Posts Tagged - ‘gop’

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Should Republicans Drop Their Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance?

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

The GOP believes that the federal government should stay out of health care. Some liberal union groups are calling their bluff, and challenging Republican politicians to opt out of the Federal Employees’ Health Benefits Plan.

While the strategy is appealing, there are significant pitfalls. Most strikingly, the FEHBP is at its core an employer-sponsored health insurance plan–the employer just happens to be in the public sector. The GOP has never expressed opposition for that type of coverage.

A handful of representatives and senators may take up the challenge, however, to score political points. Some are independently wealthy and can easily afford individual coverage.

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IRS’ Affordable Health Insurance Reform Implementation in Danger

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Image: numberstumper under CC 3.0

Understandably, most people aren’t huge fans of the IRS. For the most part, Americans communicate with them when they’re taking money out of their pockets during tax season. However, a provision of the new healthcare reform law has the Internal Revenue Service actually attempting to give money back!

The law is meant to make affordable health insurance more widely available through tax credits to small businesses that provide coverage to their employees. Doing so will require more manpower and resources for implementation and enforcement of the program. Some Republican candidates are considering defunding the IRS and other agencies involved to stifle healthcare reform, since it is predicted to take $5 to $10 billion for each agency to fully implement it.

Congress has the power to do so, and does not require President Obama to sign off on a repeal he would be guaranteed to veto. Ironically, one of the most business-friendly provisions may suffer as a result.

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Can Healthcare Reform “Repeal and Replace” Promises Be Trusted?

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Image: Keven Law under CC 3.0

The Republican party is staunchly against the Obama administration’s healthcare reform law. So much so, that its politicians promise that if they regain the majority in Congress, one of their first tasks will be to repeal “Obamacare”. Then, they promise that they will replace it with a more moderate, business-friendly solution.

What they promote sounds like a good idea–retaining the popular measures, such as making it easier for people with pre-existing conditions to buy a health insurance plan; while dropping the potentially troublesome elements like the individual mandate.

However, history may make some skeptical of the GOP’s pledge. After helping to torpedo President Bill Clinton’s health insurance reform proposal in the early 1990s, they basically ignored the issue for over a decade of controlling the House of Representatives and the Senate. In the meantime, the issue became more pressing–and may need more drastic solutions than it did back then.

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Republicans Vow To Repeal Healthcare Reform If They Win Midterms

Friday, August 20th, 2010

Image: Republican Party of Shelby County under CC 3.0

health insurance plans

The heated midterm election battles are underway. Control of the House of Representatives and Senate is at stake in November. Democrats are looking to retain their majority, but what if they don’t?

Tennessee Republican representative Marsha Blackburn recently stated that the GOP will repeal the Obama administration’s healthcare reform law if they regain control. The law is controversial largely due to provisions that create a mandate for individuals and companies to buy a health insurance plan.

However, Rep. Blackburn’s promises may be more election rhetoric than reality. While the Republican party may take a few steps in the direction of eliminating the law, President Obama is guaranteed to veto any bill that would repeal it. Although political pundits predict that Republicans may win a significant number of seats, they may not reach the essential two-thirds of the Senate that would be necessary to override a presidential veto.

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Republicans Vote To Fight South Carolina Health Insurance Mandate

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Image: BAR Photography under CC 3.0

During Tuesday’s primary, SC Republican voters expressed their views on several issues. As was predicted, an overwhelming 86% of them want their party to continue fighting healthcare reform.

They are especially opposed to the possibility of being subject to a mandate that would force them to either buy South Carolina health insurance or pay a penalty to the federal government.

Although the vote isn’t legally binding, it’ll be an inspiration for GOP lawmakers in the state.

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Pro-Healthcare Reform Mailing Spawns Controversy

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Image: Nevada Tumbleweed under CC 3.0

Recently, the federal government sent out an informational pamphlet to millions of Medicare beneficiaries. What’s the problem with that?

The issue is that some people believe that the mailing crosses the line from information into propaganda. The pamphlet talks about how the positive impact the healthcare reform law is predicted to have on its recipients.

Republicans in Congress want the Government Accountability Office to investigate whether the cost of printing and sending the document was legitimate. They contend that the the information about medical insurance in it is biased and inaccurate.

