This is the Heritage Foundation plan, written by Republicans, endorsed by the far right.

Please pay particular attention to Item #2 on Page 6 of the document.

You may recognize it as “Obamacare.”

Category: Politics, Think Tank

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

22 Responses to “Assuring Affordable Health Care For All Americans”

  1. jaykimball says:

    Barry, Item #2 is on page 6. Regardless, it is good to see the mandate there. Now if we can just get them to embrace single payer…

  2. fmm says:

    I’m sorry, but the print is kind of fuzzy and I’m sure that if you turn your computer monitor face down and shake it, the letters will fade away.

  3. constantnormal says:

    So … apparently, Obama plagiarized his health care program from the Repooblicans, as it appears that this program has a longer pedigree than his … or maybe this is an example of parallel evolution, with similar minds arriving at the same solution?

    Regardless, the Heritage/Obama health care plan does nothing to address the real problem of our health care system … that it costs too much and works too poorly.

    Ensuring that everyone gets a helping of spoiled food at a high price does not help solve the problem of people starving because they prefer not to eat spoiled food.

  4. Saagua says:

    Well this was all before the idea was adopted by a black man who is President. That changes everything.

  5. thenoz says:

    Even the Heritage Foundation can be wrong by not including more incentives to encourage people to insure. A small $50,000 policy which would be very inexpensive and would cover a lot. Also, copays should always be included so as to bend the cost curve in the right direction. Perhaps a $15 copay per visit. This might stop the Sandra Flukes of the world.

    However, do you see a Heritage health bill getting anywhere near 2452 pages?

  6. DrSandman says:

    Boy, I’m glad that you brought that breaking policy paper from 1989 to our attention! I almost missed it.

    Just because the Republican establishment endorsed it as well, still does not make it constitutional.

    Invictus:
    No, it took Congress passing it and SCOTUS upholding it for that to happen.

    This would all be simpler and ALL of these silly arguments would go away if the hospitals were not forced to cover indigent care to begin with. Hospitals could simply pick and choose who they treat (i.e., those people with insurance!) and go after and confiscate all assets to pay for rendered medical care for people to can’t be bothered to buy even catastrophic care.

    Invictus: Really? Not treat the indigent…because they’re indigent? Seriously? I’m amazed anyone could even have such a thought, no less put it in the public domain.

    Let people who make bad choices (i.e., swill beer and chain smoke) suffer from their poor life choices; leave me out of it.

  7. AmericanObserver says:

    Barry, whenever you show your political bend, I tend to lose the great respect I have for you. This is anything BUT Obamacare.

    While I cannot comment on the constitutionality of the individual mandate, I personally think it should be there, and I cannot see how it could be any different than our current individual mandate to participate in the Medicare program (with the exception of the super wealthy, who might not have any earned income, as FICA is only assessed on earned income!).

    However, Obamacare is riddled with problems, and does nothing to solve the existing problems. I think the Heritage plan is a step in the right direction, but is still way too complicated and burdensome.

    The keys to reform should be:

    1. Get employers out of the picture (unless they chose to get involved) – level the tax and plan accessibility playing field for all Americans, regardless of their employment status!

    2. Make consumers at all levels aware and responsible for costs, by separating catastrophic high-deductible insurance, from the pre-paid medical/no-deductible/low co-pay plans.

    3. Use a sensible but fair and simple tax credit plan so that everyone can afford decent coverage.

    4. Get rid of ‘medicaid-planning’ for Long-term-care, whereby individuals get State sponsored no-cost long term care, by shielding assets. Another part of this would be to normalize interest rates, because the current interest rate environment is making it impossible for insurers to offer competitive LTC plans. Many insurers just exited the market, and those left are raising rates and dropping benefits out of plans.

    5. Since the Supreme court has ruled that the only way a mandate can stand is if it considered a Tax, so be it. Let’s introduce a Health Care Tax, whereby insurance premiums will be collected through our individual tax system, but the insurance will still be administered by private insurance company. (That would be kind of cool, for the first time we’d have the government serving as an agent for private companies, rather than private companies serving as the government tax collection agents).

    Lastly, I propose a constitutional amendment barring any law that is more than 99 pages, or 20,000 words long (and I’m being generous with those numbers). I would couple it with a requirement on members of congress, to have to affirm that they have read every bill in its entirety, or be barred from voting on it.

