Doug Ose's plan to replace Obamacare isn't leadership. It's ridiculous.

Jeff vonKaenel

Would you like to lose weight, but you hate going on a diet of fruits and vegetables? Then you will love the new dessert diet, where you can stuff yourself all day long with delicious cheesecake, ice cream and cookies.

How about investments? Would you like a risk-free investment that guarantees to pay you a 25 percent return every year, or even more, depending upon what happens to the Nigerian exchange rate? Then this special, risk-free, high-return investment is tailor made for you.

If after hearing about these two great ideas, you reached for your fork or your wallet, then you are going to love Congressional candidate Doug Ose.

I heard Ose describe his plan at a recent Sacramento event. The Republican for the 7th Congressional District seat wants to get rid of Obamacare. The question is: what to replace it with?

Ose wants to get rid of government mandates. He wants to make sure that individuals with pre-existing conditions are not denied coverage. He wants people to keep their current policies. He wants health care to be more affordable. He wants parents to be able to keep their kids on their policies. He wants individuals to be able to choose their own doctors. He does not want insurance companies interfering with the patient-doctor relationship. He wants more doctors. He wants money restored to Medicare.

But what about those people who did not have health insurance previously, but who do now with expanded Medi-Cal? Should we take that away from them? Ose doesn’t say.

If Obamacare is repealed, should hospitals continue to treat individuals without insurance? And if Obamacare is repealed, what should we do about the increasing number of Americans without health insurance? Ose doesn’t say.

His plan still includes all the popular features of Obamacare, such as mandatory coverage of those with pre-existing conditions and allowing children to stay on their parent’s policy until age 26. But these very popular aspects are also some of the more expensive ones. So, under this new plan, how will health care become more affordable?

One of the ways that Obamacare provided less-expensive health care is that it negotiated much lower prices from drug companies; not as low as other countries, but much lower than prices before the Affordable Care Act. The Republicans, who have been the major beneficiaries of pharmaceutical companies’ campaign donations, have fought to allow drug companies to charge Americans much higher prices than Canadians and Europeans. If Ose toes the Republican party line, how will his new health plan be more affordable?

When asked how he will accomplish his plan, Ose says, “by leadership. Real leadership.”

Looking at polling data, and keeping only the popular features and eliminating the unpopular ones, is not real leadership. It is ridiculous.

I am worried about my weight, so please, give me a couple of extra scoops of ice cream on my cheesecake.

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About the Author

Jeff vonKaenel
Jeff vonKaenel is the president, CEO and majority owner of the News & Review newspapers in Sacramento, Chico and Reno.