You beat the Dems, now fix the problems

The symbolic vote to repeal last year's health care bill came off as scheduled Wednesday, fulfilling what Republicans feel was a central promise made to voters in November.

As predicted, Democrats got another shellacking in the final tally, 245-189, with three Democrats crossing the aisle to support repeal.

And, as predicted, the vote will now disappear as a historical footnote when the Senate refuses to bring it forward for a vote.

What now?

Republicans plan to stop or slow down implementation of the reforms and conduct as many investigations as possible to make Democrats look as bad as possible before the next election.

Which, of course, does nothing to solve any of the serious health care problems we face right now.

If "ObamaCare" is bad, what the American people really need from House Republicans is something better.

If there is anything "job-killing" about health care, it's the system we have now.

Employers are increasingly unable to keep up with the cost of medical care, plus the pass-along costs of treating the uninsured.

How do we fix that?

Health care is now 17 percent of gross domestic product and, at the current rate of growth, will be 20 percent by 2019. By then, one of five dollars in our economy will be spent on health care.

How do we fix that?

People with pre-existing conditions are afraid to leave their jobs, lose their jobs or try other careers because they will likely be uninsurable.

How do we fix that?

People without insurance, and even those with insurance, live in fear of being bankrupted by a severe illness.

How do we fix that?

Medicare and Medicaid expenses are growing so quickly that they will eventually dominate the federal budget.

How do we fix that?

The political gridlock on this issue is particularly frustrating, given that other nations have learned how to curb costs and provide better results.

Health care is 17 percent of GDP here. The average for other industrialized countries is about 9 percent.

We spend $7,290 per person on health care, compared with an average of $2,964 for other industrialized countries. The second-highest country, Norway, spends $4,763.

What's more, our health care results are not very good by a variety of measures. Physicians per capita, life expectancy, infant mortality, hospital beds per capita — we lag behind other nations who have managed to insure all of their people.

The system isn't working, we aren't getting our money's worth and it is unsustainable in the long term.

Democrats took their shot at fixing these problems. Maybe they didn't get it right, but at least they tried.

Attacking the other guy's plan is easy compared to solving the problems.

If Republicans hope to gain power in 2012, it's time to stop shouting from the sidelines and come up with a better plan.

If ObamaCare isn't "change we can believe in," give us something we can.

editorialboard@sunjournal.com

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Comments

Jim Cyr's picture

Those on the side lines!

Mr. Cranky Yankee,
You also must read the Constitution! The Preamble says "Promote the general welfare". Not Provide! And the socialist welfare system had no vision at that time. Our Founders were true believers of "Individual Freedoms and not Socialism!

Jim Cyr's picture

Either/Or?

Mr. Veritas, The power that Congress has so usurped so many times is power dedicated to us We The People! And when the Liberal Jurist on the Supreme Court make a Constitutional ruling, as is their authority and has done so on numerous occasions, it does not mean it is in the Principals of our Founders. I have no idea what Ohms Law has with the topic at hand. Must you all ways be so negative and hateful? We only come around once! And if we don't leave it better for our futures, we might as well give in to The New World Order and sign our Rights away to the United Nation!

Jim Cyr's picture

Health care being a "For Profit" Industry

Mr. Veritas,
The Commerce Clause was simply designed to give the Federal Government sufficient power to insure the "free flow of commerce so that the States would not interfere with inter-state shipments as they had done in the past. Since 1936 the original intent of the Founders has been expanded to include Federal control over practically everything which affects inter-state commerce either directly or indirectly. This usurpation of authority by Congress (which has been upheld by the Supreme Court) has shattered some of the most important restrictions on Federal intervention in the business and commercial life of the nation.
You are either a Constitutionalist or the ENEMY!

RONALD RIML's picture

Either/Or??

As an electrician you know Ohm's Law is Ohm's Law - so if you grab a 240 line with a 120 ohm resistance across your butt you'll have two amps frying yer azz.... But what SCOTUS ruled Constitutional in the past ain't necessarily so today.

So who's authority are you alleging Congress usurped here, Jim?? And remember - SCOTUS gets to be the arbiter according to the Constitution.

RONALD RIML's picture

If You're not Part of the Solution You are Part of the Problem

And with Health -care - that more aptly defines the Republicans than anything else..........