  8. Rick Caird says:

    This is typical of Invictus. He takes a Heritage proposal from years ago and is solely interested in the mandate and then claims it is ObamaCare. Bull.

    First, the Heritage proposal advocates taking the responsibility for health care away from the employers by making it a taxable benefit and then offering tax credits for the purchase of health insurance. You know, Invictus, that was the McCain proposal, not the Obama proposal. Invictus must have skipped 1. and gone directly to 2.

    The Heritage proposal also advocates taking a number of medical expenses for routine care out of the insurance responsibility and put it back on the consumer. That is to make the consumer more price/performance sensitive. The idea is to lower the costs of insurance. It would also have the benefit of not making contraception, unlike ObamaCare, something the insurance is supposed to provide.

    The Heritage plan rather than collect a tax which the government keeps, suggests a health insurance subsidy for the poor, and more importantly, those who have preexisting or continuing health issues and lets the insurers compete for their business. The Heritage plan also includes provisions for long term care.

    In other words, Invictus, if you had bothered to actually read the document, you would have noticed the Heritage proposal is quite unlike ObamaCare and is only similar in the mandate, but the insurance the mandate would cover is unlike the insurance the exchanges are required to provide.

    So, no, the Heritage proposal is not ObamaCare.

    Invictus: You actually cut right to the chase when you wrote that the Heritage proposal is “only similar in the mandate.” It was the mandate, after all, that was the focal point of Republican resistance and intransigence. Therefore, in this context, it is really only the mandate that matters. The balance of what you claim is irrelevant to that discussion.

  9. Greg0658 says:

    DrSandmans comment @2:51pm
    “would all be simpler ….. if the hospitals were not forced to cover indigent care”
    Invictus concerning your response
    “Not treat the indigent…because they’re indigent? Seriously?”

    maybe the key word is “simpler”

    I am curious – what > concept /lawful action .. folks find for forcing hospitals to care for the indigent?
    The best I can come up with is: hospitals are a business and hense can write off those costs from profits and be squared up in a sense. If churches were a profit oriented concern they could be forced also?

    Since society wishes clean streets – someone must do the chore. Since (I guess) government can’t be forced into doing the chore .. and yep I put all that in print with a purpose in mind.

    ps – (before submit) I Wish Clean Streets

  10. victor says:

    US health care costs 11% of GNP? Now it’s more like around 17% headed for 20% when Obamacare becomes fully implemented.

    On the mandate thing: Obama’s political opponents tried to derail the HC Act mostly-I think- in an all out effort to somehow prove that Obama cannot govern, all the while banking on the 5 conservatives votes in the USSC they took for granted and ignoring that the mandate had been one of their own ideas. They came close, very close to killing Obama-care but, no cigar in the end, something resembling sanity prevailed.

    Personally, as an interested observer I regard Obamacare as a massive social program paid for by a combination of new taxes levied on rich and poor alike and a curtailment of services levied on those who need them most: the aging.

    But, what do I really know? having grown up in a part of the world where health care was “free” and everybody had “access” to it? Of course, access to health care doesn’t guarantee that you actually get health care and the services, when you did get them, weren’t free at all. Want something that works? go small and local a la Kaiser Permanente or even Mayo Clinic and forget grandiose schemes at the federal or even State level.

    Finally: in line with everything being politicized nowadays in our country, can someone find a piece that was endorsed by the far left for comparison purposes? even if not PhD authored? LOL

  11. CitizenWhy says:

    constantnormal … Obama did not plagiarize the plan in any sense. First, the health insurers wrote the law, one reason why it is so long. Many laws are written by industry lobbyists and lawyers, and this was no exception. Obviously the industry representatives were guided by the libertarian, anti-government, pro-corporate Heritage Foundation and its plan. Second, by the time Obama came along, this plan has already been implemented by Mitt Romney when governor of Massachusetts. Obama took its success in Massachusetts as proof that it could work nationally. So if you want to use the term plagiarism (not appropriate) throw it a t Romney. Third … BUT … Plagiarism does not apply to policy recommendations from think tanks that want politicians to freely use their ideas. The Heritage Foundation has consistently been cited by liberals as the source for this plan. The charge of plagiarism is overreach.

    Why has the far right slimestream media erupted with such hysteria over the Affordable Health Care Act? Surely it’s not ideology. The reasons are far more primitive.

