Conservatives have been stung lately by many Republican Governors agreeing to participate in ObamaCare exchanges. So why did they join? We could talk about them having a lack of convictions (and this would be correct) but Democrats constructed ObamaCare to take advantage of political self-interest. The equation was simple: Give governors “free money for X years” to expand coverage to people in their state. The politician gets the benefit of being seen as compassionate and bi-partisan. They also avoid political confrontation and gain appreciation from liberals and the press. And the “bill” comes due after their next re-election. The Democrats used these Republican’s political self-interest against us.
It was a smart political move by Democrats. It is time for Republicans to be politically smart.
It has been suggested here on Redstate that we confront ObamaCare before passing another Continuing Resolution (to avoid a government shutdown) I favor this approach but we should do so smartly. Any confrontation over the budget will result in a government shutdown. We must be prepared for this political fight. We must win. To win, we need to make it so Democrats and moderates do not want to fight us. We must entice them to accept changes that will ultimately free us from government control of health care.
We need to use Democrat political self-interest as a weapon against them.
Democrats dream of creating a single-payer system for health care (government take-over of health insurance). It is their political Holly Grail. If ObamaCare is enacted, they will likely achieve this goal after ObamaCare fails so desperate times call for desperate measures.
The time has come to throw Blue States under the bus. In particular, we should let ObamaCare funding be distributed to the states but then allow the states to decide best how to structure their health systems. States would have the freedom to:
1) Keep ObamaCare if they so choose, or repeal it if that is the will of the people within their state.
2) Form partnerships with other states to establish rules or common coverage.
3) Establish their own health care systems. Specifically, allowing states (or combination of states) to create single-payer systems.
4) Just like under ObamaCare, allow the “free” money to expire–requiring each state to pay for the health system they created.
So Red States would be free to repeal ObamaCare and establish free market solutions to health care, while Blue States would be free to keep ObamaCare OR even establish a single-payer system for their state or partnership of states. This may not seem fair to those of you in Blue States who will be forced into a single-payer system. Sorry. But ObamaCare will lead to a single-payer system everywhere if it is allowed to become law. So frankly, if we don’t throw the Blue States under the bus now, we will all be under the bus later.
The main line of attack against the Republicans is that they are not offering any alternative to ObamaCare. Fine. Here is the chance for 50 different solutions. If ObamaCare really is the best solution, won’t these states vote to keep it? Why would Democrats be willing to free Red States from Obamacare? Simple. They would salivate at the chance to create a single-payer system. This would make it very difficult for Democrats to want to continue a government shutdown fight when they could reach their political goal of single payer (at least in certain states). Politically it would be difficult for President Obama to continue a government shutdown when Republicans were simply giving the people in each state their choice.
They would let the provisions pass because they believe that the success of single payer in the Blue States would motivate Red States to adopt their system. Of course, what they fail to understand is that a single payer system cannot survive in competition with free markets. Single payer systems always lead to rationing (health care regulation of what will be treated and what won’t and how well) because when something is “free” people want to consume too much of it. Single Payer systems also always lead to attempts to reduce government health care costs by reducing payments to health care providers (price controls limiting what doctors can earn). The increased regulation and price controls in Blue States will cause doctors and other providers to flee to Red States. Businesses will follow suit along with their populations.
In the end, the Blue States will be forced to reduce their government involvement in health care and no Red State seeing the destruction caused by single payers systems will want to go down that path. We will have avoided a devastating mistake. Not because we were willing to fight but because we were willing to fight smartly.