Friday, March 23, 2012

The Terrible Twos: McConnell on Obamacare Anniversary

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is marking the two year anniversary with Obamacare with a full-court press, including a news conference (rare for a Friday, when the Leader travels home to Louisville) and and op-ed in National Review Online.  The NRO piece is worth reading in its entirety, but in case you don't have time, here are a few highlights.

McConnell's op-ed makes the point that Obamacare is even worse than most of us had feared.  Therefore, Republicans are even more committed to repealing it -- if the Supreme Court doesn't strike it down.

On Team Obama's political strategy regarding Obamacare, McConnell notes, "Time and again, the president and his allies have arrogantly presumed that a public that has largely opposed Obamacare from the start would either come to like it or forget about it over time. Their hopes never materialized."  Instead, public opposition to Obamacare remains high; three-fourths of Americans believe that the individual mandate is unconstitutional.

Republicans acknowledge that health care requires common-sense, market-based reform and are therefore prepared to replace Obamacare with a conservative alternative:

 Among other problems were the rising cost of health care to private and public payers, the exposure of too many families to potentially catastrophic health-care costs, and the lack of coverage for millions of Americans
Yet rather than solving the most pressing problems in the old system, Obamacare has made many of these problems far worse. Costs and premiums are rising, Medicare has been weakened, states now struggle to keep pace with even costlier federal mandates, and the economy is being sapped as new mandates dissuade employers from creating new jobs.

Obamacare has screwed up Medicare, saddling states with unfunded (and unconstitutional mandates) that states cannot afford and that will jeopardize the quality of care our seniors receive:

States face their own challenges. Many couldn’t afford federal health-care mandates before Obamacare mandated dramatic increases in Medicaid rolls — and the costs to pay for it. Needless to say, even if states are able to meet the costs of covering as many as 25 million more Medicaid patients, the quality of the care for those who rely on Medicaid would almost certainly suffer.

The president may be able to boast that more people have coverage. But states, which will have to shoulder the costs, won’t be applauding.

Nor will America’s seniors, millions of whom now know from bitter experience that the president wasn’t speaking to them when he vowed that, under Obamacare, “if you like the plan you have you can keep it.” Since then, millions who have and like Medicare Advantage have learned it won’t necessarily be there for them anymore.

McConnell also hits upon the key distinction between conservatives and liberals. Conservatives trust in the innate wisdom of the citizenry; they believe that individuals have the common sense and responsibility to take care of themselves; the little people are not stupid, and don't need the government to run their lives or spend their money for them. Democrats, in contrast, think that the poor fools in the flyover states need to be saved from themselves by the enlightened progressives:

 most Americans understood from the start that the president’s claims about this plan simply weren’t credible. Chief among them was his insistence that it wouldn’t add a dime to the deficit. Americans aren’t stupid. They know that a government entitlement is about as likely to pay for itself as, well, a government entitlement.

McConnell clearly lays out the differences between the the two parties on this critical issue of  health care. It is imperative that Republicans elect enough senators to give McConnell a majority so that if the Supreme Court fails in its task, the Senate can repeal this monstrosity.

No comments: