Remember the debate over HillaryCare? Former Texas Sen. Phil Gramm sure does. He was in the middle of the fight to fend off the first attempt at a government takeover of the health care/health insurance system in our country. Writing for the Wall Street Journal, Gramm offers advice, steeped in his experience dealing with HillaryCare, for ending ObamaCare and restoring freedom and choice to our system.
The opportunity to restore freedom of choice may arise well before January 2017. If the Supreme Court decides to let Congress clarify its own intent on federal exchange subsidies, Republicans should demand that all American families be guaranteed the freedom to opt out as a precondition to bringing up any legislation to “fix” ObamaCare.
Republicans should not underestimate the power of freedom in the health-care debate. In 1994, when 74 senators had either co-sponsored President Clinton’s health bill—or a very close alternative—Sens. John McCain, Paul Coverdell and I set out to try to defeat HillaryCare. The media in Washington largely ignored our opposition, but we conducted over 40 public forums around the country in hospitals and other medical settings.
We talked about efficiency and people looked at their watches. We talked about costs and they yawned. But in Atlanta, when my mother attended the meeting and I started to talk about her freedom to make her own health-care choices, people started to respond and HillaryCare started to die.
In the end the debate was not about money or efficiency. It was about freedom. This same principle offers our only real hope of stopping the suffering under ObamaCare now and repealing it in 2017.
As it has been throughout history, freedom is a powerful force for reform.