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Tuesday, April 29, 2014
The New Narrative on Obamacare: Repeal Is So Last Year
By Heritage Foundation @ 5:49 AM :: 3696 Views :: Health Care

The New Narrative on Obamacare: Repeal Is So Last Year

Photo: Alex Wong/CNP/AdMedia Photo: Alex Wong/CNP/AdMedia

by Amy Payne, Heritage Foundation, April 29, 2014

Do conservatives still want to repeal Obamacare?

It would seem the media don’t want you to think so.

President Obama said just a couple of weeks ago that “the repeal debate is and should be over.” We’re now seeing that mirrored in media coverage of Congress.

After her local newspaper reported that Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) said repeal was “unlikely,” her office fired back that she never said that. “She will continue fighting to repeal Obamacare at every opportunity moving forward and replace it with patient-centered reforms,” her spokesman said.

Meanwhile, media outlets have gone crazy over a comment from House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), which they are reporting as: “(To) repeal Obamacare … isn’t the answer.” The next part of the quote, however, is: “The answer is repeal and replace.”

>>> Replace it with what? Read about Heritage’s patient-centered health reforms

The president’s approved narrative is that Obamacare is the law of the land and therefore, we’re stuck with it. Of course, he continues to say things like “I don’t think there’s been any hesitation on our part to consider ideas that would actually improve the legislation.”

A few things to keep in mind.

It’s been done. There is precedent for repealing a major health care law. It happened in 1989. The law was the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1988. Once it took effect, Americans didn’t like it one bit. Does this sound familiar? Heritage expert Robert Moffit recalls:

…public hostility to the health care legislation was stimulated by the mass disruptions, or threatened disruption, of existing health care coverage; the rapid and excessive cost increases that were initially ignored or unanticipated; and the metastasizing federal bureaucracy, issuing or threatening to issue costly, cumbersome, and intrusive rules and regulations to control Americans’ health care decisions.

Obamacare is hardly “settled” law. We can’t forget that “Whole provisions of the law have been nullified, modified, delayed, or suspended,” Moffit reminds us. “Indeed, over the past four years, there have been a total of 40 changes to the law, including various administrative, legislative, and judicial actions.”

Obamacare has wreaked havoc. As Moffit cleverly puts it, it’s not the debate that’s over—it’s the speculation about the consequences of Obamacare.

  • Higher premiums? Check.
  • Higher taxes? Check.
  • Reduced choice for Americans? Check.
  • Jobs killed? Check.
  • Freedom of conscience violated? Check.

These aren’t mysteries. Americans are seeing Obamacare’s effects. And conservatives have alternatives that would restore choice to health care, giving people better value and more personalized care. Members of Congress shouldn’t be shy in advocating the repeal of Obamacare.

Read the Morning Bell and more en español every day at Heritage Libertad.

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