Friday, December 19, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Republicans’ new opportunity on health care

By
From page A8 | January 27, 2014 |

My parents tell me my first word was “no.”

That may seem deliciously appropriate for those readers who know that I extoll the virtues of limited government.

Deserved or not, the Republican Party has a reputation as being the “Party of No.”

The moniker is not always unwelcome. Sometimes saying no is necessary – like when every Republican in the House and Senate voted against the Affordable Care Act.

But in the wake of the law’s horrendous deficiencies, opposition to Obamacare – in the form of one repeal bill after another, or efforts to stall implementation at the state level – is no longer enough.

Those who have called the law a “disaster” are not guilty of hyperbole. Nearing four years since its passage, the health-care law has fundamentally changed the way the health insurance market works, such that returning to the status quo is no longer an option.

With the employer mandate delayed, small-business policy cancellations on the horizon and a litany of other complications expected to surface in the coming months and years, the worst is yet to come.

What’s more is that the promise of universal coverage has been virtually vaporized. A recent survey of insurers found that as little as 11 percent of individuals who enrolled in exchanges were previously uninsured.

The law’s failures are widely acknowledged, making the opportunity for Republicans to present a plan nothing short of epic. To the frustration of conservatives such as me, they have failed to coalesce around a single, functional alternative.

This is, at least in part, because wholesale, government-mandated reform is anathema to many Republicans, who tend to use a more targeted, free-market approach to fixing things.

The problem isn’t a lack of ideas, either. Indeed, there are at least half a dozen substantive GOP plans worthy of consideration. The Ryan-Coburn plan is one. The Republican Study Committee released another comprehensive proposal in September. Several think tanks have offered suggestions, as well. But none has captured enough support or attention to seem viable or marketable to an American public now so wholly disillusioned with the government.

Last week, House Speaker John Boehner acknowledged his party’s truancy on the issue.

“It’s important for us as a party, especially in an election year, to tell the people what you’re for,” Boehner said. In the coming weeks, the party leadership is expected to unveil an ambitious agenda, which it has said will include a Republican health-care alternative.

But what will it look like?

John Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis in Dallas, says that in order to work, Republican reform must be simple, understandable and workable. Further, it must focus on basic concepts: choice, fairness, jobs – themes that resonate with Americans and policies that won’t require tens of thousands of pages of regulations to implement.

The two greatest challenges will likely be these: First, Republicans will need to overcome the gravitational pull of the intraparty factions that have divided them in recent months. A unified party passed Obamacare in the first place: Republicans will need every “yea” in their own party, and then some, to pass an alternative.

Second, and very important, they must be able to talk fluently about their proposal, using examples of real people that illustrate why their approach has merit.

Those of us who eagerly await the release of an alternative plan also hope that, unlike Obamacare, it will build a consensus among people who approach healthcare reform from different perspectives. In Goodman’s words: “No plan designed by those at the top can ever work unless people at the bottom have an economic incentive to make it work.”

If Republicans succeed, they will have earned a new nickname. My suggestion: “The Party of No, BUT . . . ”

Cynthia M. Allen is a columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Readers may send her email at cmallen@star-telegram.com.

Cynthia M. Allen

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 3 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • The MisterJanuary 27, 2014 - 7:31 am

    See Mike K, there is no difference between the "R" and the "D". The Republicans need to stifle anyone in the party who doesn't tow the party line. Once that's done, then the establishment Republicans can put forth their kinder, gentler version of Obamacare and be seen as the heroes. But we still get government take-over of every aspect of the healthcare industry under the Republicans... just like our other option with the Democrats. We are always on the same road going the same direction... sometimes in the right lane and sometimes in the left... but ALWAYS the same direction.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Mike KirchubelJanuary 27, 2014 - 9:57 pm

    Gee, TM, are you really another veriation of StR? The two parties are the same on many points and different on a few others. It really does make a difference who you vote for.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Noe we are......January 28, 2014 - 6:17 am

