Republicans will go to do nothing.

Their idea of governance seems to be keep the rich happy and the rest at bay until the next election.

Posted by: tomcammarata | January 19, 2011 7:52 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans can't actually propose a replacement bill, because the underlying problems in health care have only one set of countervailing solutions. The dems proposed one set of such solutions and any republican set would simply look a whole lot like the democratic set. So they would be on record as repealing a democratic law so that they could propose an identical bill as the republican response.

There IS an alternative solution to providing nationwide health care that ISN'T the democratic response, but IT would be the slow installation of a System of national and state hospitals and clinics, with the employees being employed by either the Feds or the States and localities, with the government shouldering the burden of compensating for malpractice, and all employees either salaried or hourly, there to treat whomever presented himself for treatment.

It could grow by the government first making medical care under the system available where there is NO current available health care, and slowly expanding to provide government hospitals and clinics where health care was insufficient or deficient. That system would naturally grow. Eventually it would displace the current mishmash of market driven and charity driven medical care that fails so often to care for so many people who need medical care and just can't get it.

It would also be able to deliberately over build by enough that in a real health crisis, like a return of the Spanish influenza or some worse pandemic there would be enough capacity to deal with one percent of the population requiring intermediate level care in a hospital for more than a week.

Right now that disaster would be far above any level of response we could concoct.

Posted by: ceflynline | January 19, 2011 7:56 PM | Report abuse

The best way to convince a fool that he is wrong is to let him have his own way." - Josh Billings

Posted by: TOMHERE | January 19, 2011 7:59 PM | Report abuse

"I disagree with Mr. Klein when he states that this doesn't tell Americans much about how the Republicans would address the nation's toughest problems. I think it tells us precisely what Republicans would do....NOTHING!"


Of course not. There's no need to do anything.

Expanding Medicaid is the second worst idea of the last century. The first was creating it.

Posted by: krazen1211 | January 19, 2011 8:00 PM | Report abuse

"Recent polls show people don't want repeal. They know it will do away with many positive things, things like insurers being required to insure those with "pre-existing" conditions, insurers being able to use recission, insurers not being able to cut children off after age 18"


What nonsense! An 18 year old is not a child.

Posted by: krazen1211 | January 19, 2011 8:02 PM | Report abuse

The republicans/baggers are morally bankrupt and only have hate and opposition to thrive on. American's are seeing that in in 2012, they are OUT.

Feel it baggers.... 2012

Posted by: mjcc1987 | January 19, 2011 7:46 PM
---------------------
Quite the contrary. By then the US Dollar will not be the world's reserve currency, gas will cost $6.00 a gallon, and this wave of Socialism will have crashed up on the rocks of financial reality. Today in Camden, NJ a third of the unionized city work force is being let go. It's just the beginning of the collapse of governments in this country...brought on by relentless spending and doing favors for the unions. Watch.

Posted by: PS7900 | January 19, 2011 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Such silliness! Why should the Republicans waste time with a "replace" when we all know that Obama will veto everything anyway, IF it were to make it through the Senate.

The replace can be done later, when the Dems are relegated to the dustbin of history due to their stubborn adherence to the principle of bankrupting the nation.

Posted by: magellan1 | January 19, 2011 8:04 PM | Report abuse

"It is ironic that the US points the "Human Rights" finger at China, while simultanously it votes to deny basic health care insurance for US citizens. Is the US more interested in "Human Rights" for Chinese citizens, than US citizens?

I don't know what level of health care is provided in China, but I do assume that health care is available to all citizens, even though, the US claims China is not serious about "Human Rights." "


Why are liberals so uninformed?

Obama's Medicaid program spends over $300 billion a year to cover the people who voted for him.

The Chinese Government plans on spending about 15% of that, for 3x the number of people. And that's under their ambitious plan.

Posted by: krazen1211 | January 19, 2011 8:07 PM | Report abuse

They voted for repeal despite offering nothing in the way of replacement, save for the vague intention to have some committees come up with some ideas at some future date.

---------------------------------------------

We all know they don't want to do anything. So what else is new!! The "replace" part was just during the campaign.

Posted by: celested91 | January 19, 2011 8:15 PM | Report abuse

We're not going to get healthcare fixed until we get taxes on the rich down where they should be, and from now on. Nuff said.

Posted by: markfromark | January 19, 2011 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Ah, but what you overlook is the fact that Repulicans have no intention of governing. Their raison d'etre is wrecking liberal government, not fixing problems.

