To those House members who plan to vote Wednesday to repeal the Affordable Care Act and take health coverage away from millions of Americans, I would ask this question: Will you continue to accept taxpayer-subsidized health care for yourself and your family?
That may be a cheap shot, but it isn’t any cheaper than the stunt by the House: a meaningless vote to repeal a law passed, signed into law and recently held constitutional. Republicans hate half of Obamacare: the half with the president’s name. They love the “care” part, with its new provisions to protect people with preexisting conditions, the elimination of annual and lifetime caps on coverage and free coverage for preventive services, like mammograms. Note to Republicans: As your think-tanks and Mitt Romney himself can tell you, you can’t have all the goodies without a strong mechanism to spread the risk and expense across a wide pool.
But once the mandate/penalty/tax provision is declared a bastard by its Republican parents, where will the party turn for its replacement?
Republicans have no ideas that drive toward the initial goal of the ACA — making sure more Americans are covered. They do have some good ideas to make competition work its magic in the health-care market, and Democrats should listen to these. But these proposals still leave millions and millions of people without health insurance, driving up the costs of the insured.
This insured class includes, by the way, those who would vote to deny Americans what they themselves already have: a taxpayer-subsidized health insurance policy.