2:20 PM, Jun 25, 2015 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON and WILLIAM KRISTOL
The Supreme Court’s ruling in King v. Burwell is disappointing. But it also provides a welcome moment of clarity: We can finally dispense with the false belief that the Supreme Court will save us from Obamacare. It is perhaps a blessing for the cause of repeal that all eyes will now turn to the presidential candidates and to Congress, whose job it is to repeal Obamacare in full in early 2017. Accountability is no longer divided. The political branches must act.
It is important to note that the Court’s decision had no relationship to the question of Obamacare’s merits. The case was limited to the question of whether the Obama administration is executing the law as written. The Court says it is. The Court also says, “In a democracy, the power to make the law rests with those chosen by the people.” Indeed, it does. And what was true the day after Obamacare’s passage is equally true today: the law must be repealed.
The reasons are clear: Obamacare consolidates and centralizes money and power to an unprecedented degree. At its core is an (unfixable) individual mandate that requires, for the first time in all of United States history, that private American citizens must buy a product or service of the federal government’s choosing. Its 2,400 pages shift the power over America’s health-care decisions from patients and doctors to bureaucrats and politicians. Instead of offering real reform, it raises health costs, diminishes quality, increases federal spending, raids Medicare, balloons the size of government, and undermines Americans’ liberty.
It was passed as “comprehensive” legislation. It cannot be fixed. It must be repealed — comprehensively.
The citizenry has opposed Obamacare from the start, and yet President Obama and his congressional allies believed the American people would eventually — dutifully — acquiesce. They have not. According to Real Clear Politics, 189 polls have been taken on Obamacare during Obama’s second term. One has found it to be popular; 188 have found it to be unpopular. In the one that found it popular (with 47 percent support), more than three times as many people (31 percent) said it “needs to be repealed in its entirety” as said it “is working well” (9 percent).
Polling that asks about an alternative finds even more support for repeal. Two polls taken during Obama’s second term have asked about repeal in the context of “a conservative alternative that aims to lower health costs and help people get insurance” — that is, an alternative that deals with costs and coverage. Both polls found that support for repeal trumps opposition to repeal by 60 to 32 percent.
This is not a moment, however, when conservatives’ commitment should be driven by the polls. Even if the American people were to learn to stop worrying and love Obamacare — and a brief, post-King Obamacare bounce in the polls is likely — conservatives should still fight for its repeal with everything they have. As Yuval Levin wrote shortly after Obamacare’s passage, it provides “a health care bridge to nowhere.” It is unsustainable. It will either be repealed, or it will eventually be transformed into a full government monopoly.
The party of limited government and liberty has the most to gain from repeal. If Obamacare is repealed, the entire project of the left will be brought into question. A victory here will beget other victories. But a victory here would be something extraordinary in itself: the greatest domestic-policy win in the history of the conservative movement.
So let the Court step aside. Let us see which presidential candidates, which members of Congress, will seize this moment and lead us to repeal. Obamacare should exist until 2017 and no longer. And a party that fights for that result, a party that brings about repeal and then real reform, will cement its place as the new majority party. A party that fails to fulfill its promise will fracture and recede — and deservedly so. For the Republican Party, therefore, this is a time for choosing.
1:36 PM, Jun 16, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
A review of $2.8 billion in subsidies paid to health insurers on behalf of Obamacare enrollees during the early days of the program could not verify the accuracy of those payments.
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”
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.