Make DC Listen: Don’t let John Boehner and Eric Cantor forget that voters want Obamacare repealed

The GOP is backing away from using the phrase “repeal and replace” when it comes to Obamacare. It’s a strategic decision, that may or may not be really useful, though.

The primary problem with the terminology currently used apparently is that “repeal” implies that Republicans want to go back to the pre-Obamacare status quo. In light of the massive problems — radical price increases, dropped policies, broken promises about keeping doctors, etc. — maybe that isn’t really a terrible thing.

However, giving the party leadership the benefit of the doubt, they could be right about not suggesting a return of the bad old days.

The real problem with the whole “repeal and replace” narrative isn’t completely about the first part. In order to suggest that there will be a replacement, the party would need to come up with one. Yes, there have been many options presented, but they have all gotten lost in the shuffle, since a majority of Republicans have never really picked a single choice.

That might be because they’ve all been making it far too complicated, just like the hated Obamacare. It remains to be seen if the GOP can marshal the political troops behind something simplistic - even taking the generally acceptable parts of Obamacare for their new solution.

Maybe if they chose to campaign on keeping the broken promises of Obamacare, allowing kids to remain on parents’ policies until age 26, and no refusals of insurance based on pre-existing conditions, for a start. Add on the idea of removing the “minimum coverage requirements”, and mandatory coverage for all, since those are the two primary issues that are annoying voters.

Finally, add on the idea of permitting insurance sales across state lines. Even though it might be difficult, stay away from talking about the birth control mandates, or any of the other hot button “women’s health” issues. That’s not to say these issues shouldn’t be addressed - they just shouldn’t be discussed on the campaign trail. We’re talking election strategy here, not crafting domestic policy.

Of course, this is assuming that the GOP is interested in actually winning races this November. There’s a time to stand on principles, and then there is a time to fight the opposition with its own weapons. Democrats have been selling themselves to voters on half-truths and flat-out lies, and they have been winning. It’s time for Republicans to start telling the people what they want to hear.


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