Last week Republicans were gleeful when the White House announced delays in Obamacare. Even as a Republican, I did not share in the enthusiasm of my colleagues.
Obamacare is a good start and we Republicans need to embrace it. Why are we so ridiculously shortsighted? Universal health care is a good thing and it will be popular; it is always popular. Even when is it over budget and poorly implemented, as it is in many countries, it remains popular.
Why are we blind to this fact? I cannot comprehend our idiocy.
Republicans have lost the battle to stop Obamacare and must admit it. A few weeks ago the House passed a bill to repeal part or all of Obamacare for the 37th time. We are in denial.
Scott Brown couldn't stop it. The Supreme Court didn't stop it. Even Mitt Romney -- ironically, the originally architect of the plan structure -- couldn't stop it. The law will be enacted. Rather than continuing to fight a losing battle, Republicans must begin to embrace Obamacare and mold it in a way that will be more effective for the people of America.
In the past, Democrats routinely underestimated the strength of the American health care system; they overemphasized its deficiencies and constantly focused on those who were not covered. Republicans have done the exact opposite, proclaiming that our health care system is the "best system in the world."
The truth: America's health care system is good, but it certainly isn't perfect. For those who are covered, the vast majority of citizens, it does an excellent job of providing care on par with the best countries of the world. But for those who have minimal coverage or none at all, it is a nightmare.
But the uninsured are not the only problem. The insurance and billing system is nearly impossible to navigate, and causes significant unintended harm to those who don't understand it. Additionally, costs are considerably higher than in any other nation. Part of this is due to the fact that doctors are financially rewarded for ordering too many tests and hospitals are financially rewarded for admitting too many patients.
Obamacare misses the mark in so many ways. It does not lower costs -- in fact it costs a lot more in the long run. It does not sufficiently take on fraud, or abuse, or a system that rewards excessive and useless care. And it limits our freedom to make decisions about our own healthcare. But it gets coverage up, and that is very important to the voting population.
Fellow Republicans, mark my words: Obamacare will be popular. As such, we should begin to call it the Affordable Care Act and embrace it immediately, so Obama doesn't get all the credit.
Unlike Democrats, I don't believe health care to be a "right," but I do think it is the right thing to do. President Obama got to universal his way, now let's work to fix it our way. Keep it private, keep costs low, and regulate it smartly so it works!
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