Can Republicans Win on Obamacare? Only If They Can Fix It

Right From the Start

Right From the Start

Last week Republican David Jolly beat Democrat Adelaide (Alex) Sink in Florida’s 13th Congressional District.  Mr. Jolly cast the election as a referendum on Obamacare while Ms. Sink, who supported Obamacare, chose to try to scare the bejezzus out of the voters with global warming alarmism.  In the aftermath of Mr. Jolly’s victory, Republican pundits are urging Republican candidates for congressional races to make repeal of Obamacare the central theme of their campaigns.

Should they do so they will once again snatch defeat from the jaws of certain victory.

Let’s be honest.  Obamacare is a disaster.  It was built on one lie after another.  We now know:

  • You CANNOT keep your doctor even if you like your doctor.
  • You CANNOT keep your healthcare insurance even if you like your plan.
  • The average cost of healthcare insurance WILL NOT drop by $2500 per year rather it WILL increase by $3000 to $500 per year and that is just the first year.
  • You WILL BE forced to pay for abortions even if your religious convictions dictate opposition.
  • There WILL NOT be a “robust competitive market” for healthcare insurance because the federal government will dictate what all policies must contain.
  • You WILL BE REQUIRED to accept inflated costs for coverage that you neither want nor need including pregnancy and gynecological care for single men and prostate care for single women.
  • Small businesses WILL ELECT to eliminate healthcare insurance for employees because of the high costs mandated by Obamacare.  They also WILL reduce their number of employees to avoid the mandated coverage required by Obamacare.
  • Large businesses WILL ELECT to terminate healthcare coverage for part time employees to avoid the high costs mandated by Obamacare.  They will also increase the number of part time employees rather than full time to avoid the high costs mandated by Obamacare.
  • The cost of Obamacare will be over double what the Democrats originally projected based on assumptions that proved not to be true.  (Here the Congressional Budget Office is blameless because they operate on the principle of garbage in, garbage out, and virtually every thing they were told was a lie.)  The original projected cost of $940 Billion has risen to over $2 Trillion (New York Post, February 5, 2014).
  • Less than a third of the previously uninsured people prior to Obamacare will be insured under Obamacare negating the underlying rationale for adopting Obamacare.

The lies of President Obama and his chief allies, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), were papered over with overwhelming largesse from the taxpayers pockets to selected Democrat members of Congress to secure their support for a measure that was flawed from the start and went unread by every member of Congress who voted for it.

For all of these reasons alone Obamacare should be repealed and nobody would be more elated than me to see Mr. Obama’s singular achievement dismantled as the final indictment of America’s worst president.  But if Republicans choose to run singularly on the repeal of Obamacare, they will lose – for a very simple reason.

The Democrats have been successful in building an expectation that the government will “take care” of health insurance.  The Democrats, as usual, have failed to deliver on that expectation but the expectation remains and for Republicans to simply be “against” Obamacare will be viewed as turning one’s back on that expectation.  In the end, voters will conclude that even the “gawdawful” Obamacare is better than nothing.

To date, the Republicans have failed to coalesce around a solution – an alternative – to Obamacare.  There are a significant number of proposals floated by various Republican members of Congress and wannabe Republican presidential aspirants.  But there has not been a general agreement on a single plan – or even an amalgamation of plans.   Much of that can be attributed to petit jealousy or fear that one Republican might get a leg up on another (the Sen. John McCain approach to politics).  But Mr. McCain and his ilk should be banished to a corner and wiser heads should hammer together an alternative to Obamacare which Republican congressional candidates can support.

Such a proposal need not be reduced to bill form because nobody will read it anyhow.  However, there should be a series of principles that an alternative would embrace and which Republicans can promise to adopt within ninety days of being returned to the majority in both houses.  Those principles should be market based and include responsibilities commensurate with benefits.

