The Republican Party’s view on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—commonly known as Obamacare—is that its implementation was less about providing healthcare to millions, and more a result of power as the government sought to expand its reach over one sixth of the economy. The party claims that Obamacare has resulted in an attack on the Constitution of the United States because it requires U.S. citizens to purchase health insurance, and its impact on the health of the nation overall has been detrimental. The party is in agreement with the four Supreme Court justices who dissented in the ACA ruling. The justices stated, “In our view, the entire Act before us is invalid in its entirety.” As of 2012, the party’s stance was that Obamacare was the result of outdated liberalism, and the latest in a series of attempts to impose upon the people of America a euro-style bureaucracy to micromanage all aspects of their lives. One of the party’s biggest issues with Obamacare is its unpopularity among the people—when polled on the subject, pluralities and even majorities often state they do not like the law.
The Republican Party supports common-sense healthcare reforms that lower costs, ensure quality healthcare, and end lawsuit abuse. The party believes that in order to fix the state of healthcare in the nation, decisions should be made between patients and their doctors, and not in the capital. Opponents of Obamacare say the law affects the physician-patient relationship negatively, reduces competition, and minimizes healthcare quality and choice. They argue that evidence from around the world suggests that government-run universal healthcare leads to inefficiencies, such as substandard care and long waiting periods. Alternatively, the party suggests that individuals should be free to manage their own healthcare needs through Medical Savings Accounts, or MSAs, and Flexible Savings Accounts, or FSAs, which are allowed to roll over from one year to the next so money isn’t lost. MSAs should be a permanent part of tax law, and offered to all workers without restriction.
The Republican Party wishes to allow the customization of insurance, claiming a major reason why healthcare is so expensive is due to state legislatures requiring policies many families don’t want or need. These mandates result in increased cost. In regards to primary and preventative care, republicans aim to boost funding for community health centers, as well as to establish stronger public-private partnerships for hospitals in underserved communities and safety net providers.
Obamacare and Medicare
Obamacare promised to improve Medicare, but Republicans believe it hasn’t been efficient enough. The Republican Party proposed giving seniors access to the insurance plan Congress has, which includes medical savings accounts. They believe this alternative would build on the strengths of the free market system, thereby offering older Americans real choices and flexibility. They advocate that it is important to reduce the complexities involved with administrative processes, while also making sure there are incentives for the private sector to develop drugs. Their reformed Medicare program would provide reimbursement at levels that would permit providers to continue care for their patients.
Repeal and Replace
Since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law in 2010, republican leaders have pledged to repeal and replace it. They are looking to achieve a balance between those who detest the law in its entirety and those who wish to keep some of its benefits. The House, led by the GOP, has so far voted 56 times to repeal or undermine the law, but not once on a plan to replace it.
This plan of action comes as a result of the most obvious pros and cons of the new law. Despite criticism against Obamacare, it has created a series of benefits that make obtaining insurance easier. It offers subsidies to help low-income individuals pay for coverage, allows children to stay on their parents’ plans until the age of 26, and prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage to those with preexisting medical conditions. However, Obamacare remains unpopular among the primary demographic of republican voters because of its regulations, bureaucracy, and the “individual mandate” requiring that people obtain insurance or pay a fine. It is difficult for the GOP to motion towards taking the benefits acquired under the new law away as repealing the Affordable Care Act now could result in an estimated 19 million people losing their health insurance. On the other hand, if they don’t motion to remove it, they are at risk for losing votes. The only alternative is to repeal the law while replacing it with something of equal value.
Governor and president hopeful Scott Walker of Wisconsin released a plan in August comprised of a mix of tax benefits and deregulation, designed to make insurance more affordable but less government controlled. However, he was soon attacked by one of his competitors in the 2016 presidential race, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. Jindal commented that Walker’s plan was far from conservative, and would result in making Americans more dependent on government spending. Of the 17 major republican candidates running in the 2016 election, all have promised to repeal the law, but most have not gone into detail about how they would do so and what it would be replaced with. Jindal, Walker, and Senator Marco Rubio have so far released the most detailed plans.
Walker’s plan includes elements similar to other republican plans, including allowing people to purchase health coverage from insurance companies outside of their state of residence in an effort to allow greater competition. Critics against that policy argue it could lead to a “race to the bottom,” wherein insurers flock to the state with the least regulations. Under Walker’s proposal, states could also decide whether to help insurers cover children on their parents’ plans up to age 26, and would be able to set up “high risk pools.” These would be last resort insurance companies in charge of covering people incapable of acquiring private insurance due to preexisting conditions.
Last but not least, the plan would offer tax credits to individuals who buy insurance on their own instead of through an employer. Worth up to $3,000 per person per year, depending on age, these credits would offer a new approach to one of Obamacare’s original goals, which is making insurance more affordable for consumers. In criticism, Jindal’s said that as opposed to making these tax cuts refundable, insurance-buyers should be offered a tax reduction, which lowers bills without handing out checks. Regardless of nuances, replacing Obamacare will not be an easy task for anyone coming into office, and may result in months of compromise between parties, especially if Democrats take the House.
- Republican Party on Health Care – On The Issues
- ObamaCare – GOP
- Republicans’ Obamacare ‘repeal and replace’ dilemma joins presidential contest – The Washington Post
- GOP Presidential Candidates’ Obamacare Repeal Plans Are Also Large Tax Cuts – Forbes
- Democratic View on Health Care
- Democratic Views on Medicare
- What Will Obamacare Do To Small Businesses?
- Is The Healthcare Website Fixed? November 2013…
- Republican Views on Medicare
- Republican Views on Health Care
- Differences Between Democrats and Republicans
- Democratic Party Beliefs
- The Tea Party Movement
- Rand Paul On The Issues