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‘Clueless’ GOP wants to exempt itself from health care reform

Conservative Review

How many times have conservatives criticized Democrats in Congress for exempting themselves from feeling the full effects of Obamacare?

Well, now Republicans in Congress have done the same thing, exempting themselves and their staff from the effects of their own proposed health insurance legislation.

The GOP’s proposed reforms to the Affordable Care Act will permit states to apply for waivers to repeal Obamacare regulations driving up the cost of premiums — regulations like the essential benefits mandates and community rating requirements. The tentative proposal is a compromise between the Freedom Caucus conservatives who want to see Obamacare fully repealed and the party moderates who want Obamacare regulations to remain in place. On the face of it, the idea is “if you can’t fix it, federalize it.”

But the GOP plan won’t fix anything. A half-repeal of Obamacare that is optional for the states will not sufficiently lower premiums, nor will it fix the systemic problems in our overregulated health insurance markets. The sicker people benefitting from Obamacare’s regulations at the expense of everyone else may very well lose the insurance coverage they like under the GOP plan while healthy people will continue to pay artificially higher premiums. This is why Conservative Review Senior Editor Daniel Horowitz called any repeal-in-name-only planworse than keeping Obamacare in place.

And Republicans, never ones to miss an opportunity to shoot themselves in the foot with major pieces of legislation, have included a provision in their plan to keep the Obamacare regulations they like for themselves.

The GOP amendment in question, offered by Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., — a co-chair of the “Tuesday Group” — keeps the mandated essential benefits for members of Congress and their staff if their home state obtains a waiver to repeal Obamacare regulations under the GOP plan. In other words, Congress has exempted itself from the potential harms of its half-assed repeal of Obamacare.

Bad optics much?

Republicans are trying to sell something to the American people they don’t want to buy themselves. Is it any wonder 50 percent of Americans have “little or no confidence” in the Republican plan to reform health care? Not even Republicans believe in it!

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