In recognition of the February 15 deadline to sign up for health insurance, or else the I.R.S. will come knocking on your door, here is a current events quiz: How many times have Republicans in Congress proposed alternatives to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare? According to Democrats and most news outlets, none. The correct answer is: too many to count. Since Republicans took control of the House of Representatives in 2010, February 3, 2015, marked the sixty-seventh time the House of Representatives has voted to repeal, defund, or change the A.C.A. How many Republican bills never got out of committee and came up for a vote in the House while the Democrats were in control is inumerable.
While Democrats were in control of the House of Representatives, Republican bills seldom were allowed out of committees to be debated by the entire body, historically an extremely partisan tactic. The fear of debate and public exposure motivated Democrat leadership to pressure lawmakers to pass the A.C.A. quickly in 2009, prompting then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi to proclaim, “We have to pass the bill to find out what is in it,”a cry of weak political leadership and inept lawmaking. The historic law passed by three votes, with all 178 Republicans and 34 Democrats voting “nay”and with very little time for discussion.
As of June 2012, Republican lawmakers proposed approximately 223 healthcare initiatives in the 112th Congress’s 2011-12 legislative session alone. Most of those bills addressed specific issues with healthcare reform, such as removing the individual mandate, allowing interstate insurance policies, and tort reform. Key legislation provided broader approaches, such as Rep. Tom Price’s (R-Ga.) “Empowering Patients First Act,”Rep. Wally Herger’s (R-Ca.) “Reform Americans Can Afford Act, ”and Rep. Paul Braun’s (R-Ga.) “Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act.”
Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) stated Friday that the Senate has begun the process of bringing the House’s most recent bill to repeal the A.C.A. to be debated and voted on the Senate floor, a move that former Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D-Nv.) would never allow. Reid, Senate Majority Leader 2007-14, suppressed all prior bills to repeal, defund, or change the A.C.A., another mark of the hyper-partisanship style of the Democrat leadership.
The antidote to Obamacare is not a Republican version of government-controlled medicine, as critics imply, but the free market. If Congress would pass laws that encourage more choice for consumers in the insurance policy market, costs would decrease and quality of service would increase. Economic history proves this principle to work every time in every market. Every time. Keynesian economics has proven to fail and burdens the next generation, but the Democrats and progressives insist on repeating the same failures.
For over forty years, the U.S. has incrementally exerted control over medicine and the insurance industry, causing costs to rise faster than the overall economy and with little health improvement to show for those medical dollars spent.
In regards to U.S. relations with Cuba, the president observed that “When what you’re doing doesn’t work for 50 years, it’s time to try something new.”Exactly, Mr. President.