From The Heritage Foundation:
Get to Work Repealing Obamacare
During his post-election press conference Wednesday, President Barack Obama was asked: "As you’re well aware, obviously, a lot of Republicans ran against your health care law. Some have called for repealing the law. I’m wondering, sir, if you believe that health care reform that you worked so hard on is in danger at this point, and whether there’s a threat, as a result of this election." The President replied:
Well, I know that there’s some Republican candidates who won last night who feel very strongly about it. I’m sure that this will be an issue that comes up in discussions with the Republican leadership. As I said before, though, I think we’d be misreading the election if we thought that the American people want to see us for the next two years relitigate arguments that we had over the last two years.
The President just doesn't get it. According to the national exit poll just 16% of voters want to leave Obamacare as is. A full 48% of voters want to see it outright repealed and another 31% want to see it changed in some way. Americans do want to relitigate Obamacare. Yesterday, here at The Heritage Foundation, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell promised to do just that:
On health care, that means we can — and should — propose and vote on straight repeal, repeatedly. But we can’t expect the president to sign it. So we’ll also have to work, in the House, on denying funds for implementation, and, in the Senate, on votes against its most egregious provisions. At the same time, we’ll need to continue educating the public about the ill-effects of this bill on individuals young and old, families, and small businesses.
News today from the Bureau of Labor Statistics only reinforces the case that Obamacare must be repealed if our economy is going to recovery. The October jobs report shows that the nation's unemployment rate remains unchanged at an unacceptably high 9.6%. Obamacare is a tremendous drag on job creation. Businesses suffer higher costs under Obamacare. They are struggling to meet disruptive employer mandates; accommodate new taxes on insurance, drugs, medical devices and investment; and comply with piles of Federal agency regulations and IRS paperwork. These costs will be either passed on to customers or to employees who will face lower wages or lost jobs. Congress must Get to Work immediately on this issue. Specifically, they should:
Repeal Obamacare: Congress must immediately pass a law repealing Obamacare.
Withhold Funding, Block Provisions and Regulations: Until Obamacare is repealed, Congress should withhold funding, block key provisions, and override regulations carrying out Obamacare.
Proceed Carefully Towards Market-Based Reform: After Congress repeals Obamacare, it should give thoughtful consideration to practical adjustments to permit the free market to furnish Americans with affordable, effective health care insurance choices.
Promote Personal Control: Congress should promote personal control of health coverage and costs through the free market, where individuals have the opportunity to make market decisions based on price and value. For example, Congress should redirect health care spending under the Medicaid and State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to help low-income families and individuals purchase private health insurance.
Enable Portability: Congress also should enact a law that facilitates Federal and State activities to increase the portability of private health insurance coverage.
Yesterday, Sen. McConnell was realistic about what conservatives can really accomplish in just the next Congress:
We may not be able to bring about straight repeal in the next two years, and we may not win every vote against targeted provisions, even though we should have bipartisan support for some. But we can compel administration officials to attempt to defend this indefensible health spending bill and other costly, government-driven measures, like the stimulus and financial reform. We also need groups like Heritage to continue studying the ill-effects of the health care bill, and to show how its implementation is hurting families, seniors, and small businesses, limiting choices and making us less competitive.
The Heritage Foundation will do just that. And we will also help keep Congress honest on other issues as well. That is why The Heritage Foundation has created the Solutions for America: Get to Work checklist. Repealing Obamacare is just of a five tasks Congress must complete - as the BARE MINIMUM REQUIRED - to fulfill its electoral mandate. You can download and print all of the “Get to Work” fact sheets and checklist, here.
Solutions for America
SOLUTIONS FOR AMERICA: GET TO WORK
The Heritage Foundation welcomes the choice made by our country’s conservative majority. The voters decided to send to Congress men and women pledged to act upon the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values and a strong national defense.
Heritage has compiled this checklist of five overriding actions, representing the bare minimum required for Washington to fulfill its electoral mandate, meet its constitutional responsibilities and get America started on the right track. We must now hold our representatives, senators and President accountable and tell them: Get to Work!
FREEZE AND CUT SPENDING: Congress must immediately freeze discretionary budget authority at 2010 levels; and cut at least $170 billion from the federal budget for fiscal year 2012. This is only a first step. In the past four years, Congress has approved more spending than even the bureaucrats can handle. Congress must immediately survey unobligated balances of all appropriations made in the past four years and should reclaim these unspent taxpayer funds and use them to reduce the deficit.
REPEAL OBAMACARE: Congress must immediately pass a bill that repeals Obamacare. Until Congress is able to get the President to sign a law repealing Obamacare, it must withhold funding, block key provisions and override regulations carrying out Obamacare. Only after Obamacare is rejected, can Congress undertake a careful, thoughtful legislative process to make practical adjustments that allow the free market to provide affordable, effective health care insurance choices.
STOP THE OBAMA TAX HIKES: Congress must reject the Obama tax hikes, and make permanent the tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, thereby helping the economy grow and create more jobs.
PROTECT AMERICA: Congress must pass a budget resolution that won’t put our troops at risk or leave Americans vulnerable. It can do this by providing for defense an average of $720 billion per year (to be adjusted for inflation) for each of the next five fiscal years, in addition to the funding needed for ongoing contingency operations. Congress must make the defense budget as efficient as possible and reinvest dollars achieved from reforms in the military to offset the cost of modernizing and developing next-generation equipment.
GET CONTROL OF GOVERNMENT: Congress must immediately reestablish legislative accountability by posting complete legislation, ending earmarks, reviewing all unauthorized programs and respecting constitutional limits on government. Congress must check executive branch overreach with aggressive oversight, roll back recent government interventions, stop unnecessary administrative regulations and sunset new ones, restrict bureaucrats’ rulemaking authority and override expansive executive orders.
For a more comprehensive list of Heritage's Solutions for America, see our full report below.
Compiled by a team of Heritage experts, Solutions for America identifies the nature and scope of our most pressing problems in 23 discrete policy areas, and recommends 128 specific policy prescriptions for Congress to consider. Some of the recommendations are groundbreaking. Others are familiar. Some are being debated right now. All have one thing in common: They would return power to the people. And, collectively, they will transform America, setting her back on the track to prosperity and greatness.
Perilous times necessitate bold action. America is at a tipping point. To continue on the current path of ever-expanding central government will plunge us into a statist abyss of lost liberties, vanishing opportunity and dying prospects of a better tomorrow. But our nation can just as well correct course, as she has so often in the past.
Americans by the millions have begun the process, rallying around the vision of the Founders. The policies articulated in Solutions for America are calculated to make that vision a reality, to build an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and civil society flourish anew.
Read the Policy Agenda:
Introduction and Highlights
Changing America’s Course
Restoring the U.S. to a Free Economy
The Entitlement Crisis
Reining in Runaway Spending and Deficits
Meeting America’s Energy and Environmental Needs
The Unsustainable Growth of Welfare
Making Federal Policy Marriage-Friendly
The Rising Tide of Red Tape
Revitalizing Federal Highway Transportation Policy
Getting Health Care Reform Right
The Federalization of Homeland Security
Civil Justice Reform
The Role of the Courts
Ensure that Congress Follows the Constitution
A Conservative Foreign Policy
The Building Blocks of a Strong National Defense
The Threat of Nuclear Weapons
Holding Terrorists Accountable
Developing a Strong Border and Immigration Policy