The GOP Needs a Health Care Plan

Most of the public attention has been focused on the shortcomings of the Affordable Care Act.  The Republicans are gleefully planning how the assault on Obamacare will be a winning issue in 2014, and perhaps even in the presidential race in 2016.  In my most recent US News & World Report column, I argue that the Republicans had better develop a plan of their own.  Repealing Obamacare is probably unrealistic (as many of its individual provisions are quite popular).  And if the GOP does successfully roll back the Affordable Care Act, then what?

You can read the full column here.

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commented 2014-03-23 09:04:09 -0600 · Flag
Over the past 6 months or so, there have been a few mentions that republicans are working on an alternate plan that includes most or all of what most people like about the ACA. I just have not seen any details. My guess is that they are stuck on the individual mandate issue and maybe how to limit the role the government can play, e.g., via running online exchanges.

Although the republicans do have a problem with what to do next, it seems that simply attacking what is now in place will suffice to get them through the 2014 elections. Our elections are mostly vacuous, self-interested spinfests. Getting a sustained, rational focus on what really counts is very rare. And as Dr. Wheelan points out, the democrats are generally poor communicators. But, by 2016, the republicans probably will need a reasonably well-defined alternative other than simply going back to the pre-ACA situation.