...I keep forgetting to point out that the Republican "alternative" spells certain doom for private health care too.
They propose allowing people to buy their health insurance across state lines, in order to get the best price. That won't work. If your doctor is in Manhattan, he's paying a lot more for everything - taxes, space, staff, supplies, etc., etc., etc. The doc has to pass those costs along (if he wants to eat!) to the patient, and that's why insurance in New York costs more than insurance in Arkansas or Wyoming!
Then there's the issue of state mandates, which vary from state to state. If your state is heavy on unfunded mandates, you'll pay more. (A feel good legislature is an expensive legislature.) States with large populations tend to be high cost in both areas - operating expenses AND mandates.
Then there's the specter of indigent care. That ain't free either - the cost is just shifted to the insured and the taxpayer. We don't need to Californicate the entire industry here, folks!
Furthermore, the insurance industry is the last major industry NOT regulated by the feds. Your state insurance commissioner is the highest authority, and it should stay that way.
If the feds dictate that anyone can buy a health plan from anywhere, all rates will rise to the highest level found anywhere. That'll screw all the people smart enough to not live in Manhattan or San Fransicko in the first place.
Same goes for the proposal to eliminate exclusions of pre-existing conditions. Here's an analogy: If you buy full coverage for your car, they want to know what damage already exists. If the car isn't brand new off the lot, they want pictures. Any such damage is a pre-existing condition. If you want to be able to go without insurance, wreck your car and buy coverage the next morning, that would be known as a social program. It sure as hell isn't insurance! If you eliminate those exclusions, that means insurers won't be able to underwrite for risk. Premiums will skyrocket, and they (the Demo/Publicans) know it. They can't wait for the day the feds can come in and take over.
First they wreck it, then they take it over. That's the formula, and it works over and over and over. These power grabs have been going on for more than a century. If you want to know what's really happening here, read the history of the regulation and taxation of railroads. Then read about the federal bailout of Penn Central. You may not have heard of that line, but it's still running today, with a huge and growing taxpayer subsidy. These days it's called Amtrak.
At the end of the day, the Republican fix is not a fix at all, unless you change the meaning of the word. As in, the "fix" is in. They ALL want to destroy the industry, in order to lay claim to it's reserves. Just like your social security money. Just like your 401k.
Things are so far gone that the government is reduced to one-time acts of economic cannibalism just to buy a few more months in control.
To the feds/banksters, this is just another harvest. Don't be the crop.