Monday, November 4, 2013


The recent government shut down has been widely blamed on the Republicans. It is said that the tunnel vision of the Tea Party caucus was the fly in the ointment.

I have to say they have a point. Like it or not, ObamaCare is the law of the land. Just refusing to fund it without repealing it is a contradiction.

Had the budget passed both houses without Obamacare funding, there would, no doubt, have been a flood of lawsuits by creditors who contracted with the government in good faith, then didn’t get paid.

Of course, I wouldn’t mind sitting at the defense counsel’s table when the goofs who built the Obamacare web site sue to get paid. But that’s another story.

No, the de-funding strategy was ill advised.

But it didn’t have to be. Speaker Boehner should have insisted that the Tea party caucus come up with an alternative health care plan, something consistent with Republican free enterprise principles. And something simple enough to fit on one sheet of paper.

Hindsight, to be sure, but here’s an idea. There’s still time to do it. It’s a simple, free enterprise solution to provide affordable health care for all Americans.

The wealthy and the solvent working folks who are happy with their insurance – both the coverage and the cost – can be ignored.

The elderly who paid taxes for a lifetime to fund it, are getting Medicare. The poor who qualify for Medicaid, and can’t afford any insurance are already covered by Uncle Sam’s single payer system.

The big middle ground of younger people who can’t afford to buy the health insurance they want or ought to have are the ones who need attention.

The Republican solution should be to charter a national insurance company and charge it with the duty of writing insurance policies that everyone can afford.

Capitalize it at a billion or so – well less than the cost of ObamaCare – and cut it loose in the open market to provide the kind of insurance people ought to have at a price they can afford to pay.

It’s called free enterprise. Set the company up with a self-perpetuating thirteen member board of directors, the initial members of which to be designated by the President.

Let the company balance its budget anyway they want. Let them require any kind of coverage they decide on. Abortions and maternity care for men. Prostate cancer coverage for women.

Whatever they want to do. No coverage for surgery after age 80 (or less). Mandatory final illness committees.Whatever.

In the free market they can sell whatever they think will attract customers to whomever they want.

Smokers, drinkers, the obese and the addicted. Tight rope walkers and asbestos factory personnel. Pre-existing conditions and current symptomology. Doesn’t matter.

Premiums would be calculated on two factors, the recommendation of the actuaries and the means and priorities of the customer. Affordability is a very personal, individual matter.

If the company errs on the side of giving too much coverage for the premiums charged, it will go broke. Just like any other business.

It will, of course, have one ace in the hole.

It will be too big to fail. Like the Post Office. And like Freddie, Sallie and Fannie.


  1. It'll never work. The greedy insurance companies wouldn't stand for it. They demand their pound of flesh - that's why ObamaCare is what it is. Capitalism is free market economics, but neo-liberalism is what runs America's corporations now.

  2. At least BoehnerCare is a suggested alternative.
    Obamacare is indeed the law of the land, although you wouldn't know it by the behaviors of the House.
    The data on health status in the U.S. relative to what we spend is clear -- it's not good. Change is needed. The aspects of ObamaCare that are designed to provide incentives for coordination of care, population health, chronic disease management, use of IT to bring us into the modern era, etc. are all right minded. Will we end up with a healthcare system that is affordable while being accessible?
    I think we could, if we direct our leaders to work together to chisel out a workable program. I'd encourage the Tea Partiers who've had the effect of demolishing the effectiveness of the Republican Party find something else on which to work and let the GOP work toward improvement in the implementation aspects of the law. After all, wasn't the Affordable Care Act modeled after RomneyCare in Massachusetts?