Posted by: squier13 | January 19, 2011 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Boehner's GOP, in deciding against offering the promised replacement for the Affordable Care Act, ducked the hard work and highest responsibilities of governance.

~~~

The definition of Governance for the GOP is to "dismantle" everything, so that they do not have to goveren.

How's that for hard work?

Posted by: lcarter0311 | January 19, 2011 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Medicare spending grew 7.9% to $502.3 billion in 2009, or 20 percent of total NHE.

Medicaid spending grew 9.0% to $373.9 billion in 2009, or 15 percent of total NHE.

Private health insurance spending grew 1.3% to $801.2 billion in 2009, or 32 percent of total NHE.

Disgusting! 9% growth in 2009..

Posted by: krazen1211 | January 19, 2011 8:30 PM | Report abuse

To the R's complaints that the Senate won't take this up, Reid should say they will take it up together with the replacement legislation that the House passes in order to reduce uncertainty in the lives of the American people.

Posted by: nomadwolf | January 19, 2011 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Yo, Boener Head! Where's the jobs?

Posted by: Maddogg | January 19, 2011 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Tax payers subsidize helath care of almost everybody except people who buy their own insurance. The list includes medicare, medicaid, govt employees including the military, Congress and a vast number of people who get their benefits thru employers because the benefits are not taxed. So anybody who says that the why govt should help is being dishonest and selfish.

Posted by: ak1967 | January 19, 2011 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Tax payers subsidize helath care of almost everybody except people who buy their own insurance. The list includes medicare, medicaid, govt employees including the military, Congress and a vast number of people who get their benefits thru employers because the benefits are not taxed. So anybody who says that the why govt should help is being dishonest and selfish.

Posted by: ak1967 | January 19, 2011 8:41 PM | Report abuse

We need to move to single-payer ASAP and dispense with the non-sense. The US has one of the worst health care systems in the world, but the most expensive.

Posted by: Maddogg | January 19, 2011 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Congressional Republicans are a singular collection of lockstep lunkheads.

Posted by: russellglee | January 19, 2011 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Now that Boehner and his Klan have proven themselves irrelevant, they should just go home.

Posted by: thomasmc1957 | January 19, 2011 8:46 PM | Report abuse

The Republican plan, at least as reflected in Arizona, is in fact to let the poor die. They have denied all transplants to any recipient of Medicaid - that includes bone marrow, liver, kidney or any other organ. And people are dying. See the story at yahoo: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_transplant_coverage_death
@magnifco1000 - you are more right than you knew!

Posted by: bells1 | January 19, 2011 8:46 PM | Report abuse

It is headline-making history of a sort that I would
cite the New York Times as evidence Ezra Klein is as ignorant and feckless of the facts as wheat drying out in the sun. From tonight's Times: "While conceding that the measure would not advance in the Senate, House Republicans said that they would still press ahead with their 'repeal and replace' strategy." How far does this sort of thing have to go before we call it outright lying?

Posted by: hoya72 | January 19, 2011 8:55 PM | Report abuse

At least congress used this time to get rid of something the government never had a right to do in the first place! Obama attempted to make us approve a name "health care" that would in no way make us more healthy, and most likely kill even more! Yet so many citizens are still ignorant enough to believe in something the opposite of what it claims to be.

Posted by: marvinlzinn | January 19, 2011 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Of course the Repubs are not suggesting a replacement to ACA. They have none.

Obama's ACA is in essence the plan Republicans proposed in 1993 against Hillarycare (including the individual mandate), which had broad conservative support I should add. When you repeal a plan you originally proposed that's not governing, that's covering the butts of your special interests and putting business before people.

Posted by: gfoster56 | January 19, 2011 9:03 PM | Report abuse

You speak of governance. The whole problem with this bill is too much government

Posted by: johntu | January 19, 2011 9:04 PM | Report abuse

I notice the Democrats aren't saying, "Let's just repeal the bad parts." if they did, there would be nothing left anyway.

This is just the beginning. I personally hope this bill is repealed either this year or in 2013.

Posted by: bflat879 | January 19, 2011 9:06 PM | Report abuse

These people look like they were having a ball. It must be really funny to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

I had voted Republicans for decades, but it took the health care reform for me to become Independent. GOP is hopeless as it is. Most of them will be voted out in 2012.


Posted by: dummy4peace | January 19, 2011 9:12 PM | Report abuse

So far we've seen plenty of grandstanding to the Teabaggers from the new GOP majority in the House, and plenty of bowing and scraping to their corporate masters, like the Koch brothers ... but where are the JOBS they promised to create?

Posted by: HughBriss | January 19, 2011 9:14 PM | Report abuse

it is always easy to say no to things.

to throw your hands up...without the hard work of a plan.
so much harder to say yes....to stand for something principled, and present a solution...to be constructive.

i have great admiration for the democrats, and how hard they worked to attempt to solve problems.
sadly, the republicans lack the intellectual firepower to do the same, at this time in history.
