[cross-posted from RegBlog. see original here]
It is still an open question—at least for a little while longer—what exactly the Republicans’ Affordable Care Act “repeal and replace” promise will entail. However, the broad contours of the Republican strategy, which both Congress and President Trump have made clear they will pursue at all deliberate speed, are already visible.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) foreshadowed the Republicans’ central approach in his Patient’s Choice Act, a health care plan he put forward in 2009. That plan emphasized a desire to empower individuals to make healthy decisions, asserting that a “large percentage of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes, as well as many cancers, could be prevented if Americans would stop smoking, start eating better, and start exercising.” According to Ryan, the aim of health reform should be to encourage “individuals to adopt healthy lifestyles and behaviors.”
Ryan’s assumption—a theme also echoed in the other major Republican proposals on the table—is that personal responsibility will serve as a salve to the wounds of the American healthcare system. Impliedly, if Americans would only jog more and eat more vegetables, then we could dramatically reduce cancer and strokes and save a fortune on medical care. Read More