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Levin Hosts Daniel Horowitz: GOP Health Care Bill ‘Doesn’t Repeal’ Obamacare, ‘Will Make It Worse’

Michael Morris
By Michael Morris | March 8, 2017 | 11:14 AM EST

House Speaker Paul Ryan during a news conference on Tuesday about the American Health Care Act on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

On his nationally syndicated radio talk show Tuesday, Mark Levin hosted Conservative Review’s Daniel Horowitz who spoke about Obamacare and the House Republican’s health care bill meant to replace it, saying that the new health care bill “doesn’t repeal” Obamacare and “wil make it worse.”

“[T]he essential element is not only the fact that it doesn’t really replace Obamacare with something that’s market-oriented, it doesn’t repeal it,” Daniel Horowitz told Levin about the House GOP’s health care bill. “Obamacare at its core are the price-hiking regulations and then the subsidies that further distort the market. The regulations and the subsidies remain in place.”

“If free market health care is not on the menu,” Horowitz stated later in the program, “it is better to leave it alone because this will make it worse; it will bankrupt us.”

Daniel Horowitz’s comments on Levin’s show stem from the House Republicans release of a new health care bill.

For a transcript of Levin and Horowitz’s comments, see below:

Levin: “Daniel Horowitz, one of the great, young, brilliant thinkers and writers. We’re lucky to have him over at Conservative Review. The all-powerful Daniel Horowitz – Conservative Review.

“Daniel, how are you?”

Horowitz: “I’m doing alright. Just doing a lot of myth debunking today.”

Levin: “Well, let’s do some of the debunking. Tell us the essential elements of the Republican House proposal, and why they are, as you wrote, quite devastating.”

Horowitz: “Sure, the essential element is not only the fact that it doesn’t really replace Obamacare with something that’s market-oriented, it doesn’t repeal it.

“Obamacare at its core are the price-hiking regulations and then the subsidies that further distort the market. The regulations and the subsidies remain in place. And in fact, after 2020 the subsidies are made even worse and go into the middle class.

“And the only thing they repeal is the requirement to purchase the Venezuela-care, but the Venezuela-care is in place. Therefore, it is going to become even more insolvent because you’ll have fewer people paying into it. Frankly, I’m going to get rid of it myself as soon as I can.

“So, it is insolvent, and this time Republicans will actually own it.”

Levin: “And you’re going to get rid of it as soon as you can because the penalty only kicks in, as I understand it, if you go back in and at 30 percent. So you actually save money sitting out, and then when you need health care you get back in, you pay a penalty and you’re off to the races, correct?”

Horowitz: “Exactly. And even that penalty doesn’t kick in until 2020, whereas the individual mandate’s repealed right away. It’s the only thing repealed right away. So you’re going to have everyone, all the healthy young people leaving the market, and worse, it gets rid of the employer mandate – the requirement that the employer purchase insurance on behalf of the workers. So, they’re going to drop the coverage immediately because prices won’t come down.”

Levin: “So, while trying to, cowardly, avoid really creating a competitive, more market-oriented, more patient-oriented type care system, where the focus is on the individual, the quality of care and their ability to shop, they’re focused on bulk numbers. They’re focused on PC, not being attacked, making sure that women have to pay for prostate exams and men have to pay for pregnancy tests.

“So, in order to do that, they’re not only leaving in place, as you point out, these pillars of the left Obamacare program, but they’re going to break the system even faster, aren’t they?”

Horowitz: “Exactly. The CRS lists 24 regulations pursuant to Obamacare almost everyone, including the biggies, covering everyone under any circumstance, with every health status, at the same price.

“That’s actuarially insolvent. It doesn’t work. But then you say, ‘Hey, healthy people, you don’t have to buy into this price-hiking nonsense.’ Everyone’s going to leave, and the irony of them pursuing these bean counting coverage numbers, instead of lowering costs and fostering more competition is the fact that they’re going to make it worse for these people.

“The subsidies that they’re going to put in place redistribute the Obamacare subsidies from the younger more poor individuals to mid-middle class, even upper-income – people earning $150,000 to $290,000 combined family income – will be eligible for this massive middle-upper class entitlement.”

Levin: “And that’s what it is, it’s a massive middle-upper class entitlement, and once you have that, that’s doom, isn’t it? Because they’ll never get rid of it.”

Horowitz: “Then what we basically have is Medicare for everyone below 65 because you now have the few insurers that remain working with government to box out other competitors and innovation and working within government confines of regulations and guaranteed income from subsidies, instead of working directly with the consumer to address consumer demand.

“That’s why, you call up the insurance companies now, and they sound like the motor vehicle association. I was double charged for two months. I couldn’t even get ahold of them.

“This is what people want addressed, and none of that is addressed in this bill.

“The mandate and the taxes are the funding mechanism. You and I both don’t like taxes and mandates, but if you’re going to agree to this socialist, government-run health care, you actually need it to fund it.”

Levin: “How does this help the patient in the end?”

Horowitz: “You know, it really doesn’t because we’re continuing the same false notion that health insurance equals health care. And that’s really the 800-pound gorilla in the room.

“We need a system that works like Uber and Southwest Airlines or Walmart and Amazon, instead of a minibar in a hotel room, and that’s what it is. That’s why prices are so high. There’s no ability to be cost-conscious. And, you know, a lot of this is in the states, but at a federal level we gotta break down the barriers to purchasing across state lines. We gotta have equal tax treatment. And the regulations, which is the one aspect the GOP won’t talk about, they all have to go.”

Levin: “So, let me ask you this question: Is it better to repeal Obamacare and replace it with this or to leave it alone? Which is worse?”

Horowitz: “If free market health care is not on the menu, it is better to leave it alone because this will make it worse; it will bankrupt us. It will enshrine a new entitlement that is worse than the existing subsidy scheme. It will create a scenario where – remember they used that Medicare doc fix every year, a cliff where it’s running out of money and Republicans had to keep funneling it – they had to keep owning it. Policy-wise, it’s gonna be at least as bad. Politically, why should Republicans own it?”