there is not even one flash of brilliance, in the republican leadership. this was not always the case, but unfortunately, it is now.
no is the response of a closed mind...
and when there is no light behind it....no alternative...
it is a lazy and intellectually dishonest road.

Posted by: jkaren | January 19, 2011 9:17 PM | Report abuse

"Obama's ACA is in essence the plan Republicans proposed in 1993 against Hillarycare (including the individual mandate), which had broad conservative support I should add. When you repeal a plan you originally proposed that's not governing, that's covering the butts of your special interests and putting business before people."


Certainly not. No sane person would vote for the gross $1 trillion giveaway in subsidies to the leftwinged base.

Posted by: krazen1211 | January 19, 2011 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Ezra, as always. Here are two additional thoughts.

1. I was amazed yesterday when a new congresswoman from Alabama claimed that the message of November was that people DEMANDED repeal. While she was speaking, C-Span explained that she'd won her seat 51% to 49%. What kind of a mandate is that?

2. In October of 2009, Sen Hatch asked the CBO to update their calculations on the savings resulting from medical malpractice reform. The answer came back as One Half of One Percent!

http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/106xx/doc10641/10-09-Tort_Reform.pdf

Posted by: jwhawthorne | January 19, 2011 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Ezra, as always. Here are two additional thoughts.

1. I was amazed yesterday when a new congresswoman from Alabama claimed that the message of November was that people DEMANDED repeal. While she was speaking, C-Span explained that she'd won her seat 51% to 49%. What kind of a mandate is that?

2. In October of 2009, Sen Hatch asked the CBO to update their calculations on the savings resulting from medical malpractice reform. The answer came back as One Half of One Percent!

http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/106xx/doc10641/10-09-Tort_Reform.pdf

Posted by: jwhawthorne | January 19, 2011 9:25 PM | Report abuse

The entire Obamacare Bill was nothing more than a big Lie!!

Posted by: progrills | January 19, 2011 9:29 PM | Report abuse

"It is ironic that the US points the "Human Rights" finger at China, while simultanously it votes to deny basic health care insurance for US citizens. Is the US more interested in "Human Rights" for Chinese citizens, than US citizens?

I don't know what level of health care is provided in China, but I do assume that health care is available to all citizens, even though, the US claims China is not serious about "Human Rights." "


Why are liberals so uninformed?

Obama's Medicaid program spends over $300 billion a year to cover the people who voted for him.

The Chinese Government plans on spending about 15% of that, for 3x the number of people. And that's under their ambitious plan.
*****************************************
I take that as a ringing endorsement of the public option. If you didn't mean it that way, you're clueless.

Posted by: st50taw | January 19, 2011 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else old enough to remember the classic cartoon of Gerald Ford, captioned: "While I'm president, this country will not drift toward socialism. We're just going to drift."?

The image may need updating, but the caption fits today's GOP to a tee.

Posted by: Looking_in | January 19, 2011 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Here is what the CBO said about the Republican health care plan last year concerning the uninsured. The CBO Report date is NOV. 4, 2009.

It reflects what the Republicans say currently about the uninsured. "If your in need and are slipping through the cracks of the system we got, go seek out charity."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

By 2019, CBO and JCT estimate, the number of nonelderly people without health
insurance would be reduced by about 3 million relative to current law, leaving about
52 million nonelderly residents uninsured. The share of legal nonelderly residents
with insurance coverage in 2019 would be about 83 percent, roughly in line with the
current share. CBO and JCT estimate that enacting the amendment’s insurance
coverage provisions would increase deficits by $8 billion over the 2010–2019
period.

http://cbo.gov/ftpdocs/107xx/doc10705/hr3962amendmentBoehner.pdf

Posted by: yarbrougharts | January 19, 2011 9:53 PM | Report abuse

That is the commodity that Republicans sell....NOTHING. NO health care, NO environmental protection, NO election reform, NO financial oversight. That's why the GOP motto is, "We're building a bridge to the nineteenth century". Life was much simpler and better when companies could tie their employees to sewing machines and chain the door shut. Ah, the good old days.

Posted by: JimZ1 | January 19, 2011 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Republicans worked hard in 1993 to defeat Clinton's attempts at health care reform, and won Congress in 1994. Since that time 17 years ago, they've controlled the House for 13 years, the Senate for 10 years, and the White House for 8 years.

In that time, insurance premiums have gone up by double digits annually, including 2009 when CPI inflation was -0.4%. 1/6 of Americans have no insurance, and most people have severely degraded insurance with higher co-pays, higher premiums and less coverage.

Republicans have not come up with a single solution to this crisis, and their only response to President Obama's effots can be summed up by former Sen. Ted Stephens:

NO!

Posted by: AxelDC | January 19, 2011 10:01 PM | Report abuse

That's today's GOP -- lots they are opposed to, but zero suggestions of their own to offer.

"It is a tale told by an idiot...full of sound and fury, and signifying nothing.

Posted by: fmjk | January 19, 2011 10:05 PM | Report abuse

New Republican House, godawful.