  1. Every legal resident of the United States should be required to obtain and maintain health insurance, or accept the costs and consequence of not having insurance.  Those who fail or refuse to obtain health insurance will be denied health services unless they are able to pay cash for such services at the time they are incurred.  (Yes, people may die but then people die when they chose to drive drunk.)
  2. The burden is on the individual and not employers so that insurance travels with the individual rather than the employer.
  3. Each person who obtains health insurance will determine the extent of the coverage they wish.  This permits buyers a continuum of choices ranging from complete coverage to catastrophic coverage only.
  4. The cost of such individual healthcare will be funded by a full tax credit against federal income taxes owed.
  5. The amount of the tax credit cannot exceed the average cost of health insurance claimed as a tax credit by all taxpayers.  For those choosing to forego health insurance in favor of the “pay as you go” option, they can claim a tax credit for their actual cost of healthcare not to exceed the average cost of health insurance.
  6. In those instances where the claimed tax credit exceeds the income taxes paid, the taxpayer is entitled to a refund for the difference.  The “refund” can only be used to purchase insurance or pay for actually incurred medical costs.  By doing this, we eliminate the idea that low income people will be unable to afford individual health insurance since, having applied the tax credit and refund, there is no out of pocket cost to them for the insurance.
  7. The federal law mandating that hospitals must provide emergency room service to everyone regardless of the ability to pay must be repealed.
  8. The tax credit funding mechanism should be “sunsetted” after ten years to force Congress to examine the mechanism and make adjustments as required in order for the program to continue.

In the end we know that Obamacare as implemented is widely unpopular and Democrat support of it will be a detriment to their campaigns.  However, the concept of federal oversight of healthcare remains very much alive and popular and the Republicans had better find a solution.

Democrats are generally elected based on perceived inequities that they claim they will fix.  Republicans are generally elected to fix whatever the Democrats have screwed up in pursuit of such fixes.

  • Jack Lord God

    I could not disagree with this strategy more.

    First of all – Why is none of this ever asked of Democrats? If health care was such an all important issue, the Democrats certainly never presented a cohesive plan that outlined principles that all agreed to. That’s how we got Obamacare – it was a cobbled together albatross of gigantic proportions put together not from a set of principles outlined years earlier, but from special interest groups exerting pull.

    Second – Let’s be real, you could put together a set of principles saying free food for orphans, the Democrats will call it racist, and the next thing you know is the news will be asking you why you are a racist. Take point two above, you go out saying that, the next thing that will happen is you hate the poor, women and minorities first who can’t afford to pay.

    Third – Obamacare is a punchline, that’s it. Make fun of it. It has never been popular, people are already totally disillusioned by it, not up to you to fix it.

    Fourth – Republicans cannot win just on Obamacare. Republicans can win on the fact that most people still think we are in a recession, are sick of this lousy recovery and will respond well to a message of American greatness. Nobody could find Ukraine on the map if you put a gun to their head, but they don’t like Putin being the manifestly smarter leader and they sure as hell don’t like it on top of Obamas economic message, “McDonald’s is hiring, make do with that”.

    Fifth – Optimism is what will win for Republicans. You want more years of farting around with employer mandates, a guaranteed job killer, more anemic growth, more Americas foreign policy being the laughing stock of the world, vote Democrat. You want policies that make sense, like building the Keystone pipeline, getting out of the way of business instead of demonizing them, less crony capitalism, then vote Republican.

    Getting bogged down in the specifics of how to fix Obamacare is a losers game. Democrats will trounce you every time.

    • DavidAppell

      Rupert Huse of Rupert Huse and Son ( of Springfield, Oregon wrote:
      If health care was such an all important issue, the Democrats certainly never presented a cohesive plan that outlined principles that all agreed to.

      My God, you are a shameless liar.

      Did you somehow miss Clinton’s attempt to bring about universal health care? Theodore Roosevelt’s support for it? FDR’s? Truman’s support?


      • .

        There you go again, Appell, shameless Carter peanut bugger!

        • DavidAppell

          Thanks for reading and taking note of my comment.

          • .

            Ah yes, Your ‘buy’ product goes so well with toe jam.

  • Bob Clark

    It is hard to understand exactly what is ObamaCare anymore because of all the exceptions and changes implemented by Obama and his Health and Human Services department. The Brain dead Supreme Court justices should have ruled the thing unconstitutional because it egregiously transfers enormous powers from the legislative branch to the executive branch without practical recourse.

