How Come the GOP Can't Come Up With a Conservative Health Care Plan?

Senate Republicans have released a draft of their Obamacare repeal bill. The consensus among the experts is that this bill is not a repeal as much as it is a trimming around the edges. Pejoratively called "Obamacare Lite," the bill demonstrates that Republicans have little interest in genuine alternatives.I am not going to comment on the particulars of the bill. I am going to tackle a question that is more abstract but more relevant to our lives as citizens: Why are Republicans, the self-proclaimed party of smaller government and individual responsibility, unable to come up with a health bill that matches their rhetoric?The answer has nothing to do with a lack of vision on the part of Republican lawmakers and everything to do with the incentives created by contemporary politics.Whatever its problems, Obama's Affordable Care Act has a number of beneficiaries. Certain low-income households who qualify for subsidies are better off. So are some large health insurance companies, who benefit because their size and deep pockets allow them to absorb the costlier aspects of the law at the expense of their smaller competitors. Obamacare has created several interest groups that are deeply committed to preserving key aspects of the law.  Continue reading...

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