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Why Are Political Barriers to Health Reform So Great?

Summary: Many voters are willing to cast their ballot for the candidate who supports reform to reduce health care costs. Yet the GOP seems to hate health insurance. Can’t we agree on reliable insurance for all, and a simple uniform way to pay for it?

West Health – Gallup 2022 Healthcare in America Report
October 20, 2022

In the next election, how likely are you to vote for a candidate from a political party you don’t typically support if reducing healthcare costs was their top priority?

Very or somewhat likely
Democrats    40% 
Republicans  22% 

Republicans look to Obamacare’s ‘family glitch’ for post-midterm fight
POLITCOPRO
October 20, 2022
By Daniel Payne

House Republicans on Thursday asked the Treasury Department to preserve documents related to the administration’s fix of Obamacare’s “family glitch,” preparing for an investigation of what they claim was an “illegal expansion” of health coverage should the GOP regain control of the chamber in the midterms.

In a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen obtained by POLITICO, Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee told the administration to save and share with the committee information related to the new rule, which extended health insurance subsidies to 1 million Americans.

The letter signals a larger investigation Republicans are planning if they win the House in November, according to a congressional staffer familiar with the matter. 

Comment by: Don McCanne

No surprises here. Many Democrats would be willing to break party ranks to support efforts to reduce health care costs. But how likely is that – a Democratic opponent more reform-minded than the Dem? Far fewer Republican voters prioritize reform, but 20% isn’t nothing – and that situation arises all the time. Yet GOP leaders are so opposed to health insurance that they will fight to reduce it if they regain control. These are the strange political positions staked out around a broken health care system desperately in need of reform.

Suppose we all agreed that we need to provide comprehensive high-quality care to absolutely everyone. I bet even Republicans would endorse that. The only political decision is whether to pay for it through a progressive tax system that is affordable for everyone – a sharp contrast to today’s haphazard financial burdens, barriers to care, and medical debt. Isn’t that a political decision we could all live with? Why not?

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