Critical Condition

Obamacare’s Repudiation

It wasn’t just the party of Obamacare that took a “shellacking” at the polls. As one pollster reports:

This election was a clear signal that voters do not want President Obama’s health care plan.  Nearly half (45%) of voters say their vote was a message to oppose the President’s plan….

Arizona and Oklahoma passed constitutional amendments designed to block Obamacare’s individual mandate. Many new governors either plan to join the 22 states already challenging Obamacare in court, or to block its implementation in other ways. Congressional Republicans appear determined to use every tool in their arsenal to repeal it.

President Obama is striking a conciliatory note, saying he is open to “tweaks”:

If the Republicans have ideas for how to improve our healthcare system, if they want to suggest modifications that would deliver faster, more effective reform… I am happy to consider some of those ideas.

There is room to doubt his sincerity. The Washington Post has reported that when President Obama begins a sentence with “Let me be clear,” it is “a signal that what follows will be anything but.” Obama has likewise claimed open-mindedness and flexibility when his behavior exhibited the opposite qualities. (Remember how last year’s White House summit on health care was all about gathering “the best ideas.”)

Yet with a firm conviction that facts and science and argument still matter, I re-submit to President Obama this Cato Policy Analysis: Yes, Mr. President: A Free Market Can Fix Health Care. In fact, a free market is the only thing that will. But a reasonably free market is impossible with Obamacare still on the books.

I doubt the president will read it. But Republicans should. They seem pretty solid on Repeal. They’re weaker on Replace.

Michael F. Cannon — Michael F. Cannon is the Cato Institute’s director of health policy studies. Cannon has been described as “an influential health-care wonk” (Washington Post), “ObamaCare’s single most relentless antagonist” (The New ...

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