There is a new leader in the Republican race to the bottom. Jeb Bush floated the idea that Obamacare can be repealed and replaced with an Apple Watch.
After delivering the standard Republican mumbo jumbo about moving to “a patient-centered system” a.k.a. you’re on your own. Bush suggested that smartphones can replace affordable health insurance, “On this device in five years will be applications that will allow me to manage my healthcare in ways that five years ago were not even possible. I’ll have the ability, someone will, you know, because of my blood sugar, … someone will send me a signal it’ll come here, I’ll get a double beep saying ‘you just ate a butterscotch sundae or something like that. You went way over the top. You’re a diabetic, you can’t do that—whatever, we’ll be able to guide our own healthcare decisions in a way that will make us healthy. Ultimately, we have to get to a health system, away from a disease system.”
The problem with Bush’s plan is that the app can’t provide health care. In fact, what is missing in Bush’s health care idea is health care. An app and a smartphone can’t save a person from the crippling debt caused by a serious illness. An app isn’t a substitute for a law that lowers the cost of health insurance, covers more people, and gives them access to free preventive medical care.
An Apple Watch can’t hide the fact that under Jeb Bush fewer Americans will have health insurance. If the diabetic in Jeb Bush’s example needed medical care, they would be screwed.
Republicans have floated some bogus ideas in their desperate attempts to fool people into believing that they have an alternative to the Affordable Care Act, but Jeb Bush’s idea is one of the worst. Why do people have to choose between an Apple Watch and affordable health insurance? Why can’t people have apps that work with their affordable health insurance?
Bush set up a false choice, but what was most telling was that during his remarks he had to tell the audience to applaud when he mentioned repealing Obamacare. Even Republicans aren’t buying the Obamacare repeal rallying cry anymore.
An Apple Watch isn’t a replacement for health insurance in the same way that Jeb Bush isn’t a replacement for an intelligent president.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association