A constant refrain we hear from Democrats in congress and members of the media is, "Republicans oppose Obamacare but have no plan for how to fix health care."
Is this, in fact, the case? Do Republicans really have nothing to contribute to the debate over how to improve health care in this country?
I recently had my friend Rep. David Dreier (R-CA) on my radio program and asked him about this. Without any foreknowledge that I would question him along these lines, Congressman Dreier rattled off five things that he and his colleagues have been advocating for:
- The immediate allowance for interstate purchases of health insurance nation-wide
- Meaningful tort reform
- Association health plans for small business owners to come together and find lower rates (as large corporations do)
- "Pooling" to deal with preexisting conditions
- Expanded medical savings accounts
He continued: "These five things, if implemented, would have an immediate impact on the costs of health care...It is a myth to claim that Republicans don't recognize that we do have a problem that needs to be addressed."
Even the casual observer of congressional politics will be able to verify that these are all suggestions that have been publicly offered by Republicans, if not written into pieces of proposed legislation. One may disagree with the Right's ideas, but for Democrats or political pundits to claim that our side has "no plan" can only be explained in one of three ways:
- They are using hyperbole to characterize conservatives and libertarians in an unfavorable light
- They are so instinctively dismissive of the Right that they don't pay attention to what Republican members of congress say or do
- They are knowingly lying to advance their side's ultimate goal: a single-payer health care system (see: Cuba, Sweden, etc.)
Not one of these options speaks well of our opponents and all three are contributing factors to the cynicism most Americans feel toward politics at the national level in particular. Certainly both sides are, from time to time, guilty of the first one. The second would be further evidence of my theory that the Left in this country live inside a "bubble" of their own making and simply do not read or listen to our thinkers and scholars. The third option - and the one I believe is the most common motivation for someone to repeat the "Republicans have no plan" mantra - leads me to an interesting ethical question:
If I went to Washington D.C. to represent my home district or state, what lengths would I be willing to go to see that a piece of legislation I believed as deeply in as the Left believes in government-run health care passed?
Would I be willing to say something that I knew to be untrue over and over and over again to defeat legislation I opposed?
What say you, Ricochet?