Editorial: Instead of repeal, make Obamacare work better
Posted January 20
A CBC Editorial: Friday, Jan. 20, 2017; Editorial# 8113
The following is the opinion of Capitol Broadcasting Company
Since Republican U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson arrived in Washington in 2013 he has voted, in one way or another, to repeal the Affordable Care Act – Obamacare – no fewer than 14 times. On Friday, Jan. 13, Hudson declared: “Today’s vote is the beginning of the end of Obamacare.”
Since it passed, Republicans have made it a point of partisan political correctness to demand repeal of Obamacare. Sadly, that opposition was all about politics and not about healthcare. It turns out Republicans did a lot of saber-rattling about repeal and little thinking about what would happen to millions of Americans left behind if Obamacare was scrapped.
No sooner did Hudson – who represents a district that stretches along the southern tier of the state from near Charlotte east to Lumberton – cast his latest repeal vote, than he says he discovered “a lot of angst in our state” over repeal.
“My constituents are freaking out about commercials they are seeing on TV about how they are going to lose their health care,” he said.
Where in the world has Rep. Hudson been?
Like many of his fellow members of Congress who’d blindly promised repeal, Hudson is discovering that many of his constituents – a bunch of them Republicans – are dependent upon Obamacare and don’t want it repealed.
Now Hudson and his pals are backtracking.
“My message to folks is we’re not pulling the rug out from under anybody. We’re going to get it right,” Hudson told a gathering of health care officials in Pinehurst on Wednesday.
After seven years of fear-mongering and partisan bluster Hudson and his fellow Republicans NOW want to know what parts of the law work. Where have they been?
Hudson didn’t have to look far for an answer. Maybe he could have headed a few miles from his home, into Charlotte where Democratic Rep. Alma Adams hosted a town hall on Sunday about the future of Obamacare.
"I'm alive because I had healthcare," said Heather Wasp, a cancer survivor. "And I'm grateful for that, and I want that for everybody."
There is NOTHING about Obamacare that needs repealing. It is only for the fact that it was pushed by Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress, that there’s even a controversy. Instead of overheated slogans of “repeal and replace,” we’d just be dealing with a quiet bit of “tinker and fix.”
Rather than the phony symbolism and fearmongering of repeal, why not just keep the law and get serious about fixing any shortcomings?
Here’s an idea for Hudson and his fellow Republicans -- George Holding, Walter Jones, Virginia Foxx, Mark Walker, David Rouzer, Robert Pittinger, Patrick Henry, Mark Meadows and Ted Budd:
Hold a series of town hall meetings in your districts and do the following:
- Explain why it was a bad thing to have a program that provided health care coverage to 19 million people who didn’t have it.
- Reveal why repeal of the law is needed.
- Explain how all those with heath care now won’t lose it or be left with something that isn’t as good or more expensive.
- Present your ideas on providing health coverage to an additional 500,000 North Carolinians that the General Assembly refuses to help.
- Openly and honestly listen to your constituents about how they think the program is working, how it can be improved, and what kind of health care they and their neighbors need.