Don’t Forget ‘Replace’

I am one of roughly 200 economists and other experts to sign an open letter expressing concern over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and arguing that the economic and budgetary outlook would be improved by repeal. Proponents of the PPACA are stridently making the case that repeal means that children and others with preexisting conditions will never get insurance policies, that seniors will pay too much for their drugs, and that insurance companies will run roughshod over the American landscape.

Nonsense.

It is easy to forget that at the start of the health-care-reform debate in January 2009 there was a bipartisan agreement that health-care reform was needed. There was consensus that real reform would provide insurance for more Americans. All sides agreed that the central tenet of health-care reform was to control the growth of health-care spending.

The PPACA fails this test, as witnessed by the findings of dispassionate experts ranging from the Congressional Budget Office to the administration’s actuary. So, the health-care cost spiral will continue. Repeal is first, but the next step is to replace it with reforms that will control costs, promote high-value care, generate greater competition and quality insurance products, and get federal entitlements under control.

Replacing PPACA with real health-care reform that delivers quality care at lower costs. That is what the repeal vote is really about.

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