LOPEZ: So it’s January 2013 and there is a Republican president, House, and maybe Senate or maybe not. What now? How much does the Senate matter?
CAPRETTA: If a Republican president is elected in 2012, it will almost certainly be in part based on a platform of “repeal and replace.” It’s hard to see a Republican candidate getting the nomination without that kind of a governing program. So, if elected, a Republican president would have a pretty strong mandate to go in a very different direction from Obamacare. Remember that Obamacare made it across the finish line only because the Democrats employed “reconciliation” to make final changes in the legislation, and the reconciliation measure required only a majority vote in the Senate. The same game plan could be used for “repeal and replace.” The Senate does matter, but it may not be necessary to get 60 votes for a different approach.
LOPEZ: What are the most important questions for voters to ask candidates? To ask those already elected?
MILLER: Are you finally going to level with us, neither over-promise nor under-perform, and face up to the serious, core issues threatening our future? Will you also mostly get out of the way with regard to everything else, and turn those matters back to us to handle on our own? What will you do, and have you done, differently from the last parade of officeholders who delivered empty rhetoric, overdrawn checks, failed programs, false promises, and diversionary illusions? Tell us three simple, but important, policy changes that you will help bring about. In health policy, will you end Obamacare quickly? Will you turn back control of health-spending resources and health-care decisions to patients? Will you match our entitlement promises to what we are willing and able to pay for them?
— Kathryn Jean Lopez is editor-at-large of National Review Online.