The Republicans in the House commenced the debate on repealing Obamacare by expressing their view that they are doing what the voters have asked of them. Following the November elections, a Wall Street Journal poll reported that 84 percent of voters said Obamacare affected their vote, and Rasmussen polls continue to show that about 60 percent of voters favor repeal.
Obamacare is not going to provide universal coverage, nor will it bend the cost curve down. By 2019, 23 million Americans will still be uninsured. The average family will see their premiums increase by $2,100, not decrease by $2,500, as President Obama promised. Deficits will go up, jobs will be lost, taxes will rise, and ultimately care will be rationed. The American public knows this and therefore supports repeal.
The president, knowing that he faces reelection in 2012, has said, “I’m willing and eager to work with Democrats and Republicans to improve the Affordable Care Act.” However, he went on to say, “We can’t go backward. Americans deserve the security of knowing that insurance companies can’t deny, cap, or drop their coverage when they need it most, while taking meaningful steps to curb runaway health-care costs.” The president is proud of this legislation, and it’s unlikely that he would be willing to throw it out and support “repeal and replace.”
Rep. Steve King of Iowa said it well: “Our guaranteed rights that come in our Constitution are diminished by the federal government deciding what health care we will have, what health insurance policies we’ll be able to buy, and what tests we’ll be able to take, and which doctors we’ll be able to go to. . . . It’s a cancer that eats away at us, and we’ve got to repeal it completely, pull it out by the roots so it doesn’t grow back again.”
— Sally C. Pipes is president and CEO of the Pacific Research Institute. Her latest book is The Truth About Obamacare.