ObamaCare is widely perceived as a Rube Goldberg contraption that treats people in arbitrary and unfair ways. A Republican alternative, therefore, needs to be clear, easy to understand, and based on principles that starkly contrast with ObamaCare. It must not be “ObamaCare light.” The first Coburn health reform proposal (the Coburn/Burr/Ryan/Nunes bill) fits this need to a tee.
Using updated numbers, the bill would offer a $2,500 tax credit to every adult and $8,000 to every family of four for the purchase of private health insurance. Since this is roughly what it costs to insure new Medicaid enrollees, if people had the option to use their credit to buy into Medicaid, this would insure universal coverage—something ObamaCare doesn’t come close to doing. Under this approach:
Plus, the bill is an economist’s dream—getting rid of all kinds of perverse incentives in the current system and in ObamaCare. Even Jason Furman, the president’s chief economist, has endorsed this approach.
Now there is a new proposal from Senator Coburn. Here are the main differences:
Will this plan help the Republicans win the Senate in November? I report. You decide.
Is it an improvement? You decide.
[Cross-posted at John Goodman’s Health Policy Blog]
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For the pivotal alternative to ObamaCare, please see the Independent Institute’s widely acclaimed book: Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis, by John C. Goodman.