If you are one of those unsophisticated voters out there in America who thought that you voted for Republican candidates last November so that they will repeal and replace Obamacare, I have bad news for you — Many of the “thinkers” on the Republican or conservative side in Washington are too scared to do it.
It’s actually worse than that, they think replacing Obamacare with a conservative market-based approach that tackles the issue of cost is a lost cause. They think that we cannot repeal Obamacare and start over.
So they are presenting their own health care plans based on the assumption that the entitlement spending and tax increases in Obamacare are the new baseline and are here to stay. Oh, their plans are better than what we have now, but they refuse to go back and uproot all of Obamacare and start over.
Why you ask?
Well, let me present their argument not in my words, but in their words. In an article attacking me for presenting my plan that actually does uproot all of Obamacare’s new spending and taxing, one Washington based conservative columnist said this:
“To be politically viable, a replacement for Obamacare has to be competitive with Obamacare in terms of the number of people that it covers,” ….“You can’t have a replacement plan where the No. 1 sort of headline aspect of it is that this plan takes health insurance away from millions of people.”
And there you have it.
Allow me to translate – The smart guys in Washington do not believe you can repeal Obamacare. They have decided that it is not “politically viable.” What’s done is done. Once government enacts a giveaway or an entitlement program, it can never be repealed. It is what it is, and we just have to endeavor to make it less bad. Kind of like hospice care.
That, according to the smart guys in Washington, is our job as conservatives. Not to offer market based solutions, but rather to try to make the government takeover of health care less bad. That’s our mission.
This is lunacy, and it is exhibit A of the classic Washington disease. In Washington, everybody knows that you can’t balance the budget, you can’t really shrink government, you can’t cut the government workforce, and you certainly can’t repeal all of Obamacare. It’s just not “politically viable.”
Here’s my question — what experience does this columnist have, or other policy folks in Washington who hold this view, that leads him to such a fatalistic view? Who asked them to pontificate on what is politically viable? Has Obamacare suddenly become popular? Didn’t the Republican Party crush the Democrats in last year’s election? And wasn’t eradicating Obamacare prominently featured in almost every winning Republican campaign? Were we just kidding?
Here’s my prediction, I believe that Republican voters out in America who naively believe that we CAN do big things won’t take kindly to this.
Here are the facts. The President created a new entitlement program when we can’t afford our current ones, and at a time when our national debt is larger than our entire economy. This entitlement program was sold on a lie, it took money from Medicare, it has driven up costs for both consumers and taxpayers, and it raised taxes by 1 trillion dollars.
But, according to the smart guys in Washington, we can’t repeal it and start over.
If that is true, and fortunately it is not, there really would be no need for two political parties.
Bobby Jindal is Governor of Louisiana. This piece originally appeared at Townhall.com.