WASHINGTON, December 16, 2013 — Now that the devastating effects of the disastrous Affordable Care Act — Obamacare — are taking effect, the bill’s authors are in a state of panic. They are accusing Republicans of being obstructionists because they won’t fix a law in which they had almost no input, and which was passed without a single Republican vote.
Democrats created Obamacare on their own and in their own image. They own it absolutely, in a way that no one Party has ever owned such a major piece of legislation before. Now they want Republicans to help them fix it, but on their terms, keeping it their own. They not only want Republican help; they’re desperate for it.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was in full damage-control mode earlier this month when he said, “There are still problems with the Affordable Care Act and ways we can make it better. But we can’t improve the law without help from reasonable Republicans. It’s time for my Republican colleagues to give up their fantasy of repealing a law that’s already benefiting tens of millions of Americans and start working with Democrats to make the Affordable Care Act succeed instead.”
The Republican Party has shown little leadership in Washington. Neither have they taken any clear and decisive action to repeal this brazen takeover of one-sixth of the American economy. But if you sift through the mess that is Obamacare, you’ll find that the saving grace for Republicans is that none of them created or voted for this disaster. Not one.
The approval rate for Congress is at historic lows. Voters across the political spectrum are increasingly weary of the way that “We the People” are being represented in Washington. But if you are among the majority of Americans who detest the realities of the Affordable Care Act, the genesis of this legislation, and the veil of lies that was constructed to conceal all of this, you should note that its DNA comes from one party, the same party whose fingerprints are all over its body: the Democratic Party.
Say what you will about Republicans: Call them RINOs, sellouts, spineless and leaderless. The record still shows that on this abominable law, the GOP displayed unwavering solidarity in voting against it. When the bill was first passed, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi congressional Democrats heralded the vote as a grand and historic moment in legislative history. We will certainly never forget her infamous words: “We have to pass the bill to find out what is in it.”
Obamacare has managed in the three years since its passage to do serious damage to the health insurance industry. It has also encouraged many employers to cut back on the hours of their employees in order to stay in business. Now that the Obamacare website has been launched, we have even more evidence of government’s ineptness and inability to oversee and manage its implementation.
The rise in health insurance premiums and insurance cancellations have shown that Obama, Democratic legislators who crafted the bill, and key members of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) — the people who thrust this mess on the American people — are not only inept, but dishonest. That should be no surprise. Some Republicans warned of the rising premiums and lost policies last year and before, and for their efforts were called liars and scare-mongers.
The courageous actions of Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee to repeal Obamacare were ridiculed and vilified by the Democrats and undermined by members of their own party. Today, just a few weeks after their courageous efforts, we can see that they were right about the failings of this law.
The damage control is becoming desperate for the Obama Administration and congressional Democrats up for reelection in 2014. For them, it starts by referring to the law as the Affordable Care Act, not Obamacare. The second important step for them is to push for a delay in full implementation of the bill until 2015 — after the 2014 mid term elections. In response to that we should ask whether the president can arbitrarily change implementation of the law.
Obamacare is a disaster. The Democrats need help from their Republicans to get out of the fix they’re in, and so do the American people. That help, though, should not be delays in implementing the law or papering over its worst problems, but in writing a new law. The new law should be crafted in the open and passed after full and fair debate. We should know what’s in the law before Congress votes for it. The law should be passed not by the hubris of a supermajority or by a vindictive opposition, but by colleagues who respect each other and the American people.
But Obama and congressional Democrats poisoned that well when they triumphantly steamrolled Republicans to shove this law on America on their own. In their arrogance they made this law entirely their own and in their own image. Republicans should stand ready to help save America from Obamacare, but in their pride and vanity, the Democrats will never let them. They want the bill adjusted on the margins on their terms, so that it will remain entirely and forever their bill.
If Republicans want to fix it, they’ll have to do it on the same terms that the Democrats crafted it in the first place. That means winning elections in 2014 and 2016, and Obamacare should help them do it. Then will begin the hard work of not just repealing Obamacare, but replacing it with a law that can fulfill the promise of affordable health care for all.
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