  12. CitizenWhy says:

    Greg0658 … Your comment is revealing. You assume that hospitals are profit-making privately businesses privately owned by investors or shareholders. In reality in many parts of the country the best hospitals are non-profits, like churches. The non-profit hospitals do the best research because research is not “profitable.”

    There are many reports of private, for-profit hospitals in places like Texas turning away ambulances with indigent patients and sending them as much as 60 to 100 miles away to a non-0profit hospitals for admittance. Of course the patients’ conditions worsened.

    When the indigent are treated, by the way, your taxes end up paying for the treatment. And many indigent use emergency rooms for routine care because most hospitals have to take them and they cannot afford to go to a doctor. In fact many right wingers have sneeringly proclaimed that we have universal health care in this country because anyone can go to a hospitals emergency room and get care. You have to pay the huge bills only if you have insurance or seizeable assets like a home. The use of emergency rooms for routine care greatly inflates health care costs. An Example, from many years ago: During the two weeks I did not have employer health coverage, on Christmas eve I had a severe bursitis attack, and the only place I could go was to a hospital’s emergency room. Normally I would pay the 25$ walk-in clinic fee (skipping the insurance claim). But the hospital emergency room bill came to well over $900, which I paid myself since I had no insurance.

  13. Greg0658 says:

    CitizenWhy thanks for the reply and background info .. I’m aware of nonprofit hospitals/care facilities
    (but not really sure of the mechanics that keep the doors open and paychecks flowing)

    rereading my post “can write off those costs from profits and be squared up in a sense” .. I should have added, profits get taxed .. taxes are concidered by all as additional loss* .. business expense write off costs of doing business are BIG .. even to a small business

    thought in this frame’g .. 1 more BIG thing in this world is a job – either in a selfprofit, nonprofit or forprofit business .. a steady check that lets you live .. we all know the more profit = more fun / but 1 dollar more than expenses at the end of each business day is a good day
    (not really that good – since it takes 10 stash dollars for the future brain & muscle end days)

    my question still stands .. what legal, free market capital concept, do we use to justify who pays for indigents in the current way of doing business – this entire argument with SCotUS seems off-logic

    * loss in a sense to personal checking account – in reality if spent correctly is a charitable donation

  14. Rick Caird says:

    Wrong again, Invictus.

    You are trying to argue ObamaCare is about the mandate. By that definition, any health care proposal with a mandate would be “like” ObamaCare. That is more than a stretch. You are arguing an atom is “like” a solar system because electrons revolve around protons. Heisenberg has something to say about that.

    As I have pointed out from actually reading the 1989 lecture (and that is what this is) that what would be provided is substantially different. In addition, the level of control by the patient and doctors over an individual’s health care is substantially different. I also pointed out the actual idea was to lower the cost of health care via larger copays and the providing of insurance only for large, unexpected expenses, not every day expenses such as contraception. The whole thrust of the Heritage proposal is different than ObamaCare.

    Using the Heritage lecture as a base, it would be easy to fashion a significantly different, less invasive, and far less expensive program that would actually be an insurance program rather than the total control envisioned by ObamaCare. Just for starters, Heritage made no mention of an IPAB.

    I really suggest you read your own reference and go beyond the mandate. On the other hand, I do want to thank for posting this, because now I can easily swat away the claim that Heritage provided the “blueprint” for ObamaCare. That is lefty fiction.

    Invictus: You and I are not going to change each other’s minds, so this will likely be my last response on this issue.

    So, to respond to your point, yes, I am trying to argue that “Obamacare is about the mandate.” Why am I doing so? Well, because that was the exact nature of the recent case that was decided by the SCOTUS. To wit (NFIB v. Sebelius, emph. mine): “But the Eleventh Circuit and the Sixth Circuit now have issued directly conflicting final judgments about the facial constitutionality of the ACA’s mandate that virtually every individual American must obtain health insurance. [...] The question presented is whether the ACA must be invalidated in its entirety because it is non-severable from the individual mandate that exceeds Congress’ limited and enumerated powers under the Constitution.” THAT was the question before the court, THAT was the point of this whole exercise. You (understandably) want to make it about something other than mandate, for obvious reasons, but let’s keep our eye on the ball here.

