Jeffrey H. Anderson, writing for National Review Online:
An Olympiad ago yesterday, President Obama signed Obamacare into law. Four years later, it is clear that Republicans are committed to running against it. Far less clear, however, is whether they are committed to repealing it.
In Friday’s USA Today, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus listed many of the horrors of Obamacare. He noted that the Democrats’ “struggle to defend the law” on the merits causes them to resort to a “feeble . . . something-is-better-than-nothing” defense. He quoted Debbie Wasserman Schultz, his counterpart at the Democratic National Committee, as asking, “What is the Republican solution . . . to ensuring that everybody in America has access to quality, affordable healthcare?” And then, having set himself up to take the big shot and win the game . . . Priebus didn’t shoot. He didn’t provide the answer to Wasserman Schultz’s question.
Priebus listed six discrete policy proposals. But the combination of those proposals wouldn’t give every American “access to quality, affordable health care.” Instead, they would leave open a political hole big enough to drive a liberal truck — or an entire fleet of Toyota Priuses — through it. All that an Obamacare supporter would have to do is ask this question:Under the Republicans’ proposal, what would happen to someone who was made eligible for Medicaid because of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, or someone who gets the most lavish taxpayer-funded Obamacare subsidies because he or she has an income that’s just above the Medicaid line? Under Priebus’s proposals, the answer would be: They’d get very little or nothing — an answer that almost certainly won’t lead to full repeal.
Indeed, Priebus is already coming out in favor of keeping, rather than repealing, Obamacare’s ridiculous federal mandate that says that no family in America should be able to save some money by buying an insurance plan that doesn’t cover their 25-year-old “child.” Obamacare bans anyone from choosing such a plan. (To be fair, Priebus does give himself some wiggle room with his phrasing: “I think we can agree on allowing young people to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26.” It’s unclear whether he would simply allow insurers to continue covering adult children — a no-brainer — or keep the Obamacare ban in place.)
Just because Republicans don’t have an answer to Wasserman Schultz’s question, however, doesn’t mean there isn’t one. Indeed, the 2017 Project has advanced a conservative alternative to Obamacare under which health costs would drop, liberty would be secured, and every American who wants to buy health insurance would be able to do so. It’s an alternative that is designed to bring about Obamacare’s full repeal.
Whole thing here.