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3/9/17

USA - Health Insurance:World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017 is here to save us? by-Gary Legum

Kudos to whichever policy aide in the office of Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, came up with the idea of naming his Obamacare repeal bill “World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017.” Given the suffering and misery that would result from this or any other repeal, that person has an unparalleled sense of irony.

But what great branding! How could Donald Trump, our most brand-obsessed president ever, not go for a bill named “World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017?” Print it on gold-trimmed paper! Chisel it in marble tablets and set them on the National Mall as a monument to Republican greatness!

Sessions introduced this bill a week ago, though the media seems to have just noticed it on Wednesday. According to the Daily Beast, the amiable dimwit who chairs the House Rules Committee hoped the Republican caucus would base its repeal efforts off his work. Instead, the GOP modeled the American Health Care Act, the official name of the repeal bill unveiled this past Monday, on legislation written by Tom Price, the former Georgia congressman recently installed as Donald Trump’s secretary of Health and Human Services.

That’s too bad. Not because the World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017 is better than the nightmare of a bill that the GOP is pushing. Sessions’ bill is also garbage that fulfills every promise that Republicans have been making about Obamacare repeal for seven years, no matter how destructive and contradictory. It would keep the more popular features of the original Affordable Care Act, such as young people being able to stay on their parents’ insurance until the age of 26, while throwing away the mechanisms that made the ACA financially workable (the individual and employer mandates). Sessions might as well have called it the “Have Your Cake and Eat It Too Plan of 2017” but that might have been a little too on-the-nose.

Sessions’s bill may be a more pure repeal of Obamacare than the AHCA, which has been derided as “Obamacare Lite” by conservatives opposed to maintaining any of the reforms signed into law by President Obama. The AHCA seems to have been crafted in a half-serious fashion. That is, its authors were trying to pretend that they are serious policy wonks who genuinely care about reform. They tried to write a bill they hoped would please both moderates and conservatives. So far, they appear to have satisfied neither.

Read more: At last! The World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017 is here to save us! - Salon.com

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