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Five Reasons the House Should Vote Down GOP Health Plan

The Devil You Know is Preferable to the Devil You Don’t Know

The most important reason for the GOP to vote down the House Health Care bill is there is no reason to trust the Congress with anything, no less our health care. They have proven time and again that they are incompetent and unable to see the long-term effects of their actions. That’s one reason Obamacare passed in the first place.

Do you remember Nancy Pelosi’s famous statement when the House deliberated about Obamacare?  “We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it.” Think about it. The then majority leader in the House basically admitted the House didn’t understand the full implications of the Affordable Health Care Act before adopting it. Imagine a business offering to buy another company before fully understanding their financial statements.

My point is GOP members of the House can’t be trusted when they promise better health care or less expensive health care. The real issue for the American people is do you stay with the devil you know rather than bet on the devil you don’t know. The answer is a resounding ‘yes.’ The current bill has 12 percent support nationwide, with almost four times as many -- 47 percent -- saying it is too soon to say.                              

The final reason to vote 'no' on the bill is President Trump's statement to House GOP members that: If you vote against the healthcare bill, 'many of you will lose your seats in 2018.' This is childish; bully-like. It's as if a CEO said to top managers that they will lose their job if they don't support one action or another. Threats don't work in business and shouldn't work in government.

Here are five specific reasons for the GOP to vote down the Health care bill:                                                                                                                                                        

  1. CBO estimates the GOP bill would cause average premiums to rise 15 to 20 percent over the next two years over Obamacare.
  2. CBO estimate of a net decrease in the deficit from the GOP bill is unlikely to happen (the issue of trust and competence again); moreover, states would see increased costs if Medicaid expansion is deleted from Obamacare.
  3. Many elderly would drop coverage because it would no longer be affordable because of a reduction in tax credits and subsidies now provided under Obamacare
  4. Expecting lower premiums and deductibles is a pipe dream as insurance companies seek to maximize their self-interest, given their profit motive, over the health care needs and high insurance costs to the public.
  5. The notion that opening insurance across state lines will lower costs is misguided. Almost all health care is delivered locally. To succeed, insurance companies need a significant toe-hold with hospitals and other providers in their local market; an out-of-state insurer would lack that and thus struggle in its negotiations to form a delivery network.

The whole process followed in the House highlights the faulty decision-making that infects Congress: Act first and think afterwards. In their rush to "repeal and replace," the House has managed to raise the anxiety level of most Americans in an area that should be viewed as sacred: our heath and welfare.

It's better to get it right than get it passed as soon as possible. Patience is a virtue and the House should first reflect on the consequences of a new health care bill and deliberate more carefully before trying to sell the American public on having a 'better' idea.

Blog posted by Steven Mintz, aka Ethics Sage, on March 23, 2017. Follow me on Twitter “Like” my Facebook page.