epublicans charged into the 2010 midterm elections with the battle cry: "Repeal and replace" the Democrats' massive health care reform law. The GOP rode that promise to a landslide victory, but once conservatives took control of the House and were strengthened in the Senate, the "replace" part of the equation sort of disappeared. With the Supreme Court seemingly on the cusp of striking down or neutering ObamaCare, effectively carrying out the "repeal" part of the GOP promise, there's a new urgency regarding what, if anything, would take the law's place to fix America's broken health care system. Do Republicans have a plan?
No. "Replace" was always a lie: Republicans have been promising to unveil their ObamaCare alternative for 15 months, says Jonathan Bernstein at The Washington Post. And here we are — still waiting. "The truth is that 'replace' has always been a fraud, cooked up presumably because a flat-out repeal of health care reform polls much worse than replacing it with some unspecified legislation." If the Supreme Court does toss out the law, at least it will call the GOP's bluff.
"The GOP's 'repeal and replace' fraud"
Of course Republicans have a plan: "There is a Republican health plan," says John Goodman at Fox News. But just as Democrats are often loathe to discuss ObamaCare, "Republicans are just as afraid to talk about their plan." That's because it's "more radical and progressive than ObamaCare": It scraps all the "arbitrary, unfair, and wasteful" federal and state tax subsidies for insurance coverage and gives every American the same amount of money to buy their own insurance. Problem solved.
"There is a GOP alternative to ObamaCare"
The GOP solution might look a lot like ObamaCare: Even ObamaCare opponents know that some parts of the law — like the rule preventing insurers from turning away customers with pre-existing conditions — are "overwhelmingly popular," says Eli Lehrer at The Huffington Post. But such provisions cost money. So we ObamaCare detractors have "a rather unenviable set of choices": Find a way to pay for the popular parts of the law, or oppose it all and take a political hit. The sad truth? Keeping the popular parts of the law means embracing a solution that will be awfully similar to ObamaCare.
"An unenviable health care choice for conservatives"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Attack of the invasive species
- Why atheism doesn't have the upper hand over religion
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- 14 wonderful words with no English equivalent
- If a nuclear bomb exploded in downtown Washington, what should you do?
- How to flirt, according to science
- What The Americans gets wrong about Russian spies
- The world's dumbest idea: Taxing solar energy
Subscribe to the Week