If the upper echelon inside the GOP really want to know why they still don’t have the adoration of the Tea Parties, who ought to be natural ideological allies with them, they have only to listen to Senator Judd Gregg.
Sen. Judd Gregg (N.H.), the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, said that repealing the new healthcare reform law — or looking to defund it — were not good options.
“I don’t think starving or repealing is probably the best approach here,” Gregg said on the Fox Business Network. “You basically go in and restructure it.”
That’s a change of pace even for Gregg, who’s been among almost all fellow Republicans in the House and Senate who’ve called for the repeal of the measure, which Democrats passed through Congress earlier this year and President Obama signed into law.
This sort of mealy-mouth backtracking, without much of a reason or good sense behind it, is what keeps the Tea Party on edge; and, ultimately, it’s why the American people can’t trust the Republican Party as far as they can throw its nearest elected official.
Yes, we could go back and restructure the Obamacare bill, but why waste the time? The sections that people absolutely despise are the most important parts of the bill — the individual mandate, the Medicare shenanigans, the price controls, the death panels. They are the vital organs, if you will. Once you tear those out, and that will surely have to be done to keep Obamacare from visiting ruination on our health care system, all that’s left is a little gentle Feng Shui arrangement of what’s left of the innards.
It makes far more sense for the GOP to trash the whole, bloated mess and start over with a few core principles: don’t make health care worse, give people as many options as possible, ensure that as many people as want covered can get coverage on their own, create a limited pool for those who are utterly unable to find coverage. Once they have those principles nailed down, they can build simple legislation that accomplishes those missions, and only those missions. Don’t let the industry write the bill. Don’t give in to the temptations of adding more bells and whistles. Don’t listen to the big-government Democrats who are less interested in health care than they are in control and power.
Whatever else they do, they must not drag the 2,000-page beast into a backroom where we can’t see them and “restructure” it with Senator Helpful McHelperson. That’s how we got into this mess. Of course, it’s possible that Gregg wants us to return to that way of doing business. It’s better for him personally and politically if he gets to cut his own slices out of the multi-trillion dollar health care industry in a nice quiet place where he won’t be bothered by pesky Tea Partiers hollering about their money and the Constitution. Perhaps his goal is to return to Pelosi Politics, the sort of “go along to get along” ways that got him put on the short list to join the Obama administration.
The sooner the GOP realizes that we’re done with that way of doing business with our money and our lives, the better off the party will be.