It’s no surprise that House Republicans have gotten very good at this “repeal” thing, given the practice they’ve had at it. When they vote yet again today to kill ObamaCare, by some counts it will be the 31st time they have voted to repeal all or part of that much-reviled piece of legislation.
However, they’re not so good about keeping the second half of their 2010 campaign pledge, the part about “replacing” ObamaCare with a conservative alternative that accomplishes many of the same goals.
“Why is it so hard?” Matt Miller asks in a fine piece in today’s Washington Post. “Because Obamacare WAS the Republican alternative. It was the conservative-designed mandate and subsidy approach…. Only in America could a Democratic president pass Mitt Romney’s health plan and fund it partly through John McCain’s best idea from the last campaign (taxing some employer-provided plans) and be branded a ’socialist’.”
As I noted in the blog post earlier this morning, I’m always leery of pundits offering free advice on how a candidate should campaign, but I’ll make an exception in Miller’s case. He writes:
“Here’s what you should do, Mr. President. In the debates this fall, pull out a small laminated card you’ve had made as a prop for this purpose. Then remind Mitt Romney that the ranks of the uninsured today are equal to the combined populations of Oklahoma, Connecticut, Iowa, Mississippi, Kansas, Kentucky, Arkansas, Utah, Oregon, Nevada, New Mexico, West Virginia, Nebraska, Idaho, Maine, New Hampshire, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Montana, Delaware, North Dakota, South Dakota, Alaska, Vermont and Wyoming.
Read that list slowly, Mr. President. Then ask your opponent: “Would America turn its back on the citizens of these 25 states if everyone there lacked basic health coverage? That’s what we’ve been doing for decades. You knew it was right to act when you were governor of Massachusetts, Mitt. How can you pretend we don’t need to solve this for the nation? And how can you object with a straight face when your own pioneering plan was my model?”
The president should also say he’d be happy to talk reform once Republicans offer a rival plan that the CBO certifies will cover 30 million people, as the Affordable Care Act does.
Today’s Republican party won’t do it. They want the money for tax cuts for the top. They don’t care.”
Well put, Mr. Miller. Very well put.
– Jay Bookman