The Republicans just don’t want to be anything but the party of “no.”
They continue to oppose Obama’s legislative and policy agenda in areas both warranted and unwarranted. Democrats in Congress and in the administration point to this as evidence of Republican’s lack of seriousness about governing and lack of concern for the American people.
The problem for Democrats? Republicans are winning.
A recent Pew/USA Today poll has Republicans leading the generic ballot by four percentage points, a number similar to where they were before their 2010 landslide. If Republicans fare well in a handful of key senate races, they could wind up in control of both houses of Congress.
Despite these abysmal numbers, congressional Democrats trumpet the supposed “success” of ObamaCare. The administration proudly announces that 8 million Americans have signed up for healthcare through the new exchanges, though it remains to be seen how many of these are duplicate enrollments. What’s more, 8 million people are a mere 2.6% of America, hardly the far-reaching overhaul Obama promised.
Most Americans continue to doubt the President’s healthcare law, and it shows in their support for Republican control of Congress.
Right now, Americans prefer the party of “no.”
But it actually isn’t just the Republicans who deserve that moniker. In their own way, Democrats have also become a party of “no” by refusing to acknowledge the obvious and glaring faults in ObamaCare. They refuse to treat critics of the law as anything other than partisan hacks. They refuse to acknowledge that a majority of Americans oppose the law in its current form.
If Republicans and Democrats are both the party of “no,” then someone needs to be the party of “yes:”
“Yes, ObamaCare can and must be radically improved;”
“Yes, America’s healthcare challenges require solutions from both sides of the aisle;”
“Yes, incentives and not penalties are the best way to broaden healthcare access.”
Obama has articulated his vision for healthcare in America. But as Robert F. Graboyes put it, “Unfortunately, vision alone can’t overcome the law’s conflicting incentives, unintended consequences and logistical overreach.”
Right now, both parties are firmly entrenched: the Republicans against ObamaCare, the Democrats against admitting the many flaws in ObamaCare. In order to rework the law and improve American healthcare, one party must leave the trenches and become the party of “yes.”
As I have mentioned before, some Democratic senators have already begun to advocate for sensible and necessary changes to ObamaCare. The rest of the party would do well to listen to their recommendations.