More Terrible Republican Health Care Ideas


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.

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  1. You lost me at number seven. Terrible.

    1. Sorry he used your real name instead of your username.

  2. Republican health care reform is, once again, a disappointing mess.

    Unlike Democratic health [insurance] reform, which was a satisfying [for Democrats] mess.

    1. But all the Democratic plans are so feel-good! Jimmy Kimmel told me so!

  3. No one wants market-based reforms. We are told, repeatedly that the market is the problem.

    1. Only because you can’t describe what a market-based system would be that goes beyond “It just works, guys, c’mon!”

      1. A: Hey B, if I pay you a couple hundred bucks a month or so now, do you think you could cover any financial burden created by the health problems I will likely run into later in life?

        B: Sure!

        Look how complicated and difficult that was.

        1. (Obviously, B and A are gonna have to do some physical evaluations and cost/benefit analyses to hammer out the specifics of their deal. Still, basically everything else to do with paying for health care is only required because the government likes to stick its dick into the health care market.)

      2. Tony’s just upset that the only market he ever liked was bought by Amazon who lowered prices. He just knows that downward drift in prices is going to eventually be a Free Market, and he’s heard from his betters that Free Markets are evil.

      3. Or, to be more serious, Tony doesn’t know how to make a pencil, but he’s sure some Democrat government committee can figure it out. It never occurs to him to wonder how pencils even exist in a world without Democrat Government pencil-guidance committees, and the idea that anything as complicated as health care could exist without Democrat Government committees when not even pencils can, well, that’s so bizarre that he figures everyone who believes in pencils is just insane.

        1. How can you even know what a pencil is, if a government regulation isn’t developed to specify what constitutes a “writing device, graphite-based, hand held”.

        2. Pencils are made by witches, out of quantum (finishes sentence with indistinct coughing)?

    2. Democrats are in favor of market-based reforms that increase price transparency and boost patient/payer negotiating power.
      Examples: all-payer rate setting and surprise-bill laws.
      But one first has to recognize that health insurance (which is not going away) introduces special challenges to markets for healthcare services and prescription drugs.

  4. RE: More Terrible Republican Health Care Ideas

    We must have government run healthcare in this country.
    Otherwise the terrorists will win.

  5. Those of us who are looking for market based regorms have been having a tough time selling them given how adverse to risk the electkrate has become on tbis issue.

  6. Senator Rand Paul actually told the truth on this bill. He said it was nothing more than an attempt by the Republicans to screw with the Democrats by taking the money from blue states that took it and giving it to red states that refused it. Truth in politics in America. That is what our lawmakers have devolved to, petty squabbles that cost us all a fortune.

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