Fixing Obamacare to make it more likely that it will never be repealed would mean increasing subsidies or imposing new mandates on individuals, employers, insurance companies, doctors and/or hospitals.
The Upton bill does none of that.
Rather, it eliminates mandates for a large portion of those whose insurance policies have been cancelled either directly or indirectly due to Obamacare. It would help millions of Americans who are victims of Obamacare and who, thanks partially to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), know that the GOP has no fingerprints on a law that President Barack Obama and democrats lied about.
It is critical that Republicans not miss this opportunity to help victims of Obama and the Democrats at a time of maximum utility with Obama exposed as a liar and the cause of the police cancellations.
Yes, it would be better if we could get Democrats to agree to a full repeal. It would be also be even better if we could get taxes lowered and an end to the war on coal. But partial repeal of Obamacare mandates that could win over voters is a good thing, not a "fix" that makes Obamacare's ultimate survival more likely than it already is. In fact, passage of the Upton Bill could soon be followed by other partial repeal bills that anticipates policy cancellations of employees and small businesses that are coming next year when the illegally-delayed employer mandate takes effect.
Not every legislative act that alleviates suffering from Obamacare is a "fix" that helps Democrats. And passing Republican bills that free up parts of the market is a better insulation against being trapped by Democrats in being seen as not responding to the current crisis by virtue of only saying no to their bills.
Moreover, if what makes Michigan Republican Fred Upton's bill a trap is that Democrats might use its passage to foist a worse bill on us in response, then the real trap is that we are a majority in the House and not any particular bill. Democrats can pass bills in the Senate whether we pass bills or not and can send over a bad alternative like Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu's insurance contract reinstatement mandate even if we pass a bill demanding full repeal of Obamacare for the 48th time.
As always, we respect the views of fellow tea partier and other conservative Republicans on tactics, but I would urge all on our side to not get caught in a trap worse than the one some fear in the possible Upton-Landrieu exhange. And that would be to make the perfect, i.e. full repeal, the enemy of the good, i.e. partial repeals like the Upton Bill that help Obamacare victims while they are attentive future voters spurned by Obama's lie).
We should also not hesitate to act simply because Democrats up for re-election next year may vote for our bill and claim they were part of a bipartisan solution. All that would vote for our bill also voted for Obamacare and so remain vulnerable. But in any event, we can't be in the position of refusing to accept partial victories just because someone else might also be able to share credit.
“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson