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Letter: Obamacare’s Republican roots

Arguing politics isn’t my favorite pastime. But when I see ignorance masquerading as fact-based opinion, I feel compelled to speak. So for those history-challenged, low-information voters, those who get their “facts” from the haters and screamers out on the fringes, I offer the following:

Some 20 years ago, America’s leading conservative think tank, The Heritage Foundation, developed a plan it confidently said would fix America’s health-care problems. The plan was quickly endorsed by the then-Republic speaker of the House and his caucus.

A Republican governor from New England not only endorsed the plan but successfully implemented it, covering fully 96 percent of his state’s eligible population.

Nationwide only 83 percent are covered, leaving more than 30 million Americans without coverage, many of whom simply can’t afford it.

These plans, developed by a Republican think tank, endorsed by a Republican House and implemented by a Republican governor, included both a mandate and financial penalties for non-participation.

They also included financial assistance for those who needed it. Now, when a Democratic president of the United States, one of African-American persuasion, offers virtually the same plan, he is labeled a commie-socialist pervert bent on the economic destruction of our cherished and hard-won American way of life. Go figure! But then again, I think I can.

JAY B. WELSH

Concord

Legacy Comments25

A good friend and formidable liberal NHDriver (and Duke) passes on his regards to all his friends commenting at the Monitor. I wish I could have said Charlie but NHDriver lost his good friend earlier this year

Sorry to hear Van. Driver is a good friend and sorry to hear of his loss of a dear friend. Thanks, Jonstah...

How is Romney Care doing in MA? How many folks are uninsured? What about the cost and taxes? Do folks use the emergency room less? Has the cost of care gone down? One has to wonder why the left now wants to link the ACA to the right. Could it be because, now that they see what a train wreck it is, they do not want to take responsibility for it?

The googly thing works well. Give it a try. " Some 98 percent of Massachusetts residents are insured, according to the state's Health Insurance Connector Authority, and that percentage increases among children at 99.8 percent and seniors at 99.6 percent. Another 439,000 residents have gained insurance since before the reform was passed." And: "Overall the Massachusetts reform has gone very well and it's done everything it was designed to do," says Jonathan Gruber, a professor of economics at MIT who worked with both Romney and Obama on their respective plans. We lowered premiums in that market by about 50 percent relative to the national trend. Overall it's been very successful. It's not been successful in what it didn't try to do- in that it didn't try to control cost and it doesn't."

It's interesting to see conservatives fall all over themselves to deny the Republican origins of the ACA. GWTW rightly points out the Heritage plan was designed to cover "catastrophic" illness only; however, the link below points out that language in the plan was deliberately vague and potentially expansive. In any case, since the individual mandate has been the big bone of contention, to quibble about anything else seems a distinction without much difference. From the link: "Heritage did put forward the idea of an individual mandate, though it predated HillaryCare by several years. The plan was introduced in a 1989 book, 'A National Health System for America' by Stuart Butler and Edmund Haislmaier. Stuart Butler’s lecture describes what the Heritage’s mandate would look like: 'We would include a mandate in our proposal–not a mandate on employers, but a mandate on heads of households–to obtain at least a basic package of health insurance for themselves and their families. That would have to include, by federal law, a catastrophic provision in the form of a stop loss for a family’s total health outlays. It would have to include all members of the family, and it might also include certain very specific services, such as preventive care, well baby visits, and other items. Taranto points out that the Heritage mandate was less onerous than the Obamacare one, as it focused on coverage for catastrophic illness, rather than the comprehensive health plans that Obamacare requires. 'On the other hand, Butler’s vague language—‘it might also include certain very specific services…and other items’—would seem to leave the door wide open for limitless expansion,' he writes. 'Whatever the particular differences, the Heritage mandate was indistinguishable in principle from the ObamaCare one." http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2011/10/20/how-a-conservative-think-tank-invented-the-individual-mandate/

"The Heritage Foundation, developed a plan it confidently said would fix America’s health-care problems." NOT true. That plan was a "catastrophic" plan that covered you against a catastrophic health issue...much like the insurance we all have on our cars and homes. Certainly not at all like Obamacare..(although, that pesky mandate was still there)

Actually, Obamacare has even deeper Republican roots. It is very similar to a plan developed by the Nixon administration. I wonder, given its extreme tilt in recent years, whether today's Republican party would even accept Nixon. Funny thing about catastrophic health plans - they become more cost effective when the coverage is broader, because many catastrophic medical events are delayed or prevented. But Republicans seem not to care much about cost effectiveness any more. Obstructionist ideology über alles.

So Gracchus, is this is what the democrat talking points want you to spew? Please write a letter telling us how much democrats love Nixon. Gracchus you are never going to get over the fact that democrats own ObamaKare they ignored the will of the people and some were bribed to vote for it. You are never going to get over the fact that Republicans and a few democrats were smart and voted against ObamaKare. Your democrat talking points are such a joke. Gracchus please write more letters like this garbage because it is showing America that democrats are running from ObamaKare.

