The American Spectator recently posted on their blog an interview that Sean Hannity had with Karl Rove back on July 26, 2013 regarding Affordable Care Act. As many are aware, certain elements of the Affordable Care Act was supposed to take in effect this year. Recently, the Administration has ordered a delay in the implementation of the law as it affects employers. This recent action by the administration does not count the granting of multiple waivers by the Department of Health and Human Services or the fact that members of Congress and staffers will resign effective the New Year in order to be under the old Congressional health benefits package indicate that this legislation will not make healthcare affordable.
These requests for waivers and the recent delay have given the GOP an opportunity to revisit this monstrosity of legislation and repeal it once and for all. However, the GOP has taken two different approaches. One approach is taken by Senate Republicans Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Mike Lee, and Rand Paul. They have called legislation to defund the Affordable Care Act. Their argument is that with all of these delays, let’s defund the entire system and repeal the law. The House of Representatives have passed legislation calling for the repeal, but never defunding it.
The second approach is taken by senior Republican Senators. Their position is not to defund the Affordable Care Act. Instead, try to reform the legislation. Although Karl Rove is not on record concerning reforming the legislation, (to the best of my knowledge) Mr. Rove is on record of going against the defunding approach. Mr. Rove’s concern is that the President will use the defunding of this legislation in order for Republicans appear heartless. Mr. Rove cited the way the Republicans lost the public during the government shutdown under President Clinton.
Both approaches are wrong and short sighted. The GOP should focus on presenting a reasonable alternative to the current legislation in addition to defunding. Prior to the enactment of this legislation, our healthcare system had many flaws that needed to be addressed. I can speak about the flaws from personal experience.
A couple of years ago, I broke my finger from playing softball. It literally took me almost the entire day by visiting three doctors, including my referring physician, three x-rays, two were only an hour apart, and missed an entire day of work. The frustrating part was the fact that I had a CD of an MRI that was done to my finger. You would think that the CD copy of my MRI would have been sufficient. But, the other doctors refused to see the CD. Why? They wanted to be paid for using their x-rays.
The Affordable Care Act will be making healthcare more difficult for the average person. We are beginning to see the impact right now, through the skyrocketing costs, but, it is making Americans harder to find full time employment. The GOP should begin to draft legislation that address the obstacles to lowering the costs of health insurance, cutting through the bureaucratic red tape in hospitals, and other factors that are impeding on improving our healthcare system. Mr. Rove could be right in the sense that those supporting only to defund the law will play into the president’s hand-calling Republicans the party of the status quo.
However, by presenting an alternative to the current legislation-an alternative that is not only based on the free market, but proven reforms will grab the people’s attention. It will force the Congress and the President, if he chooses, to have an honest debate about healthcare. Any “status quo” argument is weakened when the GOP presents their healthcare plans. Failure by the President would make him the defender of the status quo, a failed policy that needs to be changed.