Op-Ed in The Hill: The longer you wait, the harder it will get — repeal ObamaCare now

Stacy French - December 21st, 2016

Read full article on The Hill website here >>

BY DAVID MCINTOSH, CONTRIBUTOR - 

For six years Republicans have fought for the opportunity to repeal and replace ObamaCare. That time has come, and there should be no delay.

 

When the new Congress is sworn in on Jan. 3, it should immediately pass the budget resolution that will provide the framework for repeal. The repeal bill itself should be waiting at the Oval Office when President Trump arrives on January 20.

 

That repeal should provide for the elimination of the mandates on employers and individuals, and should zero out their corresponding penalties.

 

It should end the ObamaCare taxes, like the Medical Device tax, the Medicare surtax, the penalties and limitations that were slapped on Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts, the so-called Cadillac Tax, and the other fees and excise taxes used to pay for the bureaucratic mess created by ObamaCare.

 

Lately, there has been talk of Republicans taking three years, or even longer, to complete the process of replacing ObamaCare. That’s too long.

 

ObamaCare was created by Democrats as an intentionally obtuse and complicated law. Unwinding it and putting patient-centered, free-market reforms in its place will not be easy. But this Congress should fulfill the mandate that it was given by voters.

 

By the time House and Senate members are on the ballot for re-election in Nov. 2018, ObamaCare’s taxes, mandates, market regulations, and subsidies should be things of the past.

 

The longer it takes to repeal and replace ObamaCare, the harder it will get. Democrats will use any delay or hint of hesitancy to stir up trouble.

 

It’s up to Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to make it clear that Republicans haven’t simply been clamoring for this moment, but that they are prepared to seize it.

 

Contrary to the mainstream media narrative, Republicans have been putting forth good health care reform proposals, including strong plans from President-elect Trump’s nominee for Health and Human Services Secretary, Chairman Tom Price.

The ideas are out there; now it’s time to implement them.

 

Expanding Health Savings Accounts, making plans portable, allowing for the sale of health insurance across state lines, and for pooling of individuals and small businesses to buy health insurance at group rates should all happen very quickly. States can develop high-risk pool programs, and tort reform should also be enacted.

 

It’s time to drive down costs by freeing up health insurers to offer a variety of competitive health insurance plans without the endless government mandates that drive prices upward. Doing so would also allow consumers to do what we do best when it comes to important purchases — shopping for the best and most efficient product.

 

All of these good ideas will, unfortunately, be pummeled by a partnership of liberals, special interests, and the media next year, but Republicans must begin moving with the same resolve that Democrats had in 2009 when they created this mess.

 

For six years, the American people have heard Congressional Republicans calling for the chance to fully repeal and replace ObamaCare. The people are now thoroughly frustrated with diminishing health insurance choices and soaring rates.

 

They’ve given Republicans the opportunity, in the form of the White House and control of Congress. But they don’t want to hear excuses about how many long years it could take; they want to see action, and it’s up to the 115th Congress to deliver.