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California Republicans Worry About Healthcare Reform

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Image: WhatDaHeck.com

In liberal states like California, GOP candidates are caught between a rock and a hard place. To win the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat, three candidates must tack right to appeal to primary voters, who are more partisan than the general election population. That means full-throated opposition about health insurance reform. Carly Fiorina, Chuck DeVore, and and Tom Campbell all want what they consider to be unconstitutional legislation to be repealed.

While that isn’t hard in most states, polls continue to show that a majority of California residents approve of the law. Conservative registered Republicans are an exception in the state. After winning the nomination, they will have to convince those general election voters to vote for them instead of Democrat Barbara Boxer.

Either way, they’ll be accused of hypocrisy. President Obama still has relatively high approval ratings in the state, so the candidate will probably have to tone down their bashing of his affordable health insurance plan to get elected. Doing so will alienate the Tea Party contingent, but they may hold their nose and vote for the lesser of two evils.

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4 Republican Ideas Now Included In Obama’s Healthcare Reform

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

Image: UPI

Although last week’s bipartisan healthcare reform summit appeared to make little headway in solving the impasse on the issue, it has nevertheless had an impact on the latest affordable health insurance proposal from President Obama.

The Obama administration has offered to add several ideas suggested by Republicans during the summit. These four proposals generally center on cost control, and include:

  • Some level of tort reform, through the expansion of pilot programs that seek to overhaul the medical malpractice system. These programs would not involve a jury trial; instead, they would create specialized health courts
  • Promoting Health Savings Accounts (HSA plans), which are touted as a way to reduce the unnecessary use of health care
  • Launching an investigative program, which would root out waste and fraud by sending private eyes disguised as patients
  • Increasing payments to providers who accept Medicaid, because lower reimbursement rates have resulted in many doctors refusing to accept that health insurance

Despite their concern with the budget deficit, some of the aforementioned Republican proposals (such as increasing Medicaid payments and launching the secret patient investigations) would require even more funding. Meanwhile, the heavily criticized Medicare Advantage exception–saving Florida alone from proposed cuts–was dropped.

The question is whether the GOP will budge in their opposition. It doesn’t appear very likely, because much of it is on ideological grounds. Not to mention, most legislators are up for re-election this year. However, the changes will probably anger some Democratic interest groups.

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Obama says He’s Listening to Republicans

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010


President Obama plans to use the ideas from Republicans to make them a part of healthcare reform legislation. The president will soon unveil a health care bill that will make good health insurance affordable for all Americans, and put caps on the insurance industry for high premium costs and denying people coverage.

During the health summit Mr. Obama listened to the ideas of Republicans, took notes and said he felt both sides helped make it a civil, productive meeting. The President told Republicans that many provisions they mentioned were already included in his plan, and that other GOP proposals were worth including.
Republicans ideas included:

  • cracking down on fraudulent medical charges
  • revamping ways to resolve malpractice disputes
  • boosting doctors’ Medicaid reimbursements
  • offering tax incentives for curbing patients’ visits to doctors.

    President Obama is slated to release his plan very soon, and is working to rally Democrats to pass the bill on a fast-track process — called reconciliation. This medical insurance bill could come to life without the support of Republicans.

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    When Will Scott Brown Be Sworn In, Anyway?

    Thursday, January 21st, 2010

    Massachusetts Senator-elect Scott Brown has asked to be seated as soon as possible, in order to deliver the vote against health insurance plan reform that he promised. Democrats in Washington, D.C. have publicly agreed. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has vowed to seat Brown as soon as the proper official paperwork is received. Democratic Senator Al Franken, who was unable to take his seat for several months due to a legal battle with his Republican opponent, also supported Brown’s speedy seating by invoking the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as they will do unto you.”

    All of the well-wishes in the world, however, may not get Scott Brown on Capitol Hill any quicker. Standard Senate procedure would have him sworn in about two weeks from now, on February 3rd. That allows time for the state to tabulate absentee ballots and investigate for fraud. William Glavin, Massachusetts Secretary of State, promises to expedite the certification, which normally takes about 15 days in his state.

    Depending on the final margin of victory, Glavin can declare Brown the unofficial winner; that way, Brown may be sworn in even quicker than expected. Senate Democrats have effectively decided to hold off on medical insurance reform votes until he arrives. The sooner Brown is seated, the sooner debate can continue.

    (Image: ockam under CC 2.0)

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