Posted by: dudh | January 19, 2011 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Well I see the wacko nut case Soros Socialist are out in force tonight. Wait until they decide that your grandma can't have that surgery she needs because its not financially beneficial. Funny that the Brits are talking about privatizing their system that all you people love so much. The only people that like this ridiculous law are the ones that think they are going to get something for nothing. The only legislators that like it are the ones that keep getting elected by the people that don't pay taxes.

Posted by: twoeagle | January 19, 2011 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Polling and Leadership

How is that “the American People has spoken and we are listening” going for you. Just only 18% of the American people want the Affordable Health Care Act to be completely repeal, and replace. However, 82% percent are saying they want their health care plan the way it is.

What on Earth, are you going to replace it with and how much will it cost? What no CBO scores and no congressional hearings? A Republican’s two page proposal that not germane in title or facts. What a joke.

How many of you on this blog have ever been sent a certificate of prior Health Coverage?

How many of you have ever been kicked off an insurance policy for pre-existing conditions?

The president will help my family and me. Who will help you, “The party of No”?


If you want tort reform or malpractice insurance, then outline your proposal and have the Majority Leader to bring it up for a vote. But do not waste our time with political theatrics and lying on the record in front of the C-SPAN cameras. After two weeks, the best you can do is two votes and no results.

And what was the reason Speaker Boehner gave this time for not being available for the Chinese President Hu’s State Dinner? Last week the “weeper of the house” also turned down an opportunity to travel on Air Force One to visit Congresswomen Gabby bedside and the memorial services for the fallen victims. Is it the fact that he does not want to be seen with President Obama? Or will he play with his black berry behind the president when the president is giving his state of the union address like then Rep. Cantor did last year?

Posted by: nateminor | January 19, 2011 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Some polling encourages Democrats to believe that ultimately Republicans will pay politically for today's vote because people do not support repeal. A note of caution: the polling assumes that support is evenly distributed. A possibility exists that support is concentrated in Democratic districts and that there are fewer Democratic districts than Republican districts. Pollsters would do well to examine that possibility. This may explain why on several issues polling indicates support (single payer, e.g.) but the political calculation is to oppose.

Posted by: Ashland | January 19, 2011 11:30 PM | Report abuse

These Republicans are show horses, not workhorses.

Posted by: BuddyK | January 19, 2011 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Good piece -- and true. The House GOP is just trying to set up the Senate as the obstacle for taking down Health Care Reform. All this on the premise that repeal is what "the American people want" -- polls to the contrary notwithstanding.

But Ezra, buddy, check your first paragraph; learn the difference in usage between "less" and "fewer" -- they're not interchangeable.

Posted by: FHoffman | January 20, 2011 12:02 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans are not stupid. They are not going to fall into the same trap the Democrats fell into - that being spending a year crafting a bill. The Repubs did what they said they would do. Repeal the bill. Next.

Posted by: GBED989 | January 20, 2011 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Wow. If the Republicans and three Democrats who voted to stop health care reform actually had anything positive to say, they missed their chance. I guess in the end, it doesn't really matter to the posturing idiots that that they offer no real solutions. Maybe Congress one day will actually do their jobs. Oh wait, that's what they call a fairy tale, right?

It's really hard to be positive in light of how so many lawmakers actually think the "spend and let the market work it out" will actually work. I guess reality means something different to everyone. Too bad these mouthpieces of the insurance industry think that denying coverage is somehow a good thing. It's really sad to see such selfishness played out at such a visible level.

Posted by: Randy.Schiera | January 20, 2011 12:22 AM | Report abuse


The Refi Plus program will waive the normal credit score requirement for a refinance; it will have reduced documentation standards for proof of income; and it will allow for computer-based appraisals, which tend to inflate the value of a home and make it easier to qualify for a refinance. Search online for 123 mortgage refinance they are the best and fast.

Posted by: marianelson234 | January 20, 2011 4:40 AM | Report abuse

What Fhoffman said.

"Less" is used with uncountable nouns: The Republicans are less interested in reform than in scoring political points.

"Fewer" with things that can be counted: Fewer Democrats voted to repeal the job-killing government-run death paneled Obamacare than voted against it in the first place.

Posted by: philboid1 | January 20, 2011 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Boehner got his repeal vote. Now let's see how many rounds of golf he gets in before the House holds on a vote on the replace part.

Posted by: oldabandonedbeachhouse | January 20, 2011 8:36 AM | Report abuse

The House voted to repeal it. You said yourself that the Senate will let it die, Reid has said he will not even allow it to come up for a vote. Even if it did come up for a vote and the Senate repealed it, the President would veto it.

So, why was it necessary that the Republicans come up with a replacement for it right now?

Your complaint is just another way for you to spin the news....

Posted by: LMW6 | January 20, 2011 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company