A leading health care policy expert is imploring congressional Republicans to renew the push for an Obamacare repeal or risk the full wrath of many of their constituents, and timing for such a move just got better.
On Tuesday, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey tapped former Sen. Jon Kyl to fill the U.S. Senate vacancy created by the death of Sen. John McCain, bringing a staunch conservative back to the Senate perhaps the decisive vote on repeal legislation.
Galen Institute President Grace-Marie Turner is part of a coalition pleading with Congress to take up the issue again – specifically on a plan to send power out of Washington and back to the states to establish their own rules for their own health systems.
She says many lawmakers like the idea but are reluctant to bring it up just two months before Election Day.
“They’re so frightened of bringing health care up again after the failed vote in July of last year,” said Turner. They’re afraid of bringing it up again and failing.”
However, Turner says they might have more to fear from doing nothing based on the scolding lawmakers are getting from voters this campaign season.
“Members are getting hammered on the campaign trail because they haven’t done anything to give people relief from the high costs and the limited choices of Obamacare,” said Turner.
She cited one Virginia voter who makes over $100,000 per year but is saddled with monthly health insurance payments of more than $4,000 per month because the Obamacare exchange only offers one plan. The rising costs are more than eating up the raises and extra income from the recent tax cuts.
“That’s what they’re hearing on the campaign trail: people trying to do the right thing and the costs just go up and up and up,” said Turner. “The markets are really imploding. The pools are not stable.”
In giving power back to the states, Turner says Republicans would once again be trumpeting what most Americans have always known.
“One of the things we’ve learned is that the federal government just cannot manage anything as complex and diverse as health insurance markets in the fifty states. We need to give them not only more power but new resources to begin to give people more choices of more affordable coverage,” said Turner.
Turner says 46-47 Republican senators are on board with the prescribed legislation while a handful of others are diving into the specifics. She says Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, want specific provisions for their states. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, wants a bigger focus on health savings accounts, and other conservatives want regulatory relief.
Listen to the rest of the interview with Grace-Marie Turner to hear all of her thoughts on the health care debate, the midterm elections, and how the liberal and media push for single payer is a tacit admission from the left that Obamacare is a failure.