McConnell offers no alternative way to address these four urgent problems. Instead, as he reaffirmed in his reply to my column: "It's 100 percent accurate that I'm determined to block, obstruct, rip out, repeal the disaster that is Obamacare and replace it with commonsense reforms that Americans want."
The only "commonsense reforms" he has mentioned are tort reform and letting people buy insurance across state lines, neither of which does much for the four problems above. As he told a shocked Chris Wallace on Fox News last July, getting insurance for the uninsured is just "not the issue." For him, at least.
As far as McConnell is concerned, all that the American health-care system needs is the occasional tweak sometime in the indefinite future. As he explained to Wallace, we already have "the finest health care system in the world." From what planet could it seem that a grossly wasteful system that neglects so many citizens' needs is the "finest" in the world?
In his reply to my column, McConnell faults Obama for his lack of bipartisanship in "unilaterally forcing" the ACA through Congress, as if the law were a purely Democratic idea. Yet it is essentially the same as the Massachusetts Health Care Insurance Reform law (aka Romneycare) signed by Republican Gov. Mitt Romney in 2006. (For a point-by-point comparison chart of the main features, click here and here .)
As reported by Igor Volsky of THINKPROGRESS, Romneycare has helped to lower medical costs even while greatly reducing the number of uninsured in Massachusetts. This law was a splendid piece of bipartisanship. At the signing ceremony,
"Romney thanked the Bush administration for approving federal authorizations to fund the law and praised the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) for his "essential' work in shaping and advancing the bill through the state legislature."
Romney also gave "special thanks" to the [conservative] Heritage Foundation, two of whose experts helped design the program. One of them, Dr. Robert Emmet Moffit, then got up to praise the law for creating a "market that is patient-centered and consumer-based, which will ease access to affordable coverage for thousands of Bay State citizens."
Romneycare has had its implementation problems, and it is not a total success. Obamacare faces similar prospects. However, like Romneycare, it is much better than nothing. Any decent society should be trying to get adequate health care to as many citizens as possible. What kind of society would dismiss this, like Sen. McConnell, as "not the issue"?