While the Republicans seem to throw all their energy into winning political battles, they have a very short attention span when it comes to actually governing. Their emphasis is on tactics, not on strategy. So while they somehow managed to win the 2010 midterm elections, they fumbled the ball after that.
And overturning health care reform is a good example. After introducing bill after bill trying to overturn Obamacare, it make take dreaded activist judges to accomplish that goal for them.
But here’s the rub. Republicans have no alternative for Obamacare, and they are going to need one. Even top Republicans admit that for the process of replacing Obamacare, the Republican wheels are just “beginning to turn“.
So how will Republicans solve the problem of spiraling health care costs? Their best idea was the individual mandate, but once Obama borrowed that idea from them they have vigorously opposed it. So what’s left?
Malpractice insurance is 2% of health care costs, so even completely eliminating malpractice lawsuits wouldn’t help.
Another idea they have floated is allowing insurance companies to sell policies across state lines, supposedly increasing competition. But the cost of insurance has almost nothing to do with the location of the insurance company, it is based on the cost of providing health care where the patient lives. Plus, if you buy insurance from a company in another state, it will be a lot harder to sue them, even if they defraud you, so that will make it easier for shady companies to sell bogus policies.
The only remaining Republican idea that might help is creating government insurance pools for people with preexisting conditions. Ironically, this will increase government involvement in health care far more than Obamacare’s individual mandate. So the Republicans, who claim to want to keep government out of health care, will end up increasing government involvement dramatically.
Either that, or a completely gridlocked Congress won’t be able to come up with any alternative to Obamacare, and we will go back to our completely broken health insurance system. Nobody, will like that. And Republicans will pay the price.
Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.