If the Supreme Court rules in favor of plaintiff David King later this month, and Obamacare is rendered essentially inoperable, the large conservative majorities in control of the United States Congress must act boldly.
This is an opportunity for Speaker Boehner, Leader McConnell, and this majority to lay out their vision for what a Republican healthcare plan for America looks like; then vote on it, pass it, and take the plan to the American people for support. One of the central promises of campaign 2014 was to repeal and replace Obamacare. To continue with Obamacare-lite after this decision would be a tragic mistake. Wouldn’t it be nice if Republican officeholders and candidates had an answer to the question: “Obamacare is truly a mess, but where’s your plan?”
Congressional majorities are for passing the agendas that were campaigned on. Republicans were not elected simply to try to figure out how to best hold on to their positions of power. The U.S. House of Representatives has not had a majority of this size since the 71st Congress in 1929 and 1930. The 114th Congress should pass a full replace bill in the House without delay; then pass the plan in the Senate (Democrat Senators in West Virginia, Montana, North Dakota, and Missouri, how popular is Obamacare in your states?) and then make President Obama veto the bill or negotiate the final result. This is no time for a tourniquet approach to Obamacare. A quick “fix” will demoralize conservatives and hurt the endangered incumbents you’re trying to save in the long run. I would hope that the principled Republican presidential candidates in the field will weigh in heavily on this matter. There are two bills in the U.S. House with more than enough support to move through the legislative system quickly – H.R. 2300, Empowering Patients First Act of 2015 and H.R. 2653, American Health Care Reform Act of 2015. Either bill would be a monumental improvement to what’s left of Obamacare.
Do we really need to revisit – once again – that Obamacare has not worked and will never work? It fundamentally changed the greatest healthcare system in the world for the worse and gave more control to an ever-growing government bureaucracy that is failing on a daily basis. We recently learned that insurance rates will significantly increase once again in 2016, some of which are projected to rise more than 60 percent. Americans have been forced to switch doctors, contrary to Obama’s promise, “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” And let’s not forget the Obamacare website was hacked in July 2014, demonstrating an immense vulnerability for a system holding very personal information.
To Republican leaders in Congress, you have an opportunity to make a statement. You will be rewarded for your courage, for standing up for principle, and for keeping a campaign promise. Let’s stand up to President Obama and all the defenders of the failed status quo, and present an optimistic health care plan to the American people that actually works. The strategy of waiting for a Republican president didn’t work in 2012 and it might not work in 2016. Let’s not kick the can down the road again, because sadly, that’s what the American people have come to expect. Let’s surprise them this time by doing the right thing.