On Monday, the Congressional Budget Office released its score for the Senate health care bill that would restructure Medicaid and reform Obamacare while leaving most of its major regulations intact.
There are several problems with this approach. The biggest problem is that there are three possible metrics of success for a health care reform plan: (1) higher number of people covered; (2) lower average premiums; (3) lower government expenditure. Thanks to media coverage and Republican cowardice, the first metric has become the most prevalent — and that’s the one that hurts Republicans the most, since even if people opt out voluntarily, they are now “uncovered” by this metric. The second metric, lower average premiums, would be achievable along with lower government expenditures through simple repeal of Obamacare. But Republicans won’t abandon (1) in favor of (2) and (3), and thus they have presented a plan that’s mediocre on all three counts.