Some Republicans continue to fumble the clearest, most concise, easiest-to-sell message in recent memory - the simple notion that the recently enacted Healthcare law, already having negative effects on our lives, is unacceptable and must be fully repealed. That's not hard, is it?
Some Senators get it. Senator DeMint has 15 Senate co-sponsors and growing for his full-repeal bill. And then there's the almost always reliable Congressman Mike Pence, who said today in the WSJ: "The American people don't want a government takeover of health care and House Republicans will work every day to repeal this law and start over."
But, apparently for some Republicans - from all across the spectrum - this simple message is lost on them. To wit:
- Rep. Tom Price, the usually reliable Chairman of the House Republican Study Group tosses out this gem as reported by Byron York, "We have to repeal the egregious aspects of this bill and replace them with patient-centered solutions." What? What precisely, may I ask are the (non-trivial) non-egregious parts of this bill? Please tell me, Mr. Price, because I tend to think that the Chairman of the RSC should be a little more thoughtful than that.
- Sen. Mike Johanns, the relatively new Republican Senator from Nebraska, said that while he believes in the need to start over on health care, repeal is simply not practical. “It would take a lot of changes in personnel, if you will, in the next election cycle and probably even the next election cycle,” Johanns said. NO KIDDING. That's the point - we need Republicans to get elected to repeal this monster, not to mention the simple clarity of the message - that is, if the message isn't stepped on by stupid comments like this.
- Senator Chuck Grassley, added, “There are some things in the bill that are almost consensus,” Grassley said. REALLY? What? Please be specific. Some of us want to know what you believe is 1) worthy of maintaining in this bill, and more importantly, 2) how you propose to disentangle whatever you deem, in your infinite wisdom, to be acceptable from the "egregious" provisions (maybe you can check in with Mr. Price).
- Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican Congressman from Wisconsin who seems to be the most recent darling of the Party, even praised known leftist Senator from Oregon, Ron Wyden, for his efforts to address the tax treatement of employer-provided health benefits, calling him in today's NY Times op-ed, a "[r]eform-minded leader..." This is the same Ron Wyden who teamed with the soon-to-be ex Republican Senator from Utah, Bob Bennett, to give you a "bipartisan" version of Obamacare, complete with individual mandates, abortion funding and government bureaucrats. To be fair, he did suggest in the op-ed repeatedly that the law should be repealed, but in route to getting there, we cannot allow our supposed stalwarts to saddle up to leftists to "make improvements" which will do nothing but muddy the waters and give Republicans increased ownership of this travesty of a law.
The message is simple. This will not stand. This law will be repealed. We will start over with what the American people want: patient-centered, market-oriented, freedom-respecting reform. End of story.