The Conversation

GOP, Your Next Move on Obamacare

The Hill reports today that the new GOP strategy with respect to Obamacare is to let it collapse on its own:

Republican lawmakers who pushed the government shutdown to stop ObamaCare say their new plan is to sit back and watch the law self-destruct.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and other Tea Party allies of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) say the threat of a shutdown is no longer necessary to defund the Affordable Care Act (ACA) now that the administration’s rollout is flailing.

Okay, but I'm still more interested in step two, which is to present a clear, concise, well-articulated, well-marketed alternative.

CNS News reports that Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), members of the Republican Study Committee, and medical doctors in Congress are working on the American Health Care Reform Act, which includes some of the following components:

-- Fully repeals President Obama's health care law, eliminating billions in taxes and thousands of pages of unworkable regulations and mandates that are driving up health care costs.

-- Spurs competition to lower health care costs by allowing Americans to purchase health insurance across state lines and enabling small businesses to pool together and get the same buying power as large corporations.

-- Reforms medical malpractice laws in a commonsense way that limits trial lawyer fees and non-economic damages while maintaining strong protections for patients.

-- Provides tax reform that allows families and individuals to deduct health care costs, just like companies, leveling the playing field and providing all Americans with a standard deduction for health insurance.

-- Expands access to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), increasing the amount of pre-tax dollars individuals can deposit into portable savings accounts to be used for health care expenses.

-- Safeguards individuals with pre-existing conditions from being discriminated against in purchasing health insurance by bolstering state-based high risk pools and extending HIPAA guaranteed availability protections.

-- Protects the unborn by ensuring no federal funding of abortions.

Okay, Republicans, it's time to get together and figure out if this is your alternative. Analyze it, tweak it, discuss it, amend it--do whatever you need to do to make it a solid Obamacare alternative.

Then hire a smart, savvy messaging team to disclose it to the public.

Present it in a user-friendly, visually-engaging manner on a website that works.

Highlight cost and choice comparisons with Obamacare.

Get on our televisions every day and sell it.

And yes, continue to highlight the problems with Obamacare. But if you do the above, you'll deprive Democrats of their "GOP party of no" talking point. You'll be the party that criticizes failures, but in the same breath, offers solutions.

Get to it. And quickly.

Follow Jedediah on Twitter @JedediahBila


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