How Republicans Will Overcome Obamacare

Posted: Jan 12, 2015 2:00 PM

Will Republicans reform Obamacare? Replace it? Or start completely over from scratch?

That is the question driving Washington Examiner editor Phil Klein's new book, "Overcoming Obamacare: Three Approaches to Reversing the Government Takeover of Health Care."

A quick 110-page read, Klein's book first offers a detailed recounting of how Democrats managed to pass Obamacare before moving on to three chapters dedicated to how Republicans could take it down. In his introduction, Klein describes each of the three schools:

The first approach comes from those who believe that fully repealing Obamacare is probably unrealistic, but who still see an opening to reform the overall health care system in a more market-oriented direction. I call this the Reform School.

The second approach comes from a crowd that believes full repeal is a necessity, but can only occur if opponents of the law create a market-friendly alternative with enough financial assistance to make health insurance widely available to those Americans who want to purchase it. I call this the Replace School.

And finally, there is a third approach, which advocates repealing the law, returning to pre-Obamacare levels of taxes and spending, and then using that clean slate as the basis to over- haul the system in a free market manner to bring down costs. I call this the Restart School.

The crux of the debate, Klein argues, will be how Republican choose to balance their principles (which point to as little government interference as possible) with the practical politics of rolling back Obamacare. 

"Every approach engages in this balancing act in some way," Klein writes. "Even the most pure free market plans we explored, given political reality, are open to providing funds for some sort of government subsidies for individuals with pre-exist- ing conditions. Only after this more fundamental calculation is made do the technical policy details follow."

Any conservative who wants to know where the Obamacare debate is heading in Washington needs to read this book.