The GOP's fixation with "block grants" is always amusing. It's still federal spending, it just assumes state bureaucrats are so much smarter than federal ones. Spoiler: the problem is the spending and government expansion, not simply who is doing it. But you don't want block grants? No problem, we'll just pretend we didn't win at the Supreme Court.
Are there some things here that are better than the current ObamaCare rules? Sure but that's not what the GOP has been selling for years, is it? The plan would repeal the employer and individual mandates but Obama won't sign that. And if the federal exchange subsidies are tossed, there is automatically no employer mandate in 37 states.
But the relative good of the plan is outweighed by a major downside. It will now be the official policy of the GOP that the federal government will subsidize the purchase of health insurance by individuals. They will just be arguing with Democrats over how best to deliver on this century old progressive goal.
Yes, this would be a bridge for two years and then the GOP will totes be doing away with ObamaCare. Except that it is now the considered wisdom of GOP health policy wonks and many candidates that universal access/coverage is something they will provide.
Just how important is it that everybody in the United States be able to get health insurance? Conservatives are ambivalent, at best, about that goal. Many of them think that it is more important to restrain the growth of health-care costs; many of them worry that putting insurance within reach for everyone would involve excessive government power. They are right to be concerned about costs and about big government. They should nevertheless overcome their ambivalence. There are good reasons to embrace a conservative health-care policy that enables coverage for all Americans who seek it — not the least being that in the present political context, that policy might be the best way to restrain both costs and government.Yes, you see the best way to restrain costs and government is to expand spending and government guarantees. I'm sure that will work perfectly.
If this all sounds familiar, it's because it is. Avik Roy, former Romney and current Rick Perry adviser, made the same case a few months ago.
Proponents of this leftward march of conservatism will point out the government was providing subsidies before ObamaCare, mainly through tax deductions for employers who provided insurance plans to workers.
That's true and it should be corrected. The trick they are now pulling is to say, we're just doing the same for people on the individual market. That's nonsense. They are talking about creating tax CREDITS, which you get whether or not you have a tax bill. This is not the government letting people keep their own money, it's giving someone elses money to another person. What is conservative about that?
Read the rest here...