by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Jeffrey Anderson writes in the Weekly Standard about a curious omission from the first Republican presidential debate.
The opening Republican presidential debate was a spirited affair, but missing was any serious discussion of Obamacare, the domestic centerpiece of Barack Obama’s presidency. The moderators asked only two Obamacare-related questions. One elicited Donald Trump’s assertion that a government monopoly over health care “works” in Canada and “works incredibly well” in Scotland. The other prompted John Kasich to defend his decision to expand Obamacare in Ohio on the grounds that “everybody has a right to their God-given purpose.” Half of the 10 candidates (including Trump) mentioned in passing that Obamacare needs to be repealed. But no candidate even began to outline a conservative alternative.
We hope that the candidates will soon step up to the plate in this regard. Obamacare costs a fortune at a time when we are $18.2 trillion in debt. It centralizes power and money in Washington. It declares war on doctors in private practice, who will soon go the way of the milkman unless Obamacare is repealed. It funds abortions with tax dollars. And for the first time in our nation’s history, it forces private citizens to buy a product or service of the federal government’s choosing, merely as a condition of living in the United States.
In pushing to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a conservative alternative, a candidate would be doing the American people’s bidding. A McLaughlin & Associates poll commissioned by the 2017 Project asked 1,000 likely voters (including 37 percent Democrats and only 31 percent Republicans) the following question shortly after the King v. Burwell Supreme Court decision, in which the Court ruled in favor of the Obama administration:
Which comes closest to your view of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as “Obamacare”?
1. It should remain the law of the land, either in its current form or in an amended form.
2. It should be repealed and replaced with a conservative alternative that aims to lower health costs and help people get insurance.
3. It should be repealed but not replaced with an alternative.
In response, 43 percent said Obamacare should be repealed and replaced with a conservative alternative, while an additional 12 percent said it should be repealed but not replaced. Only 38 percent said it should not be repealed. In other words, with a conservative alternative in play, likely voters support repeal by a margin of 17 points—55 to 38 percent.