NRO has an good interview with Paul Ryan, this morning. He doesn’t have any illusions about repealing the bill in the short term, but he is full of ideas on what is coming down the pike, and how to move forward. He says the fight has just begun:
What about the practical consequences of Obamacare? “Soon, we’ll see individual-market insurance companies go out of business and dump their people,” Ryan says. “Tax increases on capital are going to hurt the economy in 2011. These arbitrary Medicare cuts will adversely affect the providers and therefore their beneficiaries. You’ll have the Internal Revenue Service beefing up its enforcement of this new mandate, which people have no clue is coming. And you’re going to have employers dump employees in this exchange once it’s up and running — funneling everyone into a government-run rationing system. Then we’ll see a big spike in insurance rates, and the Democrats are going to wager that they can just blame the insurers for that, and therefore that means they will need to institute insurance price controls or have a public option. Our side is going to say, ‘Look at what you just did to ruin our health-care system,’ and focus on repeal.”
“Our offense will be hammering them for wrecking the health-care system, their demonization of the insurance companies, and their push for government control. That is the future fight,” Ryan predicts. “They’ve got a president here until 2013 and the votes in the Senate to support this for a few years, but it’s not over. As we work to repeal, we must recognize that we’re fighting a different and distorted progressivism. They want to hook people up to entitlements and delegate more power to unelected bureaucrats and technocrats to micromanage the economy — a government full of Peter Orzags. Yet their fatal conceit is also a rational gamble to establish a new culture of dependency.”
In an Obamacare world, what is the GOP’s message? “We need to become the party of liberty and freedom,” Ryan argues. “We’re not doing enough. We can do better, and we will — because we have no choice. If we’re going to offer the country a completely different vision, we can’t be Democratic-lite or resign ourselves to be slightly more efficient managers and tax-collectors for the welfare state. We have to break with that and give people a clear and distinct difference.”
John at Powerline finds some silver linings in this whole debacle:
* The health care bill’s taxes will go into effect promptly, but its substantive provisions are, for the most part, deferred for four years. This means that we have plenty of time to repeal the legislation. Sure, it will take a new Congress and new President. But repealing this disaster of a bill will by a rallying cry for the American people for years to come. Moreover, even if the Republicans only take over the House in November, and not the Senate, won’t it be possible to throw roadblocks in the way of the bill’s implementation? Won’t budget appropriations be necessary to sustain the various federal tentacles the bill seeks to establish? What will happen if the House simply refuses to fund them?
* I’ve never been prouder to be a Republican. The party’s Congressional leaders have fought this battle to the end on behalf of the American people–with intelligence, toughness, persistence and good humor. The contrast between the parties has never been starker than in today’s debate. If any intelligent Democrats were watching–there must be some left–they had to be embarrassed for their party.
* Paul Ryan has emerged as one of the conservative movement’s strongest spokesmen. In the years to come, I think we will hear the words “I’m a Paul Ryan Republican” with increasing frequency.
Read the whole thing, there’s more to feel optimistic about.
Meanwhile, in response to Obamacare, at least 36 state legislatures are using the legislative process to limit, alter or oppose selected state or federal actions, including single-payer provisions and insurance mandates.
As of early March, formal resolutions or bills had been filed in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Up to three additional states were reported in media or association articles to have discussed future action or intentions; examples are listed below.
Laws: On March 4, 2010 a Virginia law passed both Senate and House, was amended by the Governor and both branches of the legislature and became law as Chapter 106 March 10, becoming the first such statute in the nation.* Idaho is the second state to enact a similar statute, as Chapter 46 on March 17.
Passed bills: None of the other proposals listed have been finally approved; Arizona‘s resolution of June 2009 was the first measure to have passed the legislative process; A Utah bill passed both chambers and awaits action by the governor. A Tennessee bills has passsed one chamber, Constitutional resolutions have advanced through initial steps in Florida, Georgia and Missouri (3/16/10). One amendment failed to pass in Georgia on 3/18/10.
“Did not pass” measures: So far in 2010, bills have been rejected or failed to pass in: Indiana, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Mexico, South Dakota and Wyoming.
See the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) for more.
