Two specific points that I have heard from these groups is that the U.S should implement "common sense reforms" including allowing insurance companies to sell coverage across state lines and passing tort reform. You can hear these points discussed at the recent "We Surround You" event that I covered on Fountain Square here in Downtown Cincinnati.
Yesterday, House Republicans had their health care reform bill (which contained many of these so-called "common sense reforms") scored by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and it wasn't a pretty story.
From an LA Times report:
...the CBO analysis also concluded that under the GOP plan, 52 million nonelderly Americans would have no insurance in 2019 -- even more than the 50 million in 2010. By comparison, the House Democratic bill would reduce the number of nonelderly Americans without coverage to around 18 million over the next decade.
The GOP bill is an amalgam of market-oriented measures that would limit medical malpractice lawsuits, expand the use of tax-sheltered medical savings accounts, let people shop for insurance outside of their own states, and make it easier for small businesses and hard-to-insure people to get coverage. The ideas reflect conservatives' suspicion of sweeping new programs, federal spending and additional regulation.
Unlike the Democratic plan, it does not include subsidies or other provisions that would make coverage more affordable to people of modest means.
"What we've learned over many, many years is that the reason people don't have insurance is that they can't afford it," said Drew Altman, president of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, an nonpartisan health policy research group. "You can't make much progress toward helping the uninsured unless you help them buy it."
Ezra Klein helps to break down what this means:
The Democratic bill, in other words, covers 12 times as many people and saves $36 billion more than the Republican plan. And amazingly, the Democratic bill has already been through three committees and a merger process. It's already been shown to interest groups and advocacy organizations and industry stakeholders. It's already made its compromises with reality. It's already been through the legislative sausage grinder. And yet it saves more money and covers more people than the blank-slate alternative proposed by John Boehner and the House Republicans. The Democrats, constrained by reality, produced a far better plan than Boehner, who was constrained solely by his political imagination and legislative skill.
This is a major embarrassment for the Republicans. It's one thing to keep your cards close to your chest. Republicans are in the minority, after all, and their plan stands no chance of passage. It's another to lay them out on the table and show everyone that you have no hand, and aren't even totally sure how to play the game. The Democratic plan isn't perfect, but in comparison, it's looking astonishingly good.
This is cross posted here.