Theater of the absurd: calling history "talking points." You have no clue what my thoughts are on Obamacare (you may want to learn the difference between C and K). I have no love for Nixon, but unlike modern-day Republicans he had a respect for the responsibilities that government has and tried to find practical solutions to problems. Showing America? Do you mean the couple of dozen people who hang out here? Or are you reposting (unedited I presume) my notes for wider distribution? And as to your other attempt at mind reading - don't ever assume what I can or can't get over. You blame others for ad hominem argument, and then personalize your own posts.

Gracchus, write a letter to the editor telling us how much democrats loved Nixon's ideas and voted for ObamaKare (the K symbolizes the socialism injected into ObamaKare). Even Sen. Reid admits that ObamaKare is just one skip to single payer socialized medicine. As for talking points Obama is using the term Republican Idea also so admit it is a talking point for the uninformed because most Americans know that ZERO Republicans voted for the train wreck known as ObamaKare. That is a little history you should learn.

GWTW we all know what desperate liberals do they lie. ObamaKare is so bad they are trying to blame Republicans now. Well they can't blame Republicans because not a single Republican voted for the multi-thousand page democrat monstrosity.

Unbelievable, the Train Wreck known as Obamakare is now the Republican’s fault? Absolutely incredible! Fact not a single Republican voted for ObamaKare. Don’t you remember even some democrats had to be bribed in order for ObamaKare to be passed? Popular president, JFK improved the economy by lowered taxes (“a rising tide raises all boats), do you think a single democrat today is smart enough to use that winning strategy. Today the only things that democrats do are; tax and spend tax and spend. So don’t blame Republicans for something that happened 20 years ago, most people learn as they get older, I guess democrats don’t. Republicans recognized Obamakare is bad, Americans recognized Obamakare was bad and extreme partisan democrats like Jeanne Shaheen and Carol Shea-Porter passed it without even reading it. It is time we get rid of the partisan hacks like Shaheen and Shea-porter that don’t listen to their constituents.

George Santayana could have had Van in mind when he wrote that "[t]hose who do not remember the past...." Has Mr. Van forgotten that JFK's tax cut brought the top rate from about 90% to about 70%? Obviously, yes. Or that it was GW Bush who raised taxes (he lost the presidency as a result) and thereby saved Social Security for 2 generations? Apparently not. Nothing to see here, folks, same old boring story. Keep moving.

Nice Try Gracchus. Lowering taxes from where ever they are will stimulate growth. It must be too complex a concept for your to grasp. By the way JFK had to fight people in his party to get the tax cut.

Almost too silly for reply. Almost. What kind of society do you foresee in your theoretically perfect world with tax rates of 0%? That is the logical (foreign word?) conclusion to your proposition.

Gracchus, I know your tax rate would be closer to 100%. Mine would be closer to zero. Silly Gracchus. The greatest country in the history of the world the United States didn't have an federal income tax for a long period of time. Who is really silly now.

Stimulate growth? :0) Americans who can think stopped believing this GOP lie around the 4th time the Party pushed through more tax cuts using it. Yep, the check is in he mail.

Ain't it the truth. I can see all the little Vans and Sails and Itsas running to their right wing sites trying to rebut this nasty little fact.

Tillie it was wicked easy.

Tillie it was like a hanging curve ball that I crushed out of the park. If your prefer tennis, pong pong, or volley ball it was like a big easy lob served right at the net waiting to be spiked.

Don't break your arm patting yourself on the back. To keep with the sports metaphor, you didn't lay a glove on the letter. No rebuttal of the statement that the ACA is based on the Heritage Foundation proposal, no rebuttal of the statement that Gov. Romney's plan was based on Heritage and no rebuttal of the statement that ACA was based on both. No, no rebuttals. Just another string of irrelevant accusations and opinions based on your partisan position. In other words, another rant. If that is what passes for thoughtful analysis in your book, you might want to get another book.

Ouch!

Publius, Read much? I said no Republican voted for it so Republicans rejected your version of the Heritage Foundation proposal. Right now the Heritage Foundation is fighting ObamaKare because this joke of a 100% Democrat law (only democrats voted for it)if very umpopular. The Only cowards are Shaheen and Shea Porter who didn't support their constituents who didn't want it and still don't want it. BAM Van Hits a Grand Slam Home Run that Publius lassie league served up.

Now, now. What you meant was you took it outside of the park then crushed it. You are right not a single coward voted for it. They had a better plan already in mind - leave it alone and deny we have a healthcare problem. It's easy to place blame when you have nothing better to offer. Repeat after me - "no denials of coverage for pre-existing conditions". How do those words taste? Like crow. Your plan is what exactly? BTW, doing nothing is no plan, neither is ranting and raving. The GOP has held 40 failed votes to overturn ACA or for you 4, ObamaKare. Just how many votes have been held on the GOP's answer to healthcare crisis? YUP, not a single one. No plan just whining and finger pointing. It's always easier to complain than fix a problem. The new GOP Motto " Don't Blame Us, We Did Nothing."

Why is this law so good, when half of the deadlines have been missed? And, with quite a majority of the people not supporting it? And...what ever happened to that figure that was being floated about the cost? What are we...3x more now??? Last I heard it was $3 Trillion. Promise no more than $940 billion, spend $3 Trillion, still leave 15 of the 30 million people uninsured...Yeah..whats not to love??

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