Here’s what the four leading Republican presidential candidates (based on the Real Clear Politics average of recent polling) have to say on their websites, in total, about why it’s so important that we repeal Obamacare — and about how highly they prioritize that goal. In both of these veins, one of the four candidates stands out.
So that they may be appraised without bias, the candidates’ words are listed blindly below and are connected to the given candidate at the end:
(Only passages about repeal are included, not those about Obamacare’s potential replacement.)
“Repeal and Replace Health Care ‘Deform’”:
“President Obama and the liberals in Congress have dismantled the free market health care system and replaced it with health care ‘deform.’ They have passed measures that compromise the sacred patient-doctor relationship, eliminate patient choice, stick a bureaucrat in the examining room, ration care and do nothing to limit frivolous lawsuits that drive up the cost of health care. In all of these provisions, they made health care more expensive and less accessible for American families they claimed to protect.
“Under the guise of making health care a ‘right’ for all people, President Obama and the liberals in Congress instead extended the tentacles of government, expanding their control and diminishing patients’ rights. They have also made it more difficult and more expensive for doctors to practice medicine, including specialized practitioners who are desperately needed to save lives. In reality, their attempts at reforming the system have actually deformed it.
“The majority of Americans agree: it’s time to repeal and replace Obamacare with patient-centered, free market reforms.”
“1. Repeal Obamacare and pass a replacement that saves lives and money by empowering patients and doctors, not bureaucrats and politicians.”
“Obamacare is a disaster and the first task of my administration will be to repeal it.
“The Obamacare law is unconstitutional, unaffordable, unworkable, and stunningly unfair. Its so-called ‘individual mandate’ is blatantly unconstitutional and an unprecedented expansion of federal power. If the federal government can coerce individuals — by threat of fines — to buy health insurance, there is no stopping the federal government from forcing Americans to buy any good or service.
“In addition to the unconstitutional nature of individual and employer mandates, we are learning that they simply don’t work.
“Their intractable problem is this: once you have a mandate, the government has to specify exactly what coverage must be included in insurance for it to qualify. This introduces political considerations into determining these minimum standards, guaranteeing that nothing desired by the special interests will be left out.
“And once the government mandates such expensive insurance, the government becomes responsible for its costs. It has to adopt expensive subsidies to help people pay for the expensive plans that it is requiring. The resulting cost to the taxpayer and strain on the budget leads the government to try and control healthcare costs by limiting healthcare services. The inevitable result is rationing by a nameless, faceless, unaccountable board of government bureaucrats.
“The Obamacare law also creates one thousand, nine hundred and sixty eight separate grants of power to bureaucrats, most of them to the Secretary of Health and Human Services and her bureaucracy. It creates 159 new boards, agencies and other government entities to administer health decisions that should be up to the individual in consultation with their doctor. This unprecedented grant of discretionary power to unelected bureaucrats guarantees the rise in arbitrary and corrupted decision-making by the federal government.
“For these reasons and more, I will fight for the repeal of Obamacare until it is repealed in its entirety.
“We must either limit government or we will have government limit us.”
“If elected, [candidate C] will repeal Obamacare — a misguided, unconstitutional and unsustainable government takeover of our health care that will undermine patient quality, increase red tape and send costs skyrocketing for taxpayers, patients and healthcare providers.”
“Our next president must repeal Obamacare….”
“‘Others, like me, believe Obamacare should be repealed and replaced. At the core of this debate is the question of what creates better patient outcomes and more efficiency: free enterprise and consumer-driven markets, or government management and regulation?’
“Repeal and replace President Obama’s health care law”:
“[Candidate D] believes that Obamacare must be repealed. On his first day in office, he will issue an executive order paving the way for waivers from Obamacare for all 50 states. Subsequently, he will call on Congress to fully repeal Obamacare….”
“Five Executive Orders for Day One:
“An Order to Pave the Way to End Obamacare”:
“Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services and all relevant federal officials to return the maximum possible authority to the states to innovate and design health care solutions that work best for them.”
“As president, [candidate D] will work to repeal laws like Obamacare….”
(Note: Obamacare cannot be repealed by executive order but only by passing repeal legislation.)
Okay — so who’s who? The four candidates are listed in alphabetical order: candidate A is Herman Cain, candidate B is Newt Gingrich, candidate C is Rick Perry, and candidate D is Mitt Romney.
Gingrich stands out as being the only candidate who declares repeal to be his top priority. He also stands out for offering by far the most knowledgeable, concrete, and compelling explanation as to why repeal must be the top priority.
Such persuasive explanations — paired with a firm commitment to the cause — are central to ensuring that 2010 won’t be the last election in which those who were most responsible for passing Obamacare will learn that “in all free governments,” “the cool and deliberate sense of the community” will “ultimately prevail over the views of its rulers.”