Stale merchandise is inventory that sits pretty on a shelf but is never sold. Despite arranging this merchandise at a lucrative eye level position, no one wants it. Stale merchandise can be found in every line of work. Stale merchandise could be that asparagus ice cream cone, that silver-haired wheelchair-driving streetwalker, any book by Ben Carson or any music by Bruce Willis. No one wants it.

Business owners keep trying to push this merchandise on their customers. Time and time, it continues to be rejected.

Kind of like the Republican alternative to Obamacare. For the past twenty years, Republicans keep insisting that their healthcare solution is the way to go. However, every analysis and expert claims that their healthcare solution is a surefire failure. Why do they ignore all the reports and studies?

Another good example is “Trickle-down economics”. Ronald Reagan’s administration introduced this clever way to hand money to the top 1%. Give money to the top, and it’ll trickle down to everyone. But that is not what happens.

Trickle-down economics says that Reagan’s lower tax rates should have helped all income levels. In fact, the exact opposite occurred. Income inequality worsened. Between 1979 and 2005, after-tax household income rose 6% for the bottom fifth. That sounds great until you see what happened for the top fifth — an 80% increase in income. The top 1% saw their income triple. Instead of trickling down, it appears that prosperity trickled up. (Source: Steven Greenhouse, The Big Squeeze, pp.6-9)

Regardless, even to this day, Republicans continue to tout the effects of trickle down economics.

Stale merchandise will sit on the shelf until someone buys it. And then, new and shiny merchandise will take its place. Hence, I sort of hope the Republicans are able to replace Obamacare with their alternatives. It seems, that is the only way, to make Republicans start inventing some new healthcare ideas. Maybe then, Republicans would stop jamming their same shitty replacement ideas down our throat.

House leader Paul Ryan introduced an alternative last year. The Obamacare replacement would establish a refundable tax credit. It would also allow consumers to buy health insurance across state lines, expanding health savings accounts, reforming medical liability rules and giving block grants to states to run Medicaid programs for the poor. Reuters article

Time and time again, experts have deemed the Republican alternative as useless. Perhaps because they have absolutely no other alternative, they keep repeating this idea literally, once every other year.

When Obamacare was being formed, almost ten years ago, and Republicans were fighting it, they proposed the same exact plan. Just the other day, president-elect Trump said,

“What I’d like to see is a private system without the artificial lines around every state,” he said. “I have a big company with thousands and thousands of employees. And if I’m negotiating in New York or in New Jersey or in California, I have like one bidder. Nobody can bid.” Erasing those lines, he said, would result in “great plans.” NY Times article

Allowing insurers to sell their products across state lines is by far the most popular Republican health policy. The essence of this numskull idea, is that by eliminating the red tape associated with state insurance regulation, insurers will be able to offer lower priced national plans. Accordingly, that would expand consumers’ choices and reduce the price of insurance.

“You would have a lot more people coming into the market,” said Brittany La Couture, a health policy counsel at the conservative American Action Forum, who has written about the idea in a largely positive light. A national market would “give people options, help them choose the best plan for them,” she said.

If the only reasons that some insurance markets remain uncompetitive were state regulations, than Trumpcare would be great. If I live in Florida, what good would a plan from California do me? Does that California plan have favorable contracts with doctors and hospitals in my vicinity?

What good is an insurance policy without access to local doctors?

In 2012, Ms. Corlette and co-authors completed a study of a number of states that passed laws to allow out-of-state insurance sales. Not a single out-of-state insurer had taken them up on the offer. As Ms. Corlette’s paper highlighted, there is no federal impediment to across-state-lines arrangements. The main difficulty is that most states want to regulate local products themselves. The Affordable Care Act actually has a few provisions to encourage more regional and national sales of insurance, but they have not proved popular. NY Times article

Maybe it would not be such a horrible thing if the Republicans got their way. Then, once they realized how terrible their idea is, they would start thinking up a new healthcare alternative.

Sorry America. You voted for them.