||Club for Growth
||March 25, 2017
||Memo on Way Forward with Obamacare Repeal
After weeks of holding their ground, conservatives saved Republicans from voting for their own version of Obamacare. Their bill wasn’t real repeal. As the CBO noted, Speaker Ryan’s health care bill would have driven up premiums, and left more people unable to afford health insurance. It was a bad bill, and it was a heroic effort that stopped it.
But conservatives didn’t end up alone in their opposition. As the vote neared, some principled moderates stood with the conservatives, united by the idea that this plan simply did not make things better.
That conservatives AND moderates joined together to put a stop to such a bad bill demonstrated the failure of the House leadership who refused to use regular order, seek input, or listen to concerns. They instead tried to jam a bill that didn’t deliver on the promises they made, and they tried to make it a “take it or leave it” offer.
Thankfully, conservatives “left it.”
Where does that leave us now? How do people of principle on each end of the caucus, and on the other side of the aisle even, put together a package that keeps the promises to repeal Obamacare, but also delivers a product that will lower costs and increase access to care?
The conservatives and moderates who opposed the plan should start by meeting together to see what common ground they have.
Obamacare repeal and true healthcare reform can be saved. The message from the House leaders and even the White House that it is now put aside is simply bluster, much like their negotiations this past week. Rather than walk away in defeat, we should get to work.
The key is to put as much as possible into one single step, rather than the 3 pronged approach the leaders and White House had been advocating for.
- Take the Ryan bill and add the rest of the deregulation that the Freedom Caucus was asking for. Repeal most if not all of the oppressive Obamacare regulations and add national competition. Add in the free market, cost saving reforms that the President campaigned on and most if not all Republicans agree on. Buying across state lines. Easy access to join group plans. Essentially take all three of President Trump’s stages and put them into the House bill. Only by adding these measures can the bill begin to roll back the costly premiums and co-pays that have been the hallmark of Obamacare. More Americans will have insurance because more will be able to afford insurance.
- Use regular order in the House rules to take the new complete package to the floor after seeking amendments and input. Allow everyone to offer them from both sides of the aisle, in an open, transparent process.
- Ignore the naysayers on Senate rules. First, reliable sources including Senators tell us that there is FAR more that can be done in reconciliation than we have previously been led to believe. At the very least we should test it. If too much falls away, then the House will get another shot at it anyway. But we should not preemptively surrender nor should we negotiate with ourselves. Pass what we are FOR in the House.
- Allow the same open process in the Senate, with regular order, amendments and ideas from both sides of the aisle.
- Undoubtedly a bill done this way will not be everything we want, and may include some aspects we don’t. That’s legislating. But it will be far better than what was just brought up. It will repeal more. It will free up markets more. It will cover more people at a lower cost. And those should be our goals. So, let’s join with those who believe in those goals, wherever they are on the ideological spectrum, and let’s get to work on real repeal and replace.