A tiresome talking point of left-wing pundits states that if the GOP wants something different from Obamacare then it is up to the GOP to come up with an "alternative" law rather than just a policy of repeal of the 2010 Affordable Care Act. Many in the media and some in the GOP seem eager to fall for this trap.
What the Leftists are really saying is this: "Our socialist scheme has failed and it is therefore up to you conservatives to help us find an alternative way to dilute your individual freedom." If that seems like a ridiculous premise, it is based on an even more ridiculous premise that states "everyone agrees that the old health care system (before 2010) was broken and needed to be fixed."
Stop and think about that. What exactly was so badly "broken" in the health care system of 2009 that demanded a "fix?"
According to the Left, the health care system was "broken" because X million Americans (the number always changes) were not covered by a health insurance policy. The Left also claimed that insurance coverage must be mandated for every citizen because unless they had insurance they did not have "access to affordable care." Every claim in the premise of the Left can be refuted by experience and common sense.
Many Americans in the world of 2009 simply did not choose to spend their money on a health inurance policy because they were generally young and healthy and did not need or want insurance. What did they do to pay for health care services? Like me for forty years, they paid for visits to the doctor and for prescriptions out of pocket when the services were needed. A radical concept? No, it was a rational choice. Were the out of pocket expenses a huge burden? No again, because they were often much less on a yearly basis than the cost of insurance policy premiums.
But, the Left claims, all Americans had to pay when the uninsured had to visit emergency rooms and therefore uninsured were getting a "free ride" that was a cost to "the system." That claim is not true either and even if it was, it was a matter between hospital administrators and their stockholders as to how much they might want to subsidize ER patients who could not pay. The silly idea that many uninsured patients were turned away from ER service because they could not guarantee payment in advance is just not borne out by the available data. I do not claim that there were no bill collection problems with uninsured patients but there are also many collection problems with insured patients too and many bills in both categories are negotiated and settled.
So the GOP would be politically foolish to fall for the line that it is up to the GOP to improve socialism when the Democratic version fails. It is up to the conservatives in the GOP to safeguard individual freedom because the rest of the political spectrum has failed at that most important job that trumps all other desires and preferences of elites who do not believe in freedom.