The Right Way to Start Fixing Obamacare? Don’t Gut the Funding

Just over a year ago, two Republicans introduced the World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan Act. Despite its title, the bill from Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Dallas, and Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., went nowhere, drowned out by rival proposals and the presidential campaign.With the quagmire over Obamacare, could it get another look?Two other Republican bills are built on a similar foundation -- one with Cassidy and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., the other with Cassidy and Susan Collins, R-Maine.What stands out among these conservative ideas is the starting point: They don’t repeal the taxes, or at least most of the taxes, that pay for the Affordable Care Act.Instead, they propose other ways to use the bounty: shifting money to states in block grants, creating tax credits that would let people buy cheaper plans, even letting blue states continue to offer Obamacare if they wish.This may seem obvious, but it’s worth stating all the same: A lot more things are possible in reforming health care when you’re not cutting over $1 trillion in funding over the next decade.That’s the amount to be slashed in the House bill, which passed in May; and similar cuts were envisioned in several Senate proposals. Of course, under those bills, 22 million to 32 million Americans would lose health insurance, according to estimates from the Congressional Budget Office.  Continue reading...

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