Health care reform under Republican control

So if the Republicans get their wish and regain control of the House I believe one of the first things on their agenda is to repeal Obama’s healthcare reform bill.
So then what happens? Are they really going to press forward with their own version of a reform bill or are they just going to repeal the current one, put us back to square one, and then sit on their hands and do nothing about it for another x years?
Both Obama and McCain agreed during their campaigns that healthcare was a huge mess and needed fixing. How that was to be achieved was obviously different but they both agreed something had to be done.
So for those who hate Obamacare and are hoping it gets yanked soon:
Do you yearn to go back to what the current system was/is, what it seems most agree is a system filled with problems?
Or are you hoping the Pubs will fix it in their own, better way? Do you really think they will fix it? If you have faith in them to fix it why do you think they never took any action to fix it under Bush?

Are you asking what should happen or what will happen?

As I see it, what will happen is something like this:

  1. The GOP-led House proposes a bill repealing most, if not all, of the provisions of the health care bill. It passes, potentially with a small number of Democratic votes.

  2. The Senate either (a) takes up the bill (if the GOP takes the Senate), and it dies without getting cloture, or (b) doesn’t take up the bill at all (if the Democrats retain the Senate).

2b) Perhaps (and this is very, very unlikely) a partial repeal passes both houses. In that case Obama will veto and we’ll be right back where we are now.

  1. This is perhaps the trickiest part. Budget bills originate in the House, so there is a chance they will attempt to “defund” the legislation. This would likely lead to a government shut-down (because the Senate won’t pass a budget without health care reform funding, and Obama won’t sign one). I think the GOP is smart enough to realize how that went for them last time they tried it, so I think it is unlikely. But it is within the realm of possibility.

As to whether the GOP will propose an alternative bill - no. They can’t pass one, so why bother getting stuck with something you have to defend? It’s much easier to run in 2012 against the current bill than have to defend your own. And since 2012 is the first time they could conceivably have enough power to change anything, that is the first time they’ll bother putting together a plan (if then).

Just as soon as they get the deficit under control! :smiley:

As far as I can tell, tort reform is about all they got. They seem to think that’s the panacea to the health care economy, despite the fact that it’s not.

Despite the fact that it has a minimal impact on overall health-care spending, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a small reform package that includes tort reform and perhaps portability pass the House. Whether the Senate will take it up depends on the exact makeup, and how amenable Obama is to signing a tort-reform package.

One question is whether the more right-wing elements in the House could avoid putting in non-starters like removing the individual mandate.

If a compromise mood kicks in (I know, I know…) I wouldn’t be shocked to see a small clean-up bill that fixes some things in the original bill and includes some sweeteners for the GOP (tort-reform being the biggest one).

This might not be politically possible, because I’m not sure the GOP wants any part of the reform having their name on it, but I’d put that in my what should happen wish list, along with defense cuts and tax reform.

Of course you’ve ignored the effect of defensive medicine in your quote; from your story, $20b costs from the liberal’s estimate, $200b from the conservative’s estimate. And 5 of every 6 doctors admit to engaging in defensive (ie, partially wasted) medicine due to the threat of lawsuits, which tort reform would undoubtedly help ameliorate.

On another note, I’ve heard many on the right say they want to do something about portability and pre-existing conditions - that lib favorite Sean Hannity being one. So I think it’s disingenuous to say it’s all about tort reform, even though that piece was excluded in Obamacare as the typical Dem party move, bowing to the trial lawyers.

Is that one of those joke titles, like “Famous Jewish Sports Legends” ?

The numbers don’t add up to the claim that tort reform would represent “a drop in the bucket”. Malpractice insurance alone takes a healthy chunk of a doctor’s salary.

But tort reform itself is not enough: we need other incentives for people to be able to pursue the career of medicine, such as increasing the number of doctor’s hospitals, and increasing the number of nurses even more as well.

Because if we don’t do that, then no matter who pays for it, we’ll still have a limited supply of medicine, and like it or not we would have the government rationing it. We are already rationing it, but mostly by the insurance companies (who decide seemingly randomly who to deny the paid-for benefits to,) but changing who pays for the already-limited amount of care available won’t change the amount available if the supply stays the same (or dwindles, if doctors see a substantial pay decrease.)

The 1 percent of the health costs that are paid into law suits does not relate to malpractice insurance rates. They charge whatever they can get away with. They make huge profits.

My guess… They’ll do Jack Shit.
Yeah, they’ll talk a good game. Maybe someone in the Tea Party Caucus will even put forth a bill calling for HCR repeal, just so, you know, they can say they did something. But then they’ll just let it quietly die, like they’ve done with a whole lot of proposed legislation dealing with other issues they purport to care about like abortion, gay marriage ban and illegal immigration. The fact is that this provides them with too big a boogeyman to want to kill altogether.
Sure they can continue attacking Democrats with those old standbys, the aforementioned gay marriage, abortion and illegal immigration, but with the exception of the latter, the public has largely been becoming more liberal in how they view those issues, so they’re no longer as reliable as they used to be. HCR, on the other hand, with its big price tag, not to mention rumors of death panels that continue to swirl around it, will offer plenty of red meat for years to come.

And what about the costs for tests and procedures that are now ordered solely in an effort to avoid potential civil liability? Why didn’t you explore those costs?

ETA: what Mr Smashy said.

Are they undertaken simply to avoid liability? Or is that a handy excuse to make more coin? Awful darned convenient. “I wouldn’t take this money, but the liberals made me!”

Quite cynically (and partially because I married a doctor and not a trial lawyer) I’d be happy if the GOP would pass a tort-reform bill, and Obama reluctantly sign it.

If the GOP is right, it actually reduces health costs, which reductions get mixed up with potential reductions from Obamacare. And we get lower health-car costs.
If the GOP is wrong, it makes little to no difference on health care costs.

Either way, plenty of malpractice victims tell sob stories on the nightly news about how they aren’t being compensated for horrible doctors’ mistakes and it’s all the GOP’s fault.

Win-win(-win?), right?

After plenty of deliberation, I’ve come to the conclusion that Mr. Smashy’s intelligent discourse to noise ratio pretty much sucks, so I won’t be commenting on that.

As to your question, insignificant, in the grand scheme of things. There are much better places to focus cost savings, like say, oh reducing administrative costs associated with exponentially varied billing processes for an umptitude number of insurance providers.

Yes, it is undertaken to avoid liability. See, among many resources, “Is the defensive use of diagnostic tests good for patients, or bad?” DeKay, Medical Decision Making. 1998 Jan-Mar, Vol 18(1) pp 19-28.

MedPage Today, which your source quotes, does not appear to be a peer-reviewed publication. Is it?

I’m pretty sure USA Today is not.

could you live with nationalized malpractice insurance (like crop failure insurance) in combination with liability limits?

Probably. It would not be ideal, but politics is the art of the possible.

Do you like the Congressional Budget Office? Or any of the studies they based their conclusions on?

According to their website, it is.