Republicans who have been attacking the Affordable Care Act have been unable to provide a specific alternative to replace it with. One problem they face is that, while polls show large numbers of people say they oppose Obamacare, a majority also supports many of the individual components of the law. Paul Ryan admitted what repeal of Obamacare and replacing it with a Republican alternative would mean:

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) says in a new interview that it would be too costly for Republicans to reinstate some of the more popular provisions of Obamacare if and when the law is repealed, but that Republicans should look for alternatives.

The former GOP vice presidential nominee was asked on Bloomberg’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt” about whether Republicans would keep provisions like requiring coverage for pre-existing conditions, keeping kids on their parents’ insurance until they are 26 years old and barring insurance companies from having different rates for those whose jobs include physical labor.

The first two provisions are among the most popular parts of Obamacare, which as a whole is not popular. But Ryan says such provisions would also drive up the cost of insurance too much.

“If you look at these kinds of reforms, where they’ve been tried before — say the state of Kentucky, for example — you basically make it impossible to underwrite insurance,” Ryan said, according to an advance transcript. “You dramatically crank up the cost. And you make it hard for people to get affordable health care.”

Returning to underwriting insurance would mean that insurance companies could once again issue policies based upon who they find the most profitable to cover, denying coverage to those with pre-existing medical conditions and based upon age.

It is less expensive for health insurance companies to sell insurance only to young, healthy people and to revoke coverage when people get sick. However this is not what we need from health insurance, which to be meaningful must be available to everyone and cover people when they become sick. As I’ve pointed out many times in the past, most people going into bankruptcy from medical expenses were insured at the time they first got sick or injured.

Originally posted at Liberal Values

Ron Chusid
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Copyright 2014 The Moderate Voice
  • Chickenfarmer

    Paul Ryan could help reduce medical costs in the US by introducing a bill that would (1)require Medicare and Medicaid to negotiate the drug prices it pays for it’s subscribers and (2) Permit US consumers to purchase mail order medications from licensed pharmacies in Canada and other countries with good quality control standards. Since many of the medications sold in those countries are marketed by US firms the latter won’t be a problem.

    I don’t mind paying a little more for my medicines if that money is used to subsidize drug costs in third world nations. However, I never agreed to fund the full R&D costs for drugs sold in Europe, Japan, and other prosperous nations. We have expensive meds here because our government outlaws competition when it comes to the drug business. The R’s should be falling all over themselves to insure this happens but it won’t thanks to lobbyists and unlimited campaign donations.