The relationship between the White House and Congressional Republicans is at an historic low. The “Iran Letter,” as many have taken to calling it, shows just how great the schism between the two has become. It seems as though each party no longer recognizes the constitutional rights of the other.
Now this isn’t news if you caught so much of a moment of cable news or glimpse of a newspaper headline in the past week. However, few news segments or column inches have been devoted to the subject of how President Obama should move forward.
President Obama must—not unlike a corporate executive coping with layoffs—make do with less. And first among his priorities must be to protect those who most need protecting: the lower and middle classes.
So where do we go from here? These days, initiatives that emanate from the White House fail for no other reason than they emanated from the White House. But the American government must, of course, continue to govern. The legislative and executive branches must find ways to work together to continue to serve the American people.
Medicare is a good place to start. Finding middle ground to ensure the continued success of the landmark program is imperative, and very much possible. Medicare is a singularly important program that ensures the healthcare of American seniors, and holds the rare distinction of being successful while saving money, all while harnessing the free market. Within this, Medicare Part D in particular stands out. Free market competition has led Part D to cost 45% less than originally projected. This harnessing of free market economics saves the taxpayers money and literally saves lives by ensuring millions of Americans have access to quality prescription drugs. And commonsense approaches to ensuring better access to healthcare for middle and lower income Americans don’t end there.
A decision on the King v. Burwell case threatens to strike down the subsidies in Obamacare, effectively killing the key part of the President’s landmark program. If that happens, are Democrats willing to do what it takes to protect access to quality healthcare, even if it means making large compromises?
In the absence of Obamacare, the White House and Congress will need to work fast. Two free-market fixes for America’s healthcare system that are consistently endorsed are tort reform and legalizing interstate purchasing of healthcare plans.
Allowing individuals to purchase healthcare plans regardless of state would drive down the cost of healthcare enormously. Stringent state regulations can drive up the cost of health care. In these situations, the state forces insurance policies to cover certain treatments, increasing costs especially to those who do not desire or need such comprehensive policies— most notably America’s youth.
Allowing Americans to purchase health care plans across state lines is a simple, common sense solution that embraces the free market to drive down burdensome and increasing health care costs in our country.
Democrats must realize that they no longer hold majorities of any kind in the Capitol, much less a senate super majority. If Obama and Congressional Democrats truly wish to serve their constituents, they will need to make compromises to ensure that American citizens get what they need, even if it’s not what Democrats want.
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