Letter: Call it Republicare
I recently purchased a used copy of an 80-page booklet published in 1992 by the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, entitled “Responsible National Health Insurance.” The policy prescriptions are practically indistinguishable from the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. It’s all there folks: the individual mandate, insurance exchanges, subsidies, credits and, yes, even the taxes.
Here’s a quote from page 43: “Our approach imposes an obligation to be covered and uses the tax system, supplemented by welfare agencies to ensure that all receive appropriate coverage and subsidies so that all can pay their medical bills.” These same ideas were sponsored by 24 Senate Republicans in legislation filed in 1993 where it was considered the free market alternative to a government-managed single-payer health care proposal. In short, Obamacare could just as easily be called Republicare. So why are Republicans shutting down the government over this?
Some strident House Republicans have called Obamacare “an existential threat to the U.S. economy.” It’s not. It’s an existential threat to the Republican Party and its misguided belief that no government action can possibly do any good.