What is most missing from the Republicans is not so much the lack of an alternative to ObamaCare. It is the lack of a clear vision. Even if you can understand what their various proposals (and friends and close allies often cannot), it is almost never clear why they want to implement them.
Here is the sad truth: Even though the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) is a Rube Goldberg contraption that no one can explain and even though its rollout has been a complete disaster and even though the delay of one provision after another makes it seem as though the entire enterprise is coming apart…
Even with all that, Barack Obama in his sleep can articulate a clearer vision for health reform than Republicans and all their think tanks combined — after spending four years thinking about it!!!
Granted, the president's vision is often deceitful. When he says insurance companies will no longer be able to cancel your insurance after you get sick, he neglects to say that this has been federal law since the time of the Bill Clinton presidency. But even if they insist on being honest, can't Republicans come up with a convincing message of their own?
Let's see if we can help them out.
From Priceless, let's take four simple reforms:
• A universal tax credit
• Roth Health Savings Accounts
• Medicaid as an option for everyone
• Change of health status insurance
With these elements we will insure more people and spend less money than ObamaCare. But (and this will come as a surprise to many in the GOP) that is not a vote-inspiring vision. A real vision follows. And, come to think about it, it's not just a vision for Republicans. Democrats may discover they like it as well.
Choice: There will be no employer or individual mandate. People will be free to choose insur¬ance tailored to individual and family needs. Men will not be forced to buy coverage for maternity care. Women will not have to buy coverage for prostate cancer tests.
Fairness: To purchase private health insurance, every individual and every family will get the same help from government regardless of where they obtain the insurance — at work, in an exchange or in the marketplace. The subsidy for private health insurance will be the same:
• Whether they work on the assembly line or whether they are the CEO;
• Whether they work less than 30 hours a week or more;
• Whether their workplace has fewer than 50 employees or more;
• Whether they are in a union or not; and
• Whether their employer provides the insurance or whether they obtain it on their own.
John C. Goodman is President of the Goodman Institute and a Senior Fellow at The Independent Institute. He is the author of the widely acclaimed book, Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis. The Wall Street Journal and National Journal, among other media, have called him the "Father of Health Savings Accounts.”