Republican Views Towards Healthcare Reform
From the Republican viewpoint, any form of nationalized or partially nationalized universal healthcare is unacceptable. Any public delivery system will limit ‘for profit’ free enterprise and thus violates our form of government. It will increase taxes and the overall cost of healthcare. Publicly delivered health care will cause the quality of care to go down by directly hindering the quantity of healthcare providers as well as the quality of care rendered by remaining healthcare providers. Republicans oppose a universal public health care delivery system primarily because of profit - free trade - constitutional issues, fiscal issues and quality of care issues. Further government meddling in the private practice of medicine and healthcare will be detrimental to many Americans. In the 1990’s, universal nationalized healthcare was proposed by the Clinton administration. The proposed law failed due to the fact that the Republican Party had gained control of the house and senate for the first time in over fifty years. During the 2008 presidential election, one of President Obama’s primary campaign promises was universal healthcare. The proposal has created a new national debate on the pros and cons of a universal healthcare system. Proposals from the House and Senate vary greatly and will have to be reconciled during the legislative reconciliation process. Interestingly, both parties favor some form of health care insurance reform but the concept of universal coverage offered through a single public payer or both private and public payer options has generated controversy. Republicans have adamantly opposed the public option because it alters the free enterprise ‘for profit’ healthcare system currently and traditionally in existence in the Untied States. The public option will radically alter the environment of the core constituency of the Republican Party. Looking at the constituency of the Republican Party, there are certain positions that the Republicans should put forward on the national healthcare debate to best represent the party’s core constituents. Traditionally, private practice physicians, ‘for profit’ hospitals and pharmaceutical manufacturers have been a core constituency of the Republican Party. The Huffington Post recently pointed out doctors’ traditional opposition to any form of expanded government health care or socialized medicine. “[The] AMA (American Medical Association) has fought almost every major effort at health care reform of the last 70 years. The group’s reputation on this matter is so notorious that historians pinpoint it with creating the ominous sounding phrase ‘socialized medicine’ in the early decades of the 1900s. The AMA used it to mean any kind of proposal that involved an increased role for the government in the health care system.” (The Huffington Post) The American Medical Association has gone on record as opposing various provisions of the House’s current health care reform bill. Doctors, particularly private practice physicians, have long complained about any form of socialized medicine because they know it will substantially reduce the economic viability of the practice. Likewise, for-profit hospitals have a long history of opposing any form of socialized medicine. The American Hospital Association recently put out a formal statement on the house version of health care reform. “Specifically, expanding the number of people in Medicaid program to 150 percent of the poverty level is problematic at a time when states are struggling with budget shortfalls and payment rates for hospitals continue to be cut. While a public option with negotiated rates for those above 150 percent of the poverty level is an improvement, we remain concerned that the program would still, in part, be based on historically low Medicare rates.” (Umbenstock) The American Hospital Association is concerned that any healthcare reform with an expanded...
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