OP-ED: Give this Congress an opportunity to cleanly repeal Obamacare
In his classic work, 1984, George Orwell coined the term “newspeak” – when the powerful use language to control the people. This is exactly what is taking place in today’s political arena.
Newspeak is clearly heard between the political class (elected officials, bureaucrats, media) and the American people in the fight to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or ObamaCare – the disastrous foray into authoritarian control over healthcare. Will the newspeak being used today ultimately fool the American people into keeping ObamaCare in place?
I define “repeal” as the elimination of the laws, rules, regulations and taxes contained in ObamaCare. The political class defines it as modification—for better or worse
I am confident that Americans living outside of the Washington, D.C. bubble similarly understand that “repeal” means to absolutely do away with something, in this case ObamaCare.
But today’s political class has redefined “repeal” to promote an agenda that is not in line with the definition promised to the country. Following introduction and House-passage of the American Health Care Act, a bill that merely tinkers around the edges of the ObamaCare, the newspeak started full-force.
The media drives the message by consistently describing Republican efforts to tweak and remodel ObamaCare as a “repeal,” always adding that millions will lose their health insurance coverage resulting in death. They conveniently forget that under ObamaCare millions have lost their insurance because premiums have skyrocketed, and increased costs of deductibles have made healthcare unusable.
Democrats faithfully follow the message of their masters in the media calling anything Republicans do, even merely tinkering on the edges, a “repeal.”
Sadly, Republicans have also engaged in newspeak. We loudly proclaim that we are “repealing” ObamaCare. And we do it with a smile and a handshake.
I have been told repeatedly that we must “repeal” ObamaCare. I agree. The rub is that we each define “repeal” very differently. I typically call modification of something “modification,” or “amending,” or perhaps my favorite here, “remodeling.”
Rather than champion a bill that makes modifications to ObamaCare into a new form of the Soviet-style system that has already been foisted upon us, I have consistently argued that we should repeal ObamaCare in the true sense of the word – and by that I mean a real, literal erasing of all of the ObamaCare laws, rules, regulations and taxes.
Let us see if we have consensus by putting such a bill up for a vote. This type of bill was passed multiple times by previous Congresses, and the people who voted for these repeals were reelected. I have never had a chance to vote for a clean repeal; I’d like to have that chance.
I have alternately urged a delayed repeal. Wipe out all of ObamaCare laws, rules, regulations, and taxes, at a date not far distant, but predetermined. This way, everyone will know when ObamaCare will end and can take steps to prepare for the change.
We can stop using “newspeak.” Now is the perfect time for us to mean what we say when we told the American people we would repeal ObamaCare. I support President Trump’s and Vice President Pence’s recent comments urging a repeal. Other senators, including Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), have also expressed a strong desire to push forward a repeal bill. Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said this is the next option. Let us seize this momentum and finish the job we started many years ago.
I have also urged that we simulate repeal by eliminating Title 1 of the ACA—which is the driver of the increased health insurance costs—community rating and mandatory health benefits.
We shouldn’t simply misappropriate the meaning of “repeal” any more. Let’s eliminate all of the laws, rules, regulations and taxes of ObamaCare. That’s the real deal, and not newspeak.