Now that the bulk of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, has been upheld in a back-in ruling written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the Republicans must be careful not to fall into the trap that the law has set up.
First, let me explain what I mean by a back-in ruling. It appears from reading the two sides of ruling that Chief Justice Roberts wanted to declare the mandate a tax and rule that the Commerce Clause was not operative in upholding the law. With those two pre-conditions, he went about backing-in to upholding the law.
Nowhere in the law is the mandate called a tax. The Democrats were very careful about calling the mandate a penalty. If they had called it a tax, Obamacare would not have received ten votes in the Senate in the opinion of Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Yet, Roberts literally changed the wording of the law as written to call it a tax.
Now that Obamacare has been upheld, the Republicans can proceed with using it as a campaign issue but they must explain to the American people how they will replace it. I don’t think sweeping assertions that they’ll ‘repeal and replace’. That won’t do it. The American people want details. It’s time for the Republicans to provide them.
Obamacare in its current form is not a healthcare plan, it’s a health insurance plan complete with panels, boards and rules that ration healthcare to the American people. The Republicans must play the Democrats game by pointing out individuals who will be harmed by Obamacare. No more sweeping assertions about large groups of ‘victims’.
Joseph Stalin said that one death was a tragedy while a million deaths was a statistic. Enough of the statistics. If the Republicans want to grab the American public’s heartstrings, and their votes, they need to bring out the potential tragedies and the crying towels. By turning the tables on the Democrats, it will make them look like the heartless bastards that they truly are.
The trap that the Republicans need to avoid is that the repeal of Obamacare becomes the all-consuming issue of the campaign. It’s a major issue but not the focal point of this campaign. By allowing some of the more rabid ‘repeal Obamacare’ groups within the Republican Party to drive the debate, the Republicans would be walking into the Democrats trap. We would lose sight of the real issues: the economy and jobs.
You see, some of the parts of Obamacare are fairly popular. The American people like the parts about pre-conditions and allowing their children to remain on their policies until age 26. We now live in ‘a something for nothing’ society and Americans will need to be weaned off the free stuff because it comes with a big price.
The Republicans need to focus on the costs of Obamacare in new taxes, loss of freedom and rationing. They need to hammer home the possibility of more Medicare cuts and rationing in the senior community. Seniors need to understand that Obamacare poses a clear and present danger to their lives. Everyday Americans need to be made to understand that they will pay more in taxes and receive much less in services.
The Democrats flat out lied about the costs of Obamacare. Its impact on the Federal and state budgets will be horrendous. Romney and the Republicans must tie the costs of Obamacare into the overall financial heath of the American economy. Saying that we will soon be like Greece is not enough. Giving concrete examples of how we will become like Greece and the other European nations will be much more effective.
Tying Obamacare to all of the financial ills that America faces is the most effective method of helping the Republicans repeal it. Obamacare is the final brick in the entitlement structure according to the Democrats. Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) called healthcare a right during the recent House repeal debate. That’s how far we’ve come. Once that becomes accepted by the American people, it will never be repealed but the sad thing is that America’s demise won’t be far behind.