Republican health care reform is, once again, a disappointing mess. After seven years of howling for repeal, Senate conservatives have sidestepped any fundamental reform and are instead just shuffling regulations around.
Reason's Peter Suderman, who knows about this stuff, thinks the latest Graham-Cassidy bill is a risky dud. He similarly dismissed the last GOP bill, which by my lights appeared to be something Department of HHS Secretary Tom Price scribbled onto the back of a cocktail napkin, rolled up and tossed into the Senate.
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) had some interesting proposals to dismantle our awful employer-based insurance system, but any legislative creativity he brought to the table appears to have been left out of GOP leadership meetings. I rather like using states as a laboratory of democracy, but those looking for market-based reforms are going to have a tough time implementing them under this new scheme.
Given the low bar, I thought I would offer a few of my own badass Republican health care ideas:
1. Replace individual mandate with tax rebate for people who eat at Cracker Barrel.
2. Legally change everyone's blood type to O+ to streamline paperwork.
3. Change Virginia's motto to "Virginia is for Orthopedic Specialists."
4. Ban heart attacks.
5. Declare that all actors who play doctors are now real, actual doctors.
6. Replace complicated healthcare insurance subsidies with lottery tickets.
7. Subsidize Patch Adams to use laughter as medicine in hospitals.
8. Design a new line of lab coats with built-in holsters.
9. Declare "War on Vampires." Just in case.
10. Provide Surgeon General with deadly strike force to neutralize negative World Health Organization reports.
11. Rifle through Ron Paul's old desk for ideas, spare change.
12. Build a wall.