By Tom Quiner
Most of the country knows Obamacare is a disaster.
Most Americans now know it was sold on lies and built on lies.
Most Americans realize that most Americans are going to be hurt by Barack Obama’s signature piece of legislation.
Republicans have an opportunity to rebrand themselves by presenting a smart, positive alternative to Obamacare. There are three steps involved in launching this PR initiative.
Step One: Acknowledge the legitimate goals of Obamacare and embrace them.
Those goals included decreasing the number of uninsured Americans; decreasing the cost of health insurance; and providing a more affordable way for Americans with pre-existing conditions to purchase health insurance without bankrupting themselves.
The country likes these goals. Unfortunately, it appears that Obamacare is not accomplishing any of these goals. Even worse, so far more Americans are losing coverage than are gaining coverage. Even worse, insurance costs are going up for most Americans, not down.
Republicans need to present a more efficient way to accomplish these worthy goals.
Step Two: Explain the flaws of the current plan.
Obamacare is the ultimate example of the nanny state run amuck. It uses coercion to force people to buy a product that liberals think they should have. Many of us are losing our current coverage, despite promises to the contrary, because our policies were considered “substandard.” That means that guys like me will have to pay some $5000 to $6000 MORE each year, since we’re forced to have maternity, pediatric, and mental health coverage, even though we don’t have a need for this type of coverage.
As things stand today, the total regulatory burden in the U.S. amounts to $1.8 Trillion per year in compliance costs. Some regulations are necessary. Some aren’t.
Excessive regulation costs people jobs and lowers our standard of living.
Government regulations have reached their zenith under the Obama Government as the Federal Registry has climbed to a record 81.405 pages in the 2011 edition.
The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) adds 127 million of hours of new regulation time to federal bureaucracy every year. It is so complex that it is becoming apparent that it is unworkable.
Obamacare adds unnecessary regulatory complexity and cost to an already over-regulated economy.
Step Three: K.I.S.S. Keep it simple, stupid.
Republicans should tout the concept of healthcare simplification.
Rather than a stick, their plan uses a carrot.
Rather than giving the federal bureaucracy more control over your healthcare, Republicans should emphasize that their plan empowers YOU.
Rather than more big government, their plan encourages more competition, a goal Obamacare pretends to embrace but fails at miserably.
Rather than a top-down plan, Republicans should emphasize they have a simpler, bottom-up plan.
Republicans from John McCain to Paul Ryan have presented a number of attractive plans. Details differ. The leading plan consists of 6 easy-to-understand elements:
1. Families who purchase health insurance on a state-run insurance exchange will receive a $20,000 tax deduction toward payroll and income taxes.
For individuals, the deduction is $7500.
This plan levels the playing field for the little guy verses the giant corporations who currently get to deduct the cost of health insurance for their employees.
It is simple and clean and prevents bureaucrats from getting between you and your healthcare providers.
It uses a carrot instead of a stick.
2. For high risk patients, the Republican plan simply creates a $25 billion pool over the next decade to defray the cost for these Americans.
Those with pre-existing conditions would be empowered to shift insurance without the fear of losing coverage. Premiums would be capped at twice the average cost of premiums in their state.
3. Unlike the ACA, the Republican plan expands access for high deductible health savings accounts for those Americans interested in lowering their monthly premiums.
4. Increase consumer choice by allowing interstate commerce for health insurance companies, just as we currently allow interstate commerce for life and automobile insurance.
5. Allow small businesses to band together and negotiate lower group rates from insurers.
6. Cap awards for pain and suffering, emotional distress and similar noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases at $250,000, unless a state had a higher cap.
Americans don’t like Obamacare. They never did. Now they despise it as they watch the rollout implode before their very eyes.
Now is the time for Republicans to boldly promote a simpler, smarter, market-driven plan.