For reasons Dean Baker explains, the plan David Brooks touts as an alternative to the ACA is utter crap, a combination of stuff that’s already in the ACA (“skin in the game”) and really, really horrible ideas that will brutalize poor people while making the system less efficient (privatizing Medicaid.) There’s also a whole mess of federalist nonsense, which is particularly appalling given the vivid demonstration we’re getting that the “flexibility” many of our glorious laboratories of democracy want is the “flexibility” to deny the non-affluent access to medical care.
But there’s another con Brooks is running — describing the awful plan he finds “compelling” as a “coherent Republican plan.” Omitted are the names of any Republican legislator who supports the Republican alternative, for the obvious reason that the actual Republican alternative is “nothing.” Republicans have, of course, been engaging in this con for decades. And, pathetically, the only people more likely to fall for the scam than conservative pundits are leftier-than-thou ACA critics. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen the ACA referred to as a “Republican plan” or a “Heritage Foundation plan,” although 1)no national Republican has ever made any effort to implement this “Republican plan” including during the extensive times when they’ve controlled both houses of Congress, and 2)the Heritage Foundation fellow I debated argued that the “Heritage Foundation plan” was both horrible policy and completely unconstitutional. But I’m sure he’s been fired for insubordination!