April 29 2014
When people tell you that ObamaCare can’t be repealed, don’t believe it.
A fascinating new poll conducted by McLaughlin & Associates for the 2017 Project indicates that, if the right stars align, ObamaCare could be repealed.
The poll asked: “If you could undo one thing that President Obama has done as president, what would it be?” Respondents were given choices that included the stimulus, overregulation of the economy, tax increases, high deficit spending, and ObamaCare.
ObamaCare won hands down with votes to spare (which wasn’t exactly the way it won when pushed through Congress with a slim, party line majority). Here are the results (from a Weekly Standard post by Jeffrey Anderson, executive director of the 2017 Project):
In all, 7 percent of respondents listed the “economic stimulus” as the thing they’d most like to undo, 7 percent listed overregulation of the economy, 10 percent listed tax increases, 18 percent listed high deficit spending, and 32 percent listed Obamacare. In other words, more people listed Obamacare than any two other answers combined. …
In terms of being the thing people most want to undo from the Obama era, Obamacare “won”—overwhelmingly, by at least 10 percentage points—among each of the following groups: women, men, those under 30 years of age, those between 30 and 40 years of age, those between 41 and 55 years of age, those who are Hispanic, those who are Asian, those who are white, those who are Protestant, those who are Catholic, those who are Jewish, those who make under $40,000, those who make over $40,000, those who are very conservative, those who are somewhat conservative, those who are moderate, those who disapprove of President Obama’s job performance, and those who are undecided about Obama’s job performance.
In other words, regret over ObamaCare unites disparate groups of people. Repeal won’t happen as long as President Obama is in office. Nobody doubts that he would veto a bill that nullified what is increasingly appearing to be his whole legacy.
Given the extremely high level of discontent with the law, supporters of ObamaCare must know that the law is in danger. Their cockiness and counsels of despair for those who believe we can find something better for the American people are part of a facade.
Let us hope that, when repeal comes, we are ready with something better. This will be a huge opportunity. James Capretta made this point in a Weekly Standard article posted on the 2017 Project website:
The awakening among voters to Obamacare’s unpleasant realities has created a historic opportunity for the law’s opponents. Citizens are experiencing firsthand the effects of the growth of the liberal welfare state, and most don’t like what they see. This puts them in a frame of mind to consider viable, practical alternatives. Conservatives must not miss this once-in-a-generation opportunity to present the public with a genuine alternative on health care—and thus also with a vision for reforming government more generally. …
…The principles that need to drive reform are widely accepted among the law’s opponents: promotion of a genuine, functioning marketplace for health insurance and health services; avoidance of undue disruption of pre-Obamacare insurance arrangements; a flexible and decentralized regulatory structure that encourages innovation in service delivery; state autonomy and flexibility; access for all Americans to affordable insurance that protects them from catastrophic medical expenses; and secure insurance for those with preexisting medical conditions. Simply put, to bring costs under control and thereby make coverage more widely available, the system needs a much greater market orientation, not more government control.
Capretta thinks that the most promising plans are the one backed by Republican senators Richard Burr, Orrin Hatch, and Tom Coburn and another one drafted by the 2017 Project. More plans are out there and more will be developed. The GOP needs to let people know that there are good alternatives to ObamaCare.