Editorial pages highlight these questions and also explore what might be next on the health reform horizon.
The Washington Post:
Time For Republicans To Accept Reality
With one more repeal-and-replace effort in flames, Republicans face a choice. They can continue to live in a fantasy world in which it is possible simultaneously to uproot Obamacare, slash federal spending on health care and widen health-care coverage. Or they can finally accept reality and strike a deal with Democrats to improve the Affordable Care Act. (9/26)
Obamacare Repeal Croaks. Now What?
The law that Republicans are so intent on repealing is a sensible, if imperfect, measure to expand health coverage. It is based largely on a Republican plan offered in the 1990s as an alternative to what former president Bill Clinton advocated. The ACA should not be repealed and replaced. It should be retained and repaired. Fortunately, lawmakers of good faith want to do just that. After the first Senate repeal effort collapsed, Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., began hearings on ways to shore up the ACA’s private insurance exchanges. (Those hearings were put on hold by the GOP leadership once a new effort at repeal materialized and restarted Tuesday.) It does not take a rocket scientist — or a brain surgeon — to see what needs to be done to entice individuals to buy coverage and to persuade insurance companies to offer it. (9/26)
The Washington Post:
Three GOP Trumpcare Errors Will Doom Tax Reform
As the final nails in the coffin of Trumpcare get hammered into place, the Republicans desperately want to pivot to tax reform. Unfortunately, without understanding the multiple missteps that led to the demise of Obamacare’s “repeal and replace,” they will reach a similarly disappointing result. Let’s start with what the public wants. Frankly, tax cuts are not at the top of the list. President George W. Bush’s tax cuts took many people off the federal income-tax rolls, while the very rich have expert tax advice and are enjoying the benefits of an economy that works for them. (In 2004 Bush could boast, “Nearly 5 million taxpayers will be off the rolls as a result of the tax relief this year.”) Their combined tax bill (including sales, property, state and local taxes) may be worrisome, but federal taxes are not oppressively high. (Jennifer Rubin, 9/26)
Bernie Sanders Is Right: Why Not Medicare For All?
Polls since 1945 have shown that most Americans favor national health insurance. A poll in 2007 showed that most U.S. physicians also favor national health insurance. If we are looking for a way to provide comprehensive health care to all our citizens at less cost, it is in plain sight: Medicare for all. (James Dalen, 9/26)
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