Feb 3, 2017

Why the GOP shouldn't be afraid of universal coverage

Matt Rourke/AP

Two prominent conservative health care advisers have some interesting advice for Republicans in the Washington Post: It's OK to talk about coverage for everyone, not just "access." The piece by Lanhee Chen, Mitt Romney's former policy director and a member of the Axios board of outside experts, and former Health and Human Services deputy secretary Tevi Troy acknowledges a Republican dilemma. They're worried that if they embrace universal coverage, it will sound like they want a single-payer system, just like the Democrats.

But by focusing on bringing down health care costs, Chen and Troy write, Republicans can actually make a lot of progress on covering more uninsured people, not just giving them "access" to coverage.

Why it might matter: Their prescriptions don't really break new ground in Obamacare replacement ideas, but by urging Republicans to be bolder in their goals, Chen and Troy — who have a lot of influence in GOP circles — could persuade some Republicans that it's OK to try to run up the coverage score.

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