It’s time for Republican senators to act on Obamacare repeal by taking up the House-passed American Health Care Act.
Passing healthcare reform legislation (whether in the form of repeal only, or repeal with elements of conservative reforms) is far better than the status quo and represents an incremental movement in the right direction. Failing to act, by opposing efforts to begin consideration of the AHCA, will mean that Obamacare remains law and will empower Senate Democrats to push healthcare reform based around bigger government, more spending, and higher taxes.
The vehicle that is being used to repeal Obamacare, known as budget reconciliation, is inherently limited (because lawmakers cannot repeal many regulations through the process) and volatile (because they can offer unlimited amendments that have a budgetary effect).
These two factors mean that whatever legislation comes out of the Senate will not be perfect. As a result, some Senators are blocking the attempt to even begin the process of passing healthcare reform.
While there remains some disagreements on the best policies to pursue, Republicans need to recognize that this is just the first step. Congress and the administration will have other opportunities to implement healthcare reforms – first through Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price’s administrative authority.
Even though the outcome will not be perfect, it is an opportunity for progress on a number of core conservative issues including lower taxes, lower spending, expanding HSAs, reforming and preserving Medicaid, and expanding state flexibility over healthcare.
To start, this healthcare legislation means dramatic tax reduction for American families and small businesses. The trillion dollars in higher taxes have resulted in higher healthcare costs and fewer choices.