There is already a Repeal It effort underway, sponsored by The Club for Growth.. ..click on the link and see how many lawmakers, candidates, and citizens have signed the pledge:
“I hereby pledge that if any federal health care takeover is passed in 2010, I will support – with my time, money, and vote – only candidates who pledge to support its repeal and replacement with real reforms that lower health care costs without growing government.”
And here’s Drew from AoSHQ offering some free advise to Republicans: Dear GOP: Fight
You need to be the party of No for the next 6 months on just about every issue. The only issue (other than national security) that matters is repealing this monstrosity. I don’t know if it can be done but it has to be tried.
Please don’t let Obama drag you into a pissing match over the small stuff. If he has another idiotic jobs bill, just let it go. Vote no but don’t fight about it, reframe the fight in terms of health care. Reframe everything in terms of health care…immigration, taxes, Cap and Trade, whatever other crap they throw at you. It all comes down to health care and the fundamental shift in the relationship between government and people. I know the presidency is a hard institution to fight with and Obama just makes shit up but you’ve got to try and keep the focus on the health care bill. More and more details will come out and that will help you.
But it’s bigger than legislation and even politics. You guys are going to be asked to do something you’re not necessarily equipped to do…speak philosophically about what it means to be an American. You are going to have to tell people something politicians don’t like to have say…no. No, Americans can’t have everything and not pay for it. No, they can’t have ‘free’ health care forever. No, you can’t expect the government to do the basic things that free adults should and must do for themselves.
You also need to tell people what that will give them…freedom. Freedom to do the best they can. Freedom to chart the course of their own lives and freedom live in peace without an army of pushy bureaucrats treating them like children.
I know that kind of freedom scares some people but you need to sell it to them. Remind them how it’s their birthright and how even if they want lots of ‘stuff’ given to them, it’s got to come from somewhere. Freedom and free enterprise is the greatest wealth generator known to mankind, without there’s nothing else.
Read it in full, it’s good stuff.
And in In the WaPo, this morning, Marc Thiessen asks: Has The GOP Spent Enough Time in the Wilderness?
Breaking the earmark addiction
…this month the GOP conference voted to adopt a voluntary, unilateral ban on all earmarks for the remainder of the 111th Congress. The resolution declares that “no member shall request a congressional earmark, limited tax benefit, or limited tariff benefit.” Securing such a pledge was not easy. During their time in power, Republicans became addicted to earmarks. According to Citizens Against Government Waste, in 1994, the year before the GOP took control, there were just 1,318 earmarks totaling $7.8 billion. By 2005, the last year of Republican rule, the number had grown to 13,997 earmarks totaling $27.3 billion. It was a Republican Congress that gave us the “Bridge to Nowhere” and the Duke Cunningham “bribes for earmarks” scandal — symbols of profligacy and corruption that led taxpayers to throw Republicans out in 2006.
A grass-roots movement for fiscal discipline is driving independents to the GOP, and House Republicans needed to show that they had learned their lesson on spending — so they went cold-turkey on earmarks.
Unfortunately, that lesson does not appear to have sunk in on the other side of Capitol Hill. Last week, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) offered a bipartisan amendment on the Senate floor that would have banned all earmarks for the rest of the current Congress. He got just 25 Republican votes. Indeed, two GOP senators — Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) and Jim Inhofe (Okla.) — voted for the same amendment in 2008 when they were up for re-election, but switched sides this time around. In all, 15 Republicans voted to preserve earmarks — and not surprisingly nine came from the appropriations committee.
Really Republicans? Really?
Have you forgotten already that government pork was a major theme of the early tea parties?
They would do well to read Drew’s letter to get their minds right. They are not going to take back congress by being Democrat lites.
See also That Dog Won’t Hunt, which I found via The Other McCain. It’s a grassroots political action committee dedicated to the eradication of the Blue Dogs. Give generously if you can.
A couple more petitions you can sign:
November is coming by Americans For Prosperity
Over 325,000 signatures in just 4 days.
Repeal the health care bill!!! by the Tea Party Express
The “Repeal the Health Care Bill” has become ipetions.com’s #1 most-popular petition with over 25,000 signatures in the past 12 hours.
Jim Geraghty reports: Since debuting this morning, the RNC’s “Fire Nancy Pelosi” site has raised $511,903.
Ace says: We Can Repeal This