1:03 PM, Oct 29, 2015 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Today, in his remarks to the House of Representatives following his election as speaker, Paul Ryan reiterated his belief that “we can renew the America idea.” This recalls Ryan’s excellent speech on the fateful night of the Obamacare vote, on March 21, 2010, when he proclaimed,
“This moment may mark a temporary conclusion of the health-care debate, but its place in history has not yet been decided. If this passes, the quest to reclaim the American idea is not over. The fight to reapply our founding principles is not finished. It is just a steeper hill to climb, and it is a climb that we will make!”
Indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that, back then, Ryan was the strongest voice in the fight against Obamacare. In addition to his floor speech on the night of the vote, he provided a devastating critique of Obamacare’s finances at the “Health Summit,” and he fought Obamacare with vigor and intelligence.
Nearly six years have since passed. In the last year or so, Republicans have started to unite around an Obamacare alternative, based upon the “Winning Alternative to Obamacare” originally advanced by the 2017 Project (which I ran and Bill Kristol chaired). Virginia Senate candidate Ed Gillespie ran on that alternative, House Budget Committee chairman Tom Price based his alternative upon it and has gotten 79 cosponsors to sign on (including Jeb Hensarling, Trey Gowdy, Marsha Blackburn, and Republican Study Committee chairman Bill Flores), and Scott Walker and Jeb Bush based their presidential-campaign proposals upon it.
The crux of such an alternative is to repeal all of Obamacare and offer simple, non-income-based tax credits to Americans who don’t get insurance through their employer, thereby breathing life into an individual market that the federal government choked off. In short, such an alternative would fix the inequity in the tax code that has long been at the root of our health-care woes, without foolishly taking aim at employer-based insurance. As such, it would maximize the chance for repeal while moving things in a conservative direction from the pre-Obamacare status quo.
Those under the age of 35 would get a tax credit for $1,200, those between 35 and 50 would get one for $2,100, those 50 and over would get one for $3,000, and parents would get a $900 tax credit per child. (Those are the amounts that the 2017 Project, Gillespie, Price, and Walker have all called for.) These tax credits would go directly to individuals and families—as any genuine tax credit, or tax cut, must—not to insurance companies. Anyone who shops for value and buys insurance for less than the value of the tax credit could put the savings into a health savings account that he or she would control. The nonpartisan Center for Health and Economy found that such an alternative would save well over $1 trillion over a decade versus Obamacare, while resulting in more people having private health insurance than under Obamacare. That’s right: more people would freely choose to buy insurance under such an alternative than would dutifully buy it when compelled to do so under Obamacare. Liberty would triumph over coercion.
Ryan is now uniquely well-placed to lead the effort to get such an alternative passed into law. Of course, that won’t happen until the Obama era mercifully ends just 14 months from now. But Ryan is now in a position to lead the completion of the climb of which he so passionately spoke—the climb to bring about the full repeal of Obamacare and, in the process, to reclaim the American idea.
Anderson is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute.
3:24 PM, Sep 1, 2015 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
So far, the Republican presidential contest has been light on Obamacare, with Scott Walker — who has essentially championed the 2017 Project’s “Winning Alternative to Obamacare” — providing a noteworthy exception. Since Obamacare is the biggest issue of Barack Obama’s presidency, why are most GOP candidates shying away from talking about their plans to bring about its full repeal? The answer, in part, is that while almost all Tea Partiers and most grassroots Republicans are fully committed to repeal, two groups within the Republican party or the conservative (or libertarian) movement are either not fully dedicated to the cause or are actively working against it.
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.
10:01 AM, Feb 28, 2015 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Over the past few days at CPAC, Sean Hannity has asked various prospective Republican presidential candidates to list their “top five agenda items.” Former governor Jeb Bush’s list did not include repealing Obamacare.
The left falsely portrays Obamacare while attacking Burr-Hatch-Upton.9:02 AM, Feb 9, 2015 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
The Huffington Post’s Jeffrey Young and Jonathan Cohn declare that “putting together a real Obamacare alternative will take more time — and more genuine interest — than Republicans have.” In truth, such Obamacare alternatives are already available to Republicans. These include the 2017 Project’s “Winning Alternative to Obamacare,” which helped Ed Gillespie almost pull off a huge upset victory in last year’s Virginia Senate race, and the newly released Burr-Hatch-Upton alternative, an updated version of last year’s Burr-Coburn-Hatch proposal.
4:34 PM, Feb 5, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Bobby Jindal isn’t as close to announcing a run for president as some of his other would-be GOP rivals, but that hasn’t kept the Louisiana governor out of the news. In recent weeks, Jindal has spoken out on terrorism (he says, contra Obama, Islam “has a problem”), vaccines (he’s unequivocally for them), and Common Core (he’s now against it).
Feb 2, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 20 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
In the official Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night, newly elected Iowa senator Joni Ernst stressed the importance of combating liberals’ “stale mindset” that has “led to failed policies like Obamacare,” while reaffirming Republicans’ commitment to “fighting to repeal and replace” that disastrous legislation. To find an opportunity to match their words with actions, Republicans won’t have to wait long.
9:20 AM, Jan 16, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The Republicans in congress have some plans for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and the Supreme Court will be considering the possibility that that language in the bill itself might, if followed literally, doom the program.
Jan 19, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 18 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Republicans have now won two Obamacare elections, the first in 2010 and the second in 2014. (In 2012, their presidential nominee chose not to engage on the issue.) In the lead-up to their latest victory, Republicans ran far more ads against Obamacare than either party ran for or against anything else. Voters responded by giving the GOP 9 more Senate seats and 13 more House seats.
7:45 AM, Sep 4, 2014 • By AVIK ROY
Given that I’ve probably published more articles critical of Obamacare than anyone alive, I’m often asked to speak to conservative audiences about our new health law.
8:05 AM, Sep 2, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Slowly but surely, the anti-repeal wing of the Republican party is starting to reassert itself. The latest effort comes from Lanhee Chen, who was the top policy advisor on the Mitt Romney campaign. As readers will likely recall, that campaign refused to advance an alternative to Obamacare, failed to emphasize the horror that is Obamacare, and went 0-9 in the nine most important swing states. Hot off of that success, Chen now has some advice for the rest of us.
May 26, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 35 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
It's a question often asked these days in conservative circles: Do you really think Obamacare can be repealed? Usually uttered behind closed doors, the question reveals both an un-Reagan-like pessimism and something of a disconnect from political reality.
Repeal, now more than ever!8:40 AM, Apr 18, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Shortly after the Supreme Court’s decision on Obamacare, the CBO projected that 9 million people would buy Obamacare-compliant insurance through newly established government-run exchanges. Now, after an enrollment period that his administration expanded by about two months—to more than half a year—President Obama says that 8 million people have “signed up” for (but in many cases haven’t actually bought) insurance through those exchanges.