Ted Cruz: “I will repeal Obamacare and propose commonsense reform that makes health care personal, portable, and affordable. I will expand competition in the marketplace, empower consumers and patients to make healthcare decisions with their doctors, and disempower the government from getting in between doctors and their patients.”
Donald Trump: “I would end Obamacare and replace it with something terrific, for far less money for the country and for the people.”
Marco Rubio: “Obamacare is fatally flawed not just because it is poorly constructed, but because it relies on the outdated philosophy that the federal government can solve our problems through more spending, more taxes, more regulations, and more bureaucrats.”
Jeb Bush: “Fixing our broken health care system and lowering costs will be a top priority. With Congress, I will repeal and replace Obamacare with reforms that empower consumers with more choices and control over their health care decisions.”
The four leading contenders in this year’s Republican presidential campaign all agree on a single issue – repeal, do away, jettison, get rid of Obamacare. On Groundhog Day, February 2 the Republican controlled House of Representatives voted to repeal Obamacare for the 63rd time. However, not one of the candidates or Republican lawmakers has given us specific proposals for a viable replacement plan.
I have spent a couple of hours on the internet researching the candidates’ health care proposals and all I have come up with is hot air. Cruz and Trump have no plan at all except it will be “something terrific”. Jeb Bush has a nebulous three-point program: “promote innovation, lower costs and return power to the states”. Marco Rubio’s plan is more concrete - it will have an “advanceable [sic], refundable tax credit [so] that all Americans can purchase health insurance”, whatever the hell that means.
I join the Republican candidates in calling for the repeal of Obamacare and I propose that we substitute one of the tried and true time tested health plans already in use, alive and well and functioning just great. The plans are based on the “what is good for the goose, is good for the gander” and “all men are created equal” rules and are existing federal, state and local models.
Health care for all should be the same as that available to all federal employees. After all, two of the candidates, Cruz and Rubio, are currently employed by the Federal Government. What is good for them and for 8 million others federal employees should be good enough for you and me.
You will be happy to know that the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program is not some single payer socialist government boondoggle but is private health insurance that you alone choose and pay for. You can choose the “Blue Cross and Blue Shield standard fee-for-service family plan [which] carries a total of $1,327.80 per month [premium], of which the beneficiary pays $430.04.” The Federal Government pays 75% of the cost and that, my friend is not socialism but pure selfish capitalism. I am OK with that, I can live with that, so let’s replace Obamacare with that.
If the federal health care plan does not appeal to you perhaps a state employee plan will be more to your liking. Three of the candidates, Marc Rubio, Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush were at one-time state employees – Marc, a representative, Jeb a governor and Ted a state executive – all covered by such a plan. You have not heard them call for their repeal when they were enjoying the benefits, did you?
All 5.5 million Americans employed by the 50 states are covered by state sponsored health insurance, so why not you and me? Some states pay almost all of the insurance premium, Arkansas paying 97%; others pay less, West Virginia at 71%. Overall the states pay 84% of the premium with employees contributing 16%, according to a Pew Charitable Trust report that confirms that state employees pay a relatively low share of insurance premiums compared to their private-sector counterparts, leading the Manhattan Institute to call these plans “Cadillac Coverage High Cost Public Employee Health Benefits”. I wouldn’t mind having a Cadillac health plan myself.
Municipalities and towns employ even more people. My research indicates that municipal employees have the sweetest deal of all - some towns pay all insurance premiums. I find it hard to generalize since there so many municipalities and governmental entities involved but I glean that health insurance coverage costs municipal employees far less that you and I.
So I join in calling for the repeal of Obamacare but on the condition that I can get health insurance that is available to federal, state or municipal employees – if these plans are good enough for 23.5 million of my fellow Americans they will have to do for me.