    Also, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity repeatedly said it was about the mandate, so there’s that. I mean, they know what they’re talking about, right? We can discuss and debate the nuances of each proposal, but the bottom line is that it was the mandate that stoked Republican ire and, in fact, a Supreme Court case.

  15. Greg0658 says:

    ” an insurance program rather than the total control envisioned by” some folks
    including the writers of the 2400+ page bill that this thread has flushed out was > detailed by the lobbies

    “not every day expenses such as contraception” .. I would like to expand that to “birth expenses” .. set the bar as to the expense of raising a child and the seriousness
    .. but I just can’t/couldn’t go there for the growing little one is in for the ride of his/her life and its not its fault or choice at that time

    “admissions free to pay to get out” ie: movie1976 – A Star is Born – John Normon Howard & Speedway

    I like Dylans comment a couple threads back: (video wine)
    “We are social animals by nature, our ancestors could have been the most intelligent people but would have died a useless death without cooperation and help from the group. That is just how it is. Get over it.”

  16. Rick Caird says:

    No, no, no Invictus. You are doing it again. Your last response has changed the whole thrust of your argument.

    You have confused the issue before the courts with health insurance in general and ObamaCare in particular. The courts were only ruling on the Constitutionality of the mandate, they were not ruling on the content of ObamaCare. In fact, Roberts was pretty clear that ObamaCare was poor legislation but that it was not his province to fix that. All he was to do was determine if it was within the power of the legislature to create ObamaCare.

    To return to the original issue, the fact the mandate is constitutional (as a tax) and the fact the Heritage proposal contained a mandate, does not make ObamaCare and the Heritage proposal equivalent. Even a cursory reading of the Heritage speech and the components of ObamaCare show them to be substantially different. That was my objection to your claim of equivalence.

    It is completely unfair to claim, as you do, “it was the mandate that stoked Republican ire and, in fact, a Supreme Court case”. No, it was the mandate that allowed a court challenge in the first place, but there any number of complaints against ObamaCare ranging from the government determination of a single standard of what adequate insurance is to the complete idiocy of requiring insurance companies to provide “guaranteed insurability“ while the government collects the tax for those who decided to wait until their “insurance” is needed to get that insurance. The whole thing is a house of cards that is guaranteed to fail. It will also substantially raise the price of insurance. The economics of ObamaCare are guaranteed to fail and it is obvious that is true to even a casual observer.

    To paraphrase you, Invictus, I can see why you prefer to concentrate on the mandate, but the actual ObamaCare legislation cannot work. As Milton Friedman pointed out in his talk to the Mayo Clinic in 1978, this kind of control over the health care market will lead inevitably to a complete takeover of health care by government. That is the cause for “ire”. The court case against the mandate was the tool.

  17. CTB says:

    The Republican hope of overturning the mandate via the court would have boxed in most reasonable alternatives. That most conservatives don’t recognize this is perplexing.

    Setting a minimum level of care for insurance is well within the purview of the federal government. Perhaps you’d prefer people discover flaws in their healthcare plans when it’s too late?

    There are very few guarantees in life. I don’t see ObamaCare as guaranteed to fail, raise costs more than the pre-Obama environment, or reduce access to coverage. Anyone who claims otherwise is lying.

  18. victor says:

    So you add millions to already crowded providers (facilities and personnel), impose no pre-existing conditions rule, allow kids on parents’ policies up to 26, devise a flawed mandate that almost tripped the whole law and claim costs reduction and same or better care? Amazing! Makes Houdini look amateurish.

    President Carter recently lamented that Teddy Kennedy torpedoed his Health Care Plan. Now Obama has his name attached to…Obamacare, a law nobody likes. What gives?

  19. formerlawyer says:

    The most interesting commentary on President Obama’s Affordable Care Act I have seen is actually in the slideshow at the botom of this article. Ignore the ignorant politician.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/03/chris-collins-cancer_n_1647196.html

    I am not sure what Mr. Romney can say give the similarities in his plan for Massachusets, but I am sure the Republican Party is working on it.
    http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2012/07/will-romney-pretend-to-have-a-health-plan.html

  20. colion says:

    This article discusses the Republican plan which the mainstream media purposely ignores:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/03/opinion/brooks-a-choice-not-a-whine.html?_r=1&ref=davidbrooks

  21. colion says:

    Here is the link to the report that Brooks refers to:

    http://www.nationalaffairs.com/publications/detail/how-to-replace-obamacare