 's picture

Not a bad idea

I work in healthcare and it is very frustrating watching patients in the parking lot sucking down the last dreg of that cigarette. I know for a fact that when I change insurance, I am checked for smoking, chol., and my wt is recorded. And I run the risk of being denied insurance or paying more, based on what that data is. And I have a deductible that I have to meet out of pocket before my "benefits" kick in. MaineCare users don't have a deductible, or any financial interest that I'm aware of. It is time for the users of MaineCare to have a little responsibility for their lifestyle choices. I'm not asking for $50 or $100 deductible for an ED visit, but a copay equal to a pack of cigarettes and the Dunkin Donuts large coffee is not unreasonable to ask.

ANTHONY NAZAR's picture

It's all about 2012

Obviously it's all about 2012. Rather than "fix" anything the main thrust of Congressional Republicans will be to keep unemployment as high as possible and try for a second dip in the housing market - hence the target placed on FNMA and GNMA which are involved in 90% of new mortgages. Dry up that source, cut the federal work force, repeal economic stimulus and use Darryl (I am not a car thief) Issa to tie up the administration same as Newtie did to Clinton.

Solutions? We don't need no stinkin' solutions.

Jim Cyr's picture

States Issue!

Mr. Blanker,
You must read the Constitution and the Bill of Rights before you rant the Progressive agenda without knowing the truth. Read in particular the 10th amendment of the Bill of Rights. And if the state of Maine is unable to afford health care for all of it's citizens, how is the Federal Gov going to afford it more? Print more Fiat paper?

GARY SAVARD's picture

Adding 30 million people to

Adding 30 million people to the system without addressing costs is exactly why the democrats got big pharma to support the bill. Obamacare as it is constitutes a farce played on the American people served up like a Chicago style pizza. Any program that does not balance cost controls with services delivered is a sham, but it does play well with people that are in dire straits pertaining to their health care coverage and the ever growing segment of the American public that believes that the entitlement programs that support their butts are really "free".

 's picture

Obamacare

If you remember when the health bill was being debated, the republicans offered a few ideas which were rejected by the democrats. They suggested a limit on lawsuits involving doctors. That was turned down. They offered the idea of allowing us to by health insurance across state lines like we do with care insurance. That was turned down. Then when it came time to vote for this monstrosity, arms had to be twisted and backroom deals made in order to get the number of votes needed to pass it. Then when asked for the chance to read the 1000 pages or so, the former speaker said, "Let's pass the bill and then find out what is in it." Doesn't that make sense. Now that the republicans have acted on their campaign promise to repeal this terrible bill, why is Harry Reid afraid to let come to the senate floor for debate?

 's picture

Democrat Kool Aid

It was the House Speaker who said, and I quote "let's pass the bill and then read to see what is in it."
If this bill was so good, why did Nancy and Harry have to twist some democrat arms and make some last minute
back room deals to get it passed?
I guess the democratic kool aid must be really good.

Jim Cyr's picture

Health Care

Is a States issue. None of that responsibility is on the shoulders of the Fed. Gov.

 's picture

oh, okay

Right. Except for that whole interstate commerce part.

RONALD RIML's picture

Health Care being a "For Profit" Industry

It may be regulated under the Commerce Clause

RONALD RIML's picture

One of the Best Editorials Ever......

It's so much easier to throw stones than to create edifices from them.

 's picture

As usual...

George is off topic.

RAYMOND FRECHETTE's picture

Obamacare has been a sham

Obamacare has been a sham perpetrated on the American people and both sides are guilty of neglecting our needs. We have an excellent system in this country called Medicare that does a credible job of helping seniors. This could be expanded to all. While many will say we cannot afford it and that Medicare is bankrupting the Nation, I say tweak it and improve on it. As it is doctors and suppliers charge exhorbitant fees and settle for pennies on the dollar; no one wants price controls, but providers of medical services have to be made to realize they have to price their services reasonably. Socialized medicine is scary and a close look at other nations who have it reveals there can be long wait times for rationed services, and in many instances private insurance for private medical systems exist to take care of the wealthy, which is not the American way. Probably the best way to improve Health Services in this country would be to pass a law that Congress cannot exempt itself from whatever they give us, (this is all they would have), and while at it the same law could say that Congress must live with Social Security and not their Golden plan that they now have. This would also quickly save Social Security. In other words, force these Elitists in Congress to live under the same circumstances they expect us to live under. Only when we the voters insist on this will we have solutions to our problems.

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