11:46 AM, May 26, 2015 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
In the initial years following Obamacare’s passage, Republicans remained solidly united on one crucial point: Obamacare needs to be repealed and replaced, not “fixed.” But some Republicans and center-right pundits have since decided that trying to fix the president’s signature legislation is a good thing. Witness this advice from the Wall Street Journal editorial board. The Journal calls for a “subsidies-for-deregulation deal” — whereby President Obama would get his subsidies turned back on if the Supreme Court turns them off, and in exchange, Republicans would agree to help make Obamacare better.
Referring to a proposal advanced in its own pages by Senator Ron Johnson, the Journal writes,
“The best response we’ve heard [to King v. Burwell] comes from Mr. Johnson and has broad support among Senate Republicans. In the event the Court overturns the subsidies, Mr. Johnson proposes a straight extension of the subsidies through August 2017 for anyone enrolled as of this summer….
“In return, he’d restore to states the freedom to deregulate ObamaCare’s central planning diktats and offer more policy choices to consumers. Over time, the subsidies would be less necessary as markets healed.”
But markets can never really heal under Obamacare, and to the extent that Republicans try to offer partial relief, they will merely be undermining the cause of repeal. Obamacare was passed without a single Republican vote. Why would Republicans now want to give it a gloss of bipartisanship, make it somewhat less awful, and thereby reduce the clear sense of urgency of getting rid of it altogether?
The biggest danger posed by the King v. Burwell case has always been that Republican congressional leadership would take a win at the Court — in the form of a ruling that the Obama administration has been lawlessly paying out Obamacare subsidies in 37 states in defiance of the legislation’s plain text — and use it as an excuse to negotiate “fixes” to Obamacare with the Obama White House. Now that’s exactly what the Journal is saying they should do.
Under such a “subsidies-for-deregulation deal” — those are the Journal’s own words — Republicans would agree to make Obamacare better in exchange for agreeing to fund it. In other words, they would give Obama two wins for the price of one — and in response to a loss for Obama at the Court.
As we have written at the 2017 Project, and I have outlined in Senate testimony, a far better course would be for Republicans to provide an off-ramp that would lead to the effective repeal and replacement of Obamacare in up to 37 states — or even more, if some of the 13 states with their own exchanges chose to take the off-ramp as well. An Obamacare alternative like the one that House Budget Committee chairman Tom Price just introduced — with its non-income-tested refundable tax credits— would provide a good blueprint to follow in this regard.
If Republicans can’t agree upon that, then they could pass something like what Sen. Ben Sasse has advocated.
But the last thing that they should do is try to fix Obamacare and make it better. Leave that to Hillary Clinton if she wins in 2016. Republicans need to remain the party of repeal.
Jeffrey H. Anderson is executive director of the 2017 Project, which is working to advance a conservative reform agenda, including a winning alternative to Obamacare.
10:05 PM, May 13, 2015 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Assuming a Republican wins the presidency in 2016, his top domestic priority will be—and should be—to repeal and replace Obamacare.
The five hidden ways you’re paying to subsidize renewable power. Apr 27, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 31 • By BRIAN H. POTTS
Do you want to know how to beat the stock market? In 46 of America’s 50 largest cities, installing a fully financed, typical-sized, residential solar power system will do just that, according to a Department of Energy-backed study released earlier this year. In other words, by investing in solar panels, most homeowners will save more in electric costs over the next 25 years (the approximate life of the system) than they would earn from investing the same money in the stock market over that same time period.
10:05 AM, Mar 5, 2015 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Ben Sasse of Nebraska, who rode his opposition to Obamacare to a seat in the Senate, has introduced legislation that should help Republicans avoid turning a potential victory at the Supreme Court into a defeat for the cause of repeal. Sasse’s bill, introduced yesterday evening, is designed to keep Republican governors and state legislators from setting up state-based exchanges in the wak
Hosted by Michael Graham.1:00 PM, Nov 14, 2014 • By TWS PODCAST
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with senior writer Steve Hayes on Jonathan Gruber's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week.
Halbig, but King bigger Nov 24, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 11 • By ADAM J. WHITE
In their final push to enact Obamacare, Nancy Pelosi urged her fellow Democrats to “pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” They probably should have found out first. Now they need the Supreme Court to “find” once again in their favor.
7:01 AM, Jul 28, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
The New York Times has described M.I.T. economist Jonathan Gruber as “a card-carrying Democrat” whose “position as an adviser to the influential Congressional Budget Office also left him perfectly positioned to advise the White House on health reform.” Moreover, the Times writes, “After Mr. Gruber helped the administration put together the basic principles of the [Obamacare] proposal, the White House lent him to Capitol Hill to help Congressional staff members draft the specifics of the legislation.” Now it turns out that, as the Competitive Enterprise Institute has unearthed, Gruber told audiences as far back as early 2012 that Obamacare’s taxpayer-funded subsidies couldn’t flow through federally established exchanges, but only through state-established ones. More recently, Gruber has been singing a different tune, as legal challenges on that aspect of the law have proceeded.
3:17 PM, Jan 26, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The boss reported this morning on CBS that Republicans will unveil an alternative to Obamacare tomorrow in the Senate:
Said host Bob Schieffer, "Bill, you actually have some news, I understand, because you've learned that the Republicans are going to, what, present an alternative to Obamacare?"
5:23 PM, Nov 20, 2013 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
As Congress moves ahead with the farm bill -- legislation that has historically been full of (figurative) pork -- there's one really obvious measure that needs to be eliminated. A new program that will require that catfish be monitored by the Department of Agriculture. Catfish, like all fish consumed by Americans, is already monitored by the Food and Drug Administration. Supposedly, this extra layer of regulation is a matter of food safety.
Plus, the law's privacy problems haven't disappeared.2:42 PM, Sep 12, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
As the October 1 implementation of parts of Obamacare nears, House Republicans continue to pass legislation aimed at highlighting the health care law's flaws and weaknesses. On Thursday, the House passed a bill to reform an Obamacare verification process that would better stop fraudulent claims to health insurance subsidies. Politico reports:
Big Ag’s big subsidies.Jul 29, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 43 • By ANDREW MOYLAN
With this month’s passage of a farm bill that doles out tens of billions of dollars in subsidies to agribusiness interests, the Republican-controlled House has signaled that the class of 2010 dream of a genuinely “small government” majority is well and truly dead.
9:01 AM, May 30, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The oldest and most durable of all Washington handouts is the agricultural subsidy. Without it, of course, farm families would be forced off the land, food prices would rise, and all manner of woe would be the nation's lot.
8:48 AM, Apr 2, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Senator Charles Schumer has discovered a new cash crop that requires taxpayer support. As Pete Kasperowicz writes in the Hill: