Republican health reform plan represents political sea change

A new health reform proposal from three leading Senate Republicans represents a fundamental shift in the politics of health reform and the Affordable Care Act, according to John McDonough of Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). Writing January 30, 2014 in his blog “Health Stew,” McDonough said that while the new proposal—a potential alternative to Obamacare—is unlikely to have any political future, it signals a new willingness on the part of Republicans to discuss replacing the health reform law instead of only calling for its repeal.

“It is no longer sufficient for Republicans to oppose Obamacare, and support nothing else,” wrote McDonough, professor of the practice of public health and director of the Center for Public Health Leadership at HSPH.

The Republican proposal—from Utah’s Orrin Hatch, Oklahoma’s Tom Coburn, and North Carolina’s Richard Burr—would keep some aspects of Obamacare and change others. The “riskiest” part of the plan, McDonough wrote, is that it would tax 35% of the value of employer-sponsored insurance—“a guaranteed premium increase for every American who gets health insurance through his or her job.”

Read John McDonough’s “Health Stew” blog

Learn more

ACA This Week — John McDonough (Forum at HSPH video)

As new year kicks off, Obamacare brings profound changes to U.S. health care (HSPH news)