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Replacing ObamaCare

Even as the live hand grenade of ObamaCare repeal is tossed around the Senate, House Republicans have begun putting together some ideas for replacing it.  Democrats helpfully pitched in by declaring the new majority’s efforts a failure before they even started, and making rude noises with their armpits.

Fox News reports the “broad goals” of House Republicans include “cut waste, fraud and abuse; expand insurance coverage; reduce premiums; allow people to keep the coverage they have; and block federal funding of abortion.”

In response, Florida Democrat representative Debbie Wasserman-Shultz sneered, “This vague resolution stating so-called Republican principles on health-care reform is like giving the American people a wish sandwich.”  This from a woman whose party shoved a half-cooked nightmare pizza, covered with job-killing pepperoni and accounting-gimmick anchovies, down America’s throat, while their House Speaker cackled that we’d have to pass it to find out what’s in it.

Besides, at least one of those goals, blocking federal funding for abortion, is now a bona fide piece of legislation, the No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act.  Will it pass?  I don’t know how its prospects look in Washington, but they look absolutely smashing from Philadelphia.

Democrat have tried to obscure GOP reform ideas by pretending they don’t have any, but that’s always been a lie.  Solid Republican proposals, grounded in free-market principles and individual choice, have been on the table since the early days of the ObamaCare debate.  One package of these ideas, promoted as a “patient-centered system” by Republican congressman and medical doctor Paul Broun of Georgia, would “let people buy insurance across state lines; let individuals and businesses create insurance associations to reduce costs; create high-risk pools to cover those with pre-existing conditions and make all health care costs 100 percent tax deductible.”

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs tried to dismiss these ideas by claiming “out of pocket costs are going to go up if something like this were to become law.”  No, Mr. Gibbs, that’s what your President’s disastrous legislation is already doing, even for those who are lucky enough not to have lost their insurance coverage altogether.  What will happen to “out of pocket costs” when those waves of doctors begin retiring, as they say they will do because of the Democrat health-care takeover?  Basic economics, people: reduced supply equals increased cost, shortages, or both.  Continued support for ObamaCare requires a lack of awareness that approaches a comatose state.

Much of the pre-emptive criticism directed at Republican efforts proceeds from the false premise that a trillion-dollar government program can only be “replaced” by another trillion-dollar government program.  The Democrat position is that they would be happy to entertain Republican ideas… as long as they fill thousands of pages, create hundreds of new government agencies, and raise taxes through the roof.  Otherwise, there are no “Republican ideas.”

As a matter of both logic and Constitutional fidelity, it would have been far wiser for the American people to insist on trying the kind of reforms Republicans are talking about – and have been talking about for years – before implementing a gigantic, badly-written government takeover.  If nothing else, all of the Republican ideas are things that could have been modified, or easily reversed, if they didn’t work out. 

On the other hand, Democrats are now telling us that ObamaCare is literally impossible to reverse, no matter how much the people hate it.  Remember those words, America, the next time they cough up a Big Government proposal.  You shouldn’t have to wait until a year after the law is written to find out it can never be erased.

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Written By

John Hayward began his blogging career as a guest writer at Hot Air under the pen name "Doctor Zero," producing a collection of essays entitled Doctor Zero: Year One. He is a great admirer of free-market thinkers such as Arthur Laffer, Milton Friedman, and Thomas Sowell. He writes both political and cultural commentary, including book and movie reviews. An avid fan of horror and fantasy fiction, he has produced an e-book collection of short horror stories entitled Persistent Dread. John is a former staff writer for Human Events. He is a regular guest on the Rusty Humphries radio show, and has appeared on numerous other local and national radio programs, including G. Gordon Liddy, BattleLine, and Dennis Miller.

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