Monday, March 26, 2018

Cruz/Roy should stop yammering about "repealing Obamacare," and shift to FIXING HEALTH CARE

"He who despises the word will be destroyed,
But he who fears the commandment will be rewarded."
Proverbs 13:13

During our Senate District convention Saturday, we heard from representatives of both Ted Cruz's and Chip Roy's campaign: We don't remember what either actually said, but the phrase "repeal Obamacare" or "fully repeal Obamacare" came up at least six times.

Unfortunately, that ship's sailed.

The Republicans had their opportunity to "repeal Obamacare."  They blew it.  At this point, anyone still prattling on about "repealing Obamacare" sounds like the worst kind of politician peddling the worst type of empty rhetoric.

Imagine, instead, a world where Ted Cruz and Chip Roy were attacking high health care costs at their root.  Imagine a world where you could say to your apolitical friends and neighbors "Ted Cruz and Chip Roy's health care proposal can lower your family/businesses health care costs by 80%!!!That's a world where the general public will pay attention.  Unfortunately, that's not a world Ted Cruz and Chip Roy are currently working to create.

Obviously, Obamacare sucks.  But the pre-2009 U.S. health care system left plenty to be desired.  It was still bureacratic.  It was still costly.  It still put up regulatory hurdles between consumers and providers.  While the system was less dysfunctional than it was today, it was still dysfunctional.  Imagine, instead, a world where the alleged "leading lights" of the conservative movement were proposing a FUNCTIONAL health care system.

The root causes of high health care costs are simple.  Tax preferences for 'employer-based' coverage, entitlement programs like Medicare, and various coverage mandates distort price signals.  Distorted price signals mean health care resources are allocated for political reasons, rather than consumer demand.  Within this framework, there are any number of approaches that could be taken...but the point is that all of them go far beyond "Repealing Obamacare."

Bottom Line: If you keep offering the same stale rhetoric, you shouldn't be surprised when people stop listening.  If those currently offering stale rhetoric would instead offer a plan to fix the problem in question, the public would be far more receptive.  That so-called "leading lights" of the conservative movement fail to see this reality is an unfortunate missed opportunity.

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