“Repeal and replace” is a rallying cry among some opponents of Obamacare. But how about starting with effective, substantial baby steps — such as repealing it altogether and setting the stage to start again from scratch? Wouldn’t it be more effective to get rid of the monstrosity that’s already there first, rather than divide the opposition in looking for the perfect replacement?
Jammed down the throats of the American people last March, the fears of what Obamacare might pose to America’s future health care security became that much more real this week with the recess appointment of Donald Berwick to run the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Without Senate confirmation — without even a hearing — this self-professed “romantic” for the inadequate British National Health Service and a true believer in rationing and wealth redistribution is now set to be a key architect in taking Obamacare from page to patient.
Before this truly unaccountable bureaucrat can get dug in, Representative Steve King (R-IA) wants to send the White House a strong message that Obamacare still lacks the support something so ambitious (and wrong-headed) needs.
There are currently four bills introduced to repeal Obamacare and seven that seek a repeal with a replacement plan. Pelosi and her ilk, in charge of the legislative calendar, will make it almost certain that none of these bills ever see a vote.
That’s where Steve King and his discharge petition come into play.
Discharge Petition 11 would force a vote on H.R. 4972, Representative King’s bill to repeal Obamacare. If he can get 218 signatures on his petition, Representative King can effectively force the bill onto the floor and to a vote. As noted in a coalition letter being circulated by Heritage Action for America, “a discharge petition allows an oppressed political minority to bypass the Speaker’s clenched fist. It also provides concerned citizens and grassroots groups as single legislative target to focus their attention.”
So far, Representative King has 109 signers on his discharge petition. Despite being only halfway to his goal, it should not be a monolithic task. After all, the final House vote on Obamacare was 219 to 212. Surely, with what has been revealed since March about Obamacare’s new higher costs, false savings and probable rationing of services, surely there are more than seven members who originally voted for Obamacare willing to favor a do-over vote. And many more who may also wish to curry favor with upset constituents.
Whisking out the old, Representative King feels, is a necessary precursor to bringing in something new. All along, critics have contended that wholesale change of America’s health care system is too much for one bill (no matter how big that bill was). Finding a new version to replace it with right away is too big and too contentious to do. Just repeal it for right now.