    If left to stand, ObamaCare means healthcare can radically swing depending on whoever is in the White House. If the GOP is lucky enough to regain the White House in 2017, the GOP president can remove the mandates from the federal exchanges and allow folks to also buy insurance across state lines (maybe even offer them in states with state exchanges in place of the federal exchange, using the exception clause and the precedent created by Obama’s loose pen).
    I agree about the emergency room mandate for hospitals. There are serious numbers of folks who even if covered by ObamaCare and not with an emergency medical condition, are showing up in emergency rooms just because it’s the best attentive care available. Allow hospitals to send these folks to urgent care if nurse can determine from records and current conditions it isn’t reasonably expected an emergency.

    As for Obama as worst president, I am not sure. Bush 2 really erred badly in invading Iraq (although things were a bit emotional just after 911); and we are now paying the price in Ukraine and Georgia the country having strained the country’s psyche about military strength. In fact, Bush 2’s Iraq invasion is what gave us Obama. But I do now think Obama a worse president than even Jimmy Carter (who had one redeeming feature of having deregulated the airline industry and given us 30 years or so of cheap competitive airline travel).

    • guest

      Generally agree with your posts, however, If Bush 2 had carried on like a wimp such as Carter and carney’s like Clinton and Obama, what might you believe to have have been better for US? Say what?

      For the public opinion record, “W” merits a fiscal liberal badge – yet compared to the Jerque du Soleil triage of DEM’s appease porridge POTus FED US since Billy’s bro foamed at the mouth, I’d rather go “Dutch” who PAC’d a large wallop on unmanageable air traffic controllers and a Kremlin Berlin Wall, etc. Quote: “When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat.”

  • DavidAppell

    Florida is going to be one of the very first regions to go under from sea level rise. So Ms. Sink (ironic) will get the last laugh.

    By 2100, Florida won’t be anything like what it is today. By 2300, Florida will almost certainly no longer exist.

    • .

      Appell, cordially invited to go swimming with sting rays and bent with Steve Irwin’s touchy-feel proclivities.

      • DavidAppell

        Glad you read my comment, and passed it around.

        • .

          Yeah, it’s a classical gas, all blight, yet quite comparable to your ‘bum’ rap airings.

  • DavidAppell

    Those who fail or refuse to obtain health insurance will be denied health services unless they are able to pay cash for such services at the time they are incurred.

    So the homeless, disabled but wanting to work, the long-term unemployed, and others, will be left in the street to die.

    And you people wonder why the world sees conservatives like Larry as heartless bastards.

    • .

      Shoo fly high Appell pan doobie. Go toke a sabbatical in CO with Ward Churchill where your GI-Q will be so wasted yet piped up in the smoke you’re accustomed to.

      • DavidAppell

        Again, thanks for reading my comment, and forward it around in email via your addition to it. ‘Appreciate it.

        • .

          Appell dither, PUTIN on the kibitz again!

  • Logical Conservative

    (Yes, people may die but then people die when they chose to drive drunk.)……Lets see, people drive drunk cause they choose to. People get cancer because they????

  • Tim Lyman

    “The federal law mandating that hospitals must provide emergency room
    service to everyone regardless of the ability to pay must be repealed.”

    That’s just about the stupidest thing I’ve ever read.

    So some guy walking down the street who gets run over by a drunk is left to die because he doesn’t have insurance? A car wreck victim is left to die because they are physically incapable of proving ability to pay or authorizing payment?

    Thanks for making Republicans look stupid AND mean.

    • LulzPdx

      Yep, evidently if you can’t prove you have insurance, because, you know, you might look sketchy, and you’re comatose, the hospital doesn’t have to provide service. Presumably Larry has coverage, so he doesn’t have to worry. And that is probably what is most important.

      • .

        So sayeth an oracle at Delphinia’s Deli haus – so full of bologna and liver at it’s wurst.

    • .

      Yap another Joseph Gerbils-callous class war head. Hey, derriere head bLymon, take your glutenous and maximus your farce aback to the anal mule farm from whence you tometh.

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