Emerging common ground on Obamacare

By Tom Quiner

The president loves threats.
He threatened the Syrian president not to cross a “red line” by using chemical weapons on his people. He did, and our president caved. We did nothing.
He leveled a similar threat regarding the Ukraine. The Ukraine government was so nonplussed by the threat that they didn’t even bother to answer the phone when our Secretary of Defense put in a call. A defense spokesman with the Obama Government sheepishly admitted this was unprecedented.
Domestically, the president repeatedly threatened Republicans not to mess with Obamacare. Ironically, Mr. Obama didn’t even believe his own threats. In recognition of the abject failure of Obamacare, the president himself has been messing with the Affordable Care Act. He has made some 30 changes to his signature piece of legislation without bothering to give Congress a say.
Each change delays, distorts, or contradicts the intent of the sprawling, epic bill signed into law in early 2010.
The president had little choice.
The bill is killing working class Americans. We’re being forced to pay a lot more for worse coverage. Despite promises to the contrary, millions are losing their coverage and their doctors. It was all a cynical lie to get the bill rammed through Congress without a single Republican vote.
The president himself is admitting that the Republicans were right as he guts core provisions of Obamacare. No … he’s not saying this with his rhetoric, he’s saying it with his actions.
If Obamacare was so great, he wouldn’t touch it. But in fact, it’s so bad that the president is scrambling to delay it until after the midterm elections to save his party from disastrous defeat.
The president, who continually delays the bill by presidential fiat, has presented the solution to Obamacare: delay it even longer.
All of it.
Despite media reporting to the contrary, Republicans have offered wonderful alternative plans to Obamacare, plans that honor the goals, but present more efficient solutions.
Republicans like Richard Burr, Tom Coburn, Orrin Hatch, and Ron Johnson in the Senate, and Paul Ryan, Tom Price, Steve Scalise, Devin Nunes have presented alternative approaches which use a carrot rather than a stick; competition rather than massive government regulation, bureaucracy, and threats to accomplish these goals.
As economic columnist, Larry Kudlow has written, Republicans and Democrats should follow the president’s lead and impose a moratorium on Obamacare. Don’t try to overturn it, as Senator Ted Cruz has championed. Rather, delay it.
Both sides acknowledge the problems with the bill. It needs a lot of work. Says Kudlow:

“So how about this simple 2014 campaign idea: The Republicans, as a party, tell the voters that if they keep the House and recapture the Senate, they will immediately push for a three-year moratorium on Obamacare.
On all of it: The mandates. The time extensions. The taxes. The regulations. The job losses. The reductions in hours worked. The part-time hiring. The website. The potential taxpayer bailout of insurance companies. The verification of income. The lack of personal security and threat of ID theft. And the whole wet blanket that Obamacare has thrown over the economy and the health-care system.
The GOP should simply say, “Elect us and we will put a three-year moratorium on all of Obamacare. And then we’ll go back to the drawing board, bringing in Republicans and Democrats, and figure out a better plan.”
The three years would begin in early 2015, after the midterms, and a new health-care plan would be reported out of Congress in 2017, after the presidential elections. It would be lawful and constitutional. It would promote true health-care freedom and economic growth. And it would replace a catastrophe created by Team Obama that has so befuddled businesses, individuals, doctors, patients, and the whole one-fifth of the economy we call health care.”

This is a practical way to get beyond the gridlock that Obamacare has imposed on Washington. You remember what happened: the president said he’d reach across the aisle; but in reality, he cut Republicans out of of most of the talks about healthcare reform.
You remember what happened: candidate Obama said he wouldn’t sign any bill until everyone had a chance to read and understand the bill. In fact, he signed Obamcare before the ink was dry. The Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, chuckled that we’d have to pass the bill before we learned what’s in it.
Now we know, and it’s bad, really bad.
Let’s not overturn Obamacare; let us simply call for a moratorium and put it on hold until 2017. As Mr. Kudlow explains:

“During that three-year moratorium, all the good ideas being generated by individual Republicans and Democrats would come to the front. There would befull debate on the whole subject. And a political fact that’s largely been missing from the current debate could be acknowledged right away: President Obama doesn’t like his own product. He needs help. And the GOP can give it to him.”

Let us support the president with a moratorium on Obamacare. It’s time for both parties to move beyond threats with a healthy, intelligent discussion on how to fix this mess.