House Speaker John Boehner announced last week that House Republicans would decide on an Obamacare alternative health care plan to bring to the House floor for a vote. The Republican Establishment in D.C. is pushing a plan drafted by Republican doctors serving in the House, one section of which imposes federal medical malpractice limits to help… DOCTORS – not patients. Last year, the Republican doctors took over the task of drafting a health care plan for the House Republican Study Committee, a group of conservative Members that used to protect states’ rights in its proposals and avoided proposals for a federal takeover of health care and state tort law. As I’ve written many times here, the legal experts who crafted the litigation strategy against Obamacare and advise House Republicans on the Constitution say that federal medmal limits of the type in the RSC bill are unconstitutional and accuse the GOP of being “FINOs – Federalists in Name Only.” Rob Natelson, probably the chief legal expert in the growing movement for an Article V convention to reassert federalism principles, criticized the federal medmal caps section in the RSC bill in October. It’s worth remembering that the Supreme Court agreed with Rob Natelson, Randy Barnett, and other anti-Obamacare experts in its 2012 decision on Obamacare that the law isn’t a valid exercise of Congress’ authority under the Commerce Clause.
Republican-side health care experts who accurately predicted Obamacare’s failures and are advising House Republicans on an alternative don’t favor federal medical malpractice limits either. Some recognize the conflict with the party’s stated goal of protecting states’ rights, and others know it really doesn’t save much in health care costs (see my post here for examples). Here are some of the numerous plans – truly conservative, actually market-based alternatives – that House Republicans should consider to avoid the Cronyist, anti-federalism landmine in the RSC bill:
James Capretta & Kevin Dayaratna, Compelling evidence makes the case for a market-driven health care system on the AEI website;
Avik Roy, Obamacare – The End of the Beginning on National Review Online;
James Capretta and Yuval Levin, Unwinding Obamacare published in The Weekly Standard;
Thomas P. Miller, Conservative health care reform – A reality check and The end of Obamacare – Just the beginning of better health care both also on the AEI website;
The Heritage Foundation, After Repeal of Obamacare: Moving to Patient-Centered, Market-Based Health Care ; and
Rep. Paul Broun, M.D. (R-GA), H.R. 2900, the Patient OPTION Act
SEVEN conservative, market-based health care plans, all with great ideas, none with unconstitutional, hypocritical, cronyist federal medical malpractice limits. Let’s hope House Republicans act according to principle.