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'Missing Obamacare Strategy'

11:01 AM, Apr 29, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
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The editors of National Review write:

Republican congressional leaders thought they had come up with a great idea: Pass a bill through the House getting rid of an Obamacare “slush fund” that is slated to be used to advertise the benefits of the program. To make the bill more painful for the Democrats to oppose, redirect the funds to Obamacare’s ailing fund for “high-risk pools” for sick people — a better version of which is part of every conservative plan to replace Obamacare.

Now those congressional leaders are furious with conservative House members and organizations who have scuttled the bill for the time being; the bill’s opponents see it as a surrender in the battle to repeal Obamacare completely. While we side with the leadership on this specific bill, the uproar reflects the justified suspicion of grassroots conservatives that Republicans are just mouthing their support for repeal and replacement of Obamacare and have no real plan for bringing it about.

The failure to devise and articulate an anti-Obamacare strategy is, however, not that of the party leaders alone. Their conservative critics, when they have advanced their own strategies, have made proposals that are likely to set back the cause — such as using the threat of a government shutdown to force the Democrats to acquiesce in repeal.

The basic outline of a workable strategy is easy to draw up. First, Republicans should explain why Obamacare is unlikely to work. Second, they should finally unite behind an alternative that would let at least as many people get coverage as Obamacare but without the law’s side-effects. Third, they should say that they plan to repeal and replace Obamacare as soon as they can do so — whether in one fell swoop, which could occur only under a new president in 2017, or one step at a time. Fourth, they should advance bills that both replace parts of Obamacare and highlight its flaws.

Whole thing here.

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