Elsewhere last week, I reported on an Obamacare rundown I recently received from a prominent Washington insider:
[There has been] tremendous gloom among Capitol Hill Republicans and conservatives about Obamacare in recent days.
The just-announced full-year postponement in implementing the employer mandate was not an admission of failure, I was told, but an application of strategic delay. The idea was to put off some of the most objectionable parts of the law while aggressively signing people up. Remember, this insider went on, most of the people Obamacare targets have health insurance now. By luring them into the program, the administration gets them to surrender their current coverage. That way, when, after the 2014 midterm elections, the employer mandate starts to bite and calls for repeal become more urgent, these millions will be locked into the president’s system without a safety net. They will become a core constituency for blocking repeal. There is nothing that can be done to stop this….
But it turns out that there is another view circulating in conservative circles. It is that, instead of shying away from Obamacare as an issue, Republicans should be doubling down on it. The big GOP failure in the last presidential campaign, these advocates argue, was that we had a presidential candidate who could not argue in any coherent fashion against Obamacare at all. Since November, where our candidates have sounded a clear trumpet of opposition, they have won. Where their trumpet has been uncertain or silent, they have lost…
I share this second view. The GOP should make repeal of Obamacare a cornerstone of the next two election cycles.
I would campaign to replace the Rube Goldbergesque monument to the hubris of the administrative state with, yes, expanded health savings accounts, as well as with a federal law making it legal to sell in all states any health insurance policy approved in one state. And I would remove laws designed to preserve medical-service monopolies. Of these last, some are intended to protect hospitals from competing facilities that focus on particular conditions, procedures, or diseases, usually at an enormous quality and price advantage. Others protect doctors offices from multi-office competitors, including national ones. In short, I’d stop government from regulating the business of healthcare, which has become an admission room for rent seekers.
That is what I’d do. What would you do? Or are the Washington Insiders right? Is there nothing that can be done?