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Kristol: The GOP vs. Big Government, Big Pharma, and Big Insurance

7:53 AM, Dec 16, 2009 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
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The Senate Democrats' legislation is a Medicare-cutting, tax-hiking, no-real-reform 2,000 page monstrosity opposed by the majority of the American people.

The only winners would be Big Government (which would grow in immeasurable ways, and would gradually assume ever more responsibility for our health decisions), Big Pharma ("On the campaign trail, Barack Obama vowed to take on the drug industry by allowing Americans to import cheaper prescription medicine. 'We'll tell the pharmaceutical companies 'thanks, but no, thanks' for the overpriced drugs -- drugs that cost twice as much here as they do in Europe and Canada,' he said back then. On Tuesday, the matter came to the Senate floor -- and President Obama forgot the 'no, thanks' part. Siding with the pharmaceutical lobby, the administration successfully fought against the very idea Obama had championed...."), and Big Insurance ("The Democratic party is on the verge of enacting a requirement, enforced with federal tax penalties, which would effectively require hard-working Americans to hand over even more of their wages to profit-hungry, private insurance companies.")

Republicans should say: No, No, a thousand times No.

And if the legislation passes, the GOP should immediately begin trying to repeal key parts of it. The moment it passes, Mitch McConnell might introduce free-standing legislation repealing the Medicare cuts. Republicans could highlight their opposition to Big Pharma and Big Insurance by trying to force votes--in 2010--on drug re-importation and more insurance competition, measures that could go into effect right away so as to be of immediate benefit to the American people. And of course they should promise to relieve the American people of the prospect of living under the Democrats' health bureaucracy regime by promising repeal of the whole thing in 2011.