Trust President Trump on Obamacare
If I had a switch and could play king for a few minutes, I would repeal Obamacare (all 2,000-something pages), establish a three-year transition period for those currently covered, and send the darn thing to the states. My memo to governors and state legislatures would say: Welcome to federalism.
Of course, I don't have such a switch and have to live in the real world, where every legislator has an opinion or constituency.
My hope is that the GOP works with President Trump to pass the very best, and passable, repeal of Obamacare. It won't please everyone, but it will prove that the GOP can govern, an important victory after eight years of President Obama's unilateral executive orders and inability to work with congressional leaders.
The bill would repeal much of President Obama's framework for government-run, highly prescriptive, one-size-fits-all health care.
In its place would stand conservative reforms to unleash market forces, give consumers choice, and return power to the states.
Gone or phased out would be ObamaCare's individual and employer mandates, its $700 billion exchange subsidies, its $1 trillion in taxes, its "slush funds" for insurers, and its extra money for states that expand Medicaid.
The bill retains some uncontroversial ObamaCare provisions: Families would still be allowed to keep children on their policies until age 26. Insurers would still be prohibited from capping lifetime benefits or denying coverage to patients with pre-existing conditions.
The plan would provide history's biggest reform of Medicaid.
The program would be converted into a less expensive per capita block grant, finally giving states flexibility to meet local needs.
The bill would strengthen health savings accounts, allowing larger contributions and expanding options for how the money can be spent. It would help make insurance portable:
Under current law, employer-provided plans enjoy favorable tax treatment.
This bill would extend that, via tax credits, to people who are self-employed or do not receive coverage from their companies, which would dramatically expand the availability of low-cost insurance in the individual market.
The next step is for everyone to put their "two cents" and make whatever improvements can be made. In other words, the final product is still weeks away.
Finally, let's show the country that we can govern. Score a victory now, and it will be easier to come back and make further revisions.
It's critical for President Trump and GOP to score a big victory against Obamacare.