“Repealing and replacing” Obamacare with market-oriented reforms has been the Republican mantra for years now. If you’re a long-time follower of this space, you know that we’re skeptical that Obamacare will ever be repealed, GOP slogans to the contrary. Today, however, a trio of experienced Senate Republicans—Tom Coburn (Okla.), Richard Burr (N.C.), and Orrin Hatch (Utah)—have put forth the most thoughtful and constructive plan yet developed to repeal and replace Obamacare. The plan seeks to ensure that as many Americans have health coverage as Obamacare does. It’s a proposal grounded in the real-world tradeoffs that all serious reformers must make. Want to know how those tradeoffs might affect you? Read on.
Republicans have long been complacent about health reform
Republicans are united in their opposition to President Obama’s health law. But they are far from united as to what reforms they would seek in its stead.
Much of the Republican base—what some people call the Tea Party—would be just fine with repealing Obamacare and calling it a day. The vast majority of the Republican base is employed or retired; these active GOP primary voters are sometimes unaware of the degree to which their health coverage is heavily subsidized by the tax code (more than $300 billion a year, in the case of the tax exclusion for employer-sponsored coverage) or financed by the government (more than $750 billion a year in Medicare spending).