OPINION | There's no 'bipartisan' solution to the ObamaCare debacle
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In the wake of the GOP’s botched ObamaCare repeal effort in the Senate, exuberant Democrats and the media started clamoring for a “bipartisan” approach to healthcare reform.

Exactly what kind of “deal” do they have in mind? On Sunday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was asked by Chris Wallace of Fox News ‎what the Democrats are willing to offer up to Republicans as part of this new spirit of bipartisanship. She awkwardly stammered for a while...and in the end couldn’t name a single thing.

The idea of a bipartisan solution to ObamaCare's financial meltdown has always been a fantasy. Democrats are the resistance party, by their own admission, remember?

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They stand united against anything that President TrumpDonald John TrumpIran claims it rejected Trump meeting requests 8 times ESPY host jokes Putin was as happy after Trump summit as Ovechkin winning Stanley Cup Russian ambassador: Trump made ‘verbal agreements’ with Putin MORE is for. To Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocrats slam Trump for considering Putin’s ’absurd’ request to question Americans Judge Kavanaugh confounds the left This week: GOP mulls vote on ‘abolish ICE’ legislation MORE (D-N.Y.), compromise means playing the part of Ulysses Grant at Appomattox with Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate GOP breaks record on confirming Trump picks for key court Senate Democrats block resolution supporting ICE The Hill's Morning Report — Trump’s walk-back fails to stem outrage on Putin meeting MORE (R-Ky.) as Robert Lee signing the terms of the GOP’s surrender.

 

Every single Democrat in Congress — even the faux “moderates” in the Senate, like Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinElection Countdown: Senate, House Dems build cash advantage | 2020 Dems slam Trump over Putin presser | Trump has M in war chest | Republican blasts parents for donating to rival | Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders to campaign in Kansas Senate Dems build huge cash edge in battlegrounds Morrisey accuses Manchin of 'lying' to Trump, attacks ‘liberal’ record MORE of West Virginia, Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump’s walk-back fails to stem outrage on Putin meeting Senate Dems build huge cash edge in battlegrounds Senate Dems lock in million in TV airtime MORE of Missouri and Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerBipartisan bill would bring needed funds to deteriorating National Park Service infrastructure Senate Dems press for info on any deals from Trump-Putin meeting Overnight Defense: Trump tries to quell Russia furor | GOP looks to reassure NATO | Mattis open to meeting Russian counterpart MORE of Virginia — is opposed to virtually every repeal and reform measure Republicans ‎have proposed.

They are against Medicaid reforms, including any turnback to the states. They are against repealing the ObamaCare tax increases. They are against repealing the individual mandate, the employer mandate and the essential benefit package regulations.

They are against interstate competition for insurance. They are against allowing consumers to have a choice option in selecting an insurance package. They are against expanding affordable health savings accounts for more Americans.

So what exactly are the Democrats for? They want to enact “fixes” to ObamaCare that would enshrine this colossal healthcare failure into permanent law. They want more money for the bankrupt exchanges. They want even higher penalties for Americans who don’t want to buy ObamaCare policies.

They want bailout money for the insurers, with whom they are joined at the hip. And they want measures that clear the path to a single payer system, which Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersElection Countdown: Senate, House Dems build cash advantage | 2020 Dems slam Trump over Putin presser | Trump has M in war chest | Republican blasts parents for donating to rival | Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders to campaign in Kansas House Dems launching Medicare for All Caucus Let's remove the legal shield from hackers who rob us of our civil rights MORE (I-Vt.) and most honest liberals concede is what they hope to be the only long-term solution to the ObamaCare crisis.

These are horrible measures, both collectively and individually. The GOP should be as unified in opposition as Democrats were this year in fighting to save ObamaCare. President Obama promised that ObamaCare wouldn’t raise the deficit by a dime, and now Republicans are supposed to approve potentially tens of billions of dollars for a system that is in a death spiral.

Never. ObamaCare will become like Medicare and Medicaid, gobbling up ever more tax dollars as its costs cascade year after year. Doing nothing and letting ObamaCare burn itself out like a raging forest fire is a much better long-term solution for the economy and the future of the American healthcare system.

In the meantime, House and Senate Republicans’ best move forward is to hold standalone votes on the real reform measures. There should be a vote on repealing the medical device tax, a vote on eliminating the employer mandate, a vote on eliminating the individual mandate, a vote on interstate insurance competition, and so on.

Every week, there should be reform votes, so Democrats can’t claim that Republicans are intentionally destroying the healthcare system, when this is the work of ObamaCare.

Republicans have infuriated conservative voters for failing to repeal ObamaCare. That failure may at some point be forgiven by voters as a good faith effort against stiff resistance in Washington. What conservative voters will never forgive is if the GOP works with Pelosi and Schumer to sanctify the ObamaCare law as another permanent and unreformable entitlement.

Stephen Moore is the distinguished visiting fellow for the Project for Economic Growth at The Heritage Foundation and an economic consultant with FreedomWorks. He served as an economic advisor to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.


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