Blog No. 150. The Best of Times and the Worst of Times

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it[…]

Special Bulletin – A Poetry Break for the Vote-a-Rama

The Chief RINO is vacationing. So, while the healthcare Vote-a-Rama runs on and Scaramucci spews vulgarities…  a few poems for your leisure. First, earlier this month, PBS Newshour hosted a Haiku contest on the topic of the healthcare debate. Although news seems to be changing by the minute, here are our submissions. If tonight’s Vote-a-Rama[…]

Blog No. 149 Politics and the Scourge of Opioids: A Primer

There can be little doubt that the nation is in the grip of a serious opioid epidemic. Overdoses have been reported to be the leading cause of death of Americans under the age of 50 and the New York Times further reported that, on the basis of preliminary data, “drug overdose deaths last year likely topped[…]

Blog No. 134. Repeal and Replace: R.I.P. (Hello, Rescue and Repair and Goodbye, Freedom Caucus)

It is clear that “Repeal and Replace,” the Republican mantra for several years, is dead. And while there were several who bear responsibility for its demise, none was more prominent than the Freedom Caucus. RINOcracy.com has never been an admirer of the Freedom Caucus and, indeed, our preferred term has been the Oozlum Caucus, named[…]

Blog No. 131. The Healthcare Dilemmas

The healthcare bill drafted by House Republicans was finally unveiled and is now making its way through House committees at an accelerated pace. It is doing so without benefit of estimates from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office as to cost and the number of persons who will be covered. The White House has attempted to[…]

Welcome to RINOcracy 2.0

RINOcracy.com was founded in May, 2013 as a voice within the Republican Party, albeit a voice dissenting from party orthodoxy on some significant issues. The 2013 “Welcome to RINOcracy,” which appears below, explained the origin of the name, some of my political background and offered brief thoughts on several issues. Now, however, things have changed.[…]

Blog No 74 Part I. The Supreme Court: The Affordable Care Act, Same-Sex Marriage and Other interesting Issues.

Part I. The Affordable Care Act and Same-Sex Marriage The end of the Supreme Court term produced two major decisions, on the Affordable Care Act and same-sex marriage, that generated extensive comment by politicians and pundits and drew attention in every form of media. There is little need at this point for extended discussion or[…]

Special Bulletin. Republicans’ Misguided Attack On Funding For Family Planning

The Republican Majority for Choice (RMC) reports that a subcommittee of the House of Representatives has voted to eliminate funding for programs for family planning and teenage pregnancy prevention. We join RMC in believing that this is a serious mistake and have set forth below the full statement by the RMC.

The program for family planning under Title X is a long-standing one, having been enacted in 1970 under President Richard Nixon. As described by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the program operates through family planning centers: […]

Guest Blog. Redirecting Health Reform: A Real Republican Opportunity

A couple of years ago, Jeff Bauer and I and our wives shared a nightly dinner on a transatlantic crossing and became friends. Jeff and I stayed in touch and exchanged thoughts on various subject, including healthcare, a subject on which he is an expert and I am not. I was impressed by his expertise and intrigued by his perspectives on that challenging issue and I talked him into doing a guest blog. I believe that readers of RINOcracy.com will find it both informative and thought-provoking. ~ DMP.

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Redirecting Health Reform: A Real Republican Opportunity

By Jeffrey C. Bauer, Ph.D.

 

The intensely partisan debate over repairing or repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a waste of everyone’s time. Democrats begrudgingly admit that Obamacare is flawed, but they refuse to modify its core goal of reducing the number of uninsured Americans. Meanwhile, Republicans keep voting to repeal the law without offering a viable alternative for solving the serious problems of our medical care system.

Expanding access to a dysfunctional system will only make the situation worse, but returning to the pre-ACA marketplace will not make things any better. As I argue in Paradox and Imperatives in Health Care: Redirecting Reform for Efficiency and Effectiveness (CRC Press, 2015), it’s time to start from scratch. A new approach to reform is sorely needed to extract us from today’s lose-lose confrontation between defenders of a poorly crafted law and opponents who would return us to the failed marketplace that Obamacare attempted to address. […]

Blog No. 57 Charlotte’s Web, Medical Marijuana and the Vagaries of the Law

There has been considerable movement afoot in the world of marijuana in the past year. In November, voters in Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia passed referenda authorizing and regulating the sale and use of marijuana. They joined Colorado and Washington State, which had previously adopted such laws. In Florida, a referendum authorizing the use of medical marijuana drew the support of a majority of voters but failed to gain the required approval of 60%. In June, however, the Florida legislature, had passed  a narrower law authorizing only a specific, non-euphoric, form of medical marijuana, known as Charlotte’s Web. A total of 22 states have now adopted laws authorizing some form of medical marijuana. […]