Though it’s been ages.. AGES… since we’ve blogged, we (or maybe it’s just me) still feel as strongly that the healthcare bill needs to be repealed and replaced as. soon. as. possible. November can’t come soon enough, though now I’m a little worried that Republicans feel like it’s already a fait accompli and therefore almost useless to fight against it any longer. That would be a terrible, disastrous choice for their campaigns. And oh yeah, for the economy and for healthcare in general.
May we remind the good congressmen and women that the healthcare bill was passed late in the dark of a winter’s night, and only after Ms. Pelosi twisted so many arms the Indian burn was felt all the way to Michigan, and was so uncomfortable it caused sudden and unexpected resignations across the fruited plain. This means, people DON’T LIKE IT. (Republicans, if they’re smart, will capitalize on this.)
And then businesses did what businesses are legally bound to do — their accountants wrote down the massive charges the companies would take. And Democrats, many of whom are absolutely clueless about business, complained that companies were only publicizing their charges because they are all against Obama.
But why should we repeal the whole thing? Sure, there are problems, say the more moderate among the populace, but can’t we just repeal those things and keep the nice things.. like insurance for the chronically ill and uninsured? Sadly, no.
The whole bill is based on a wrong assumption about who should be in charge of healthcare, and it is clearly leading to the eventual need for a public option. Companies who drop their health benefits because they can afford the penalty more than the coverage will force their employees into Medicare, or those employees will join the ranks of healthy individuals who will choose to pay the small penalty and wait to go to the doctor until they really need it. And then this will raise prices for everyone who remains in insurance. Prices will go so high that what’s covered will be slashed, or there will be a call for a… public option.
But culturally, we are not like Canada or Britain in some important ways. We Americans are a very independent people. Maybe too independent sometimes, sure. But if you want to respect cultural diversity, start with us. We do not and will not like it when the government gets too involved in our business. Oh wait, it already has, dictating which OTC medications require a prescription and which don’t in order for you to use your pre-tax WageWorks credit card at Walgreens.
Republicans are not without ideas to increase access and lower costs for healthcare. They must campaign on Repeal AND Replace. But first it must be repealed and then we must immediately replace with a more reasonable way to ensure that more people are Insured. Such as high-risk pools to help pay for those of us with chronic conditions, and a more free-market approach to buying insurance in the first place, and tort reform.
So we have these ideas. Many different ways of implementing them, too. Most of all, though, Republican candidates cannot be too scared to stand for REPEAL. REPEAL REPEAL REPEAL. Don’t worry when a moderate says “We can’t just repeal! We’ve struggled since 1936 for this!” When they say that, you know you are not talking to a moderate, but a disappointed progressive.
Remember, it was only last summer the townhalls were attracting attention from real voters, upset and angry with the direction of the country. Republican candidates, I urge you to stiffen your spines and call for REPEAL.