Paul Ryan released his outline of the GOP budget proposal yesterday and I couldn't help cringing when I heard the news report: "Ryan's budget proposal would also repeal Obamacare" (paraphrased). I can't imagine there's much in the actual proposal that I disagree with but I've always been uncomfortable with the idea of "repeal".
Not in principle mind you. Obamacare is a public-policy black box. In goes the healthcare system and out comes something unrecognizable, the product of vastly complicated and inscrutable regulations/fees etc. I get it. I would prefer it was never passed.
But the fact remains that it was. And there are several reasons I think conservatives should NOT focus on repealing that law.
- I don't believe the non-conservative voter has much taste for repeal ... of anything really. It stinks of sore loser-itus. They especially aren't interested in repealing something that isn't even affecting their daily lives ... at least not yet.
- One of the things I complained about when the health care debate was going on was that the administration should be focused on jobs and the economy and not an ideological agenda to transform Health Care. Well that same critique holds now. The fundamental problem in this country remains the economy and jobs. Polls show still that Health Care is a 3rd or 4th priority for voters.
- You retort, "But Obamacare will kill the economy ... so repeal is part of fixing the economy." Fair enough. But talking about it as a repeal of Obamacare makes it sound political rather than economic. Instead of repealing Obamacare lets have an agenda for innovative health care that removes burdensome taxes and regulation on Doctors.
- I am vehemently against the rationing of health care via bureaucratic fiat. So let's get a bill in hopper call it "Health Care Privacy and Integrity Initiative" that strips the bureaucracy of it's power to interfere between a doctor her patients. This can be done without repeal, so-to-speak.
Conservatives are big on principles, lets remember a fundamental one: you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.