    Definitely two different people, who do not always agree and who differ widely in our approach to subjects....In general I am reluctant to burn bridges ect.....catch more flies with honey ect......I also totally expect to be used and abused as this has always seemed to be the case for me. I am still hoping that even if nobody else loves me, Jesus does.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
Sondheim’s ‘Woods’ holiday showcase for Missouri Street Theatre

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Groundbreakings, ribbon-cuttings play role in civic life

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Frankye Kelly ready to spread holiday cheer

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Celebrate the magic of Christmas

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

 
Santas have busy week at schools

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
Safe streets task force work nets 3

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
 
Solano College approves officers, meeting schedule

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

Longtime Suisun harbor master to retire

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4

 
Mosquito abatement district board has opening

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4

 
Fairfield police log: Dec. 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Dec. 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Police arrest 2nd suspect in Fairfield credit union robbery

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A12 | Gallery

 
.

US / World

Spy’s parents search for son after Cuba-US deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Hope and some fear in Cuba amid thaw with US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Next steps on Cuba: Normalizing could take awhile

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Sony hacking fallout puts all companies on alert

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Sony film took aim at North Korea’s biggest taboo

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Timeline of the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Digital dilemma: How will US respond to Sony hack?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
CHP, Oakland in tiff over plainclothes officers at protests

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Local emergencies in Northern California counties after rain

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California’s top utility regulator defends record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
‘Pretty horrible’ scene; car slams into crowd

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Police: Drunk man shot while entering wrong house

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Tsarnaev appears in court for 1st time since 2013

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
President signs legislation ending Nazi benefit checks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

2 states challenge Colorado marijuana legalization

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
‘Prison Houdini’ set to make his 1st legal escape

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Top Islamic militants killed; more US troops going to Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
Feds sue NYC over Rikers Island jail violence

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Russian sailors leaving France without warship

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Putin: West wants to defang, declaw Russian bear

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

European court rules obesity can be a disability

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
Suspected Islamic extremists kidnap 185 in Nigeria

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13, 1 Comment

.

Opinion

Another look at school bonds

By George Guynn Jr. | From Page: A11

 
Editorial Cartoon: Dec. 19, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

News of the day strikes a chord

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

 
 
.

Living

Today in History: Dec. 19, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Dec. 19, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: D8

 
Should I use Child Protective Services threat to get back rent?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: D8

.

Entertainment

Week in preview Dec. 19-25, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Sweet ‘Night at the Museum’ bids farewell to Robin Williams

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Review: ‘The Hobbit’ wraps with a Middle Earth melee

By Jake Coyle | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Craig Ferguson to end 10 years as host of ‘Late Late Show’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Eric Idle brings ‘Not the Messiah’ to Carnegie Hall

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Entertainment calendar Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

.

Sports

A’s trade All-Star catcher Derek Norris to Padres

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Warriors beat Thunder 114-109 after Durant injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
A’s acquire lefty De La Rosa from Arizona for cash

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Raiders defense depleted by injuries

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
49ers’ Harbaugh mum on reported offer from Michigan

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

49ers’ Aldon Smith hopes to build off tough year

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Column: Thaw in US-Cuba relations warms up MLB

By Jim Litke | From Page: B8

Rivera: Newton ‘probably’ will start vs. Browns

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Bears bench QB Jay Cutler for Clausen

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

‘Hands Up’ players to attend Ferguson Christmas party

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Celtics trade Rondo to Mavericks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Rodriguez boys open Les Curry Tournament with victory

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B8

 
39 bowl games and a reason to watch every one

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Signups for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B9

 
This date in sports history for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Sports on TV/Local sports for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B11

 
.

Business

Roomiest Subaru Legacy debuts for 2015

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1

 
Dow industrials have their best day in three years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Ford expands drivers air bag recall nationwide

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Constantly changing online prices stump shoppers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Obituaries

Lisa Dee McHughes

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Dominic C. Scolaro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Ernest “Ernie” Moretti

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Travis Curt Price

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Jennie Ponce Reyes

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Patricia “Pat” Anne Stringfield-Pierre

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics