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Remember when President Obama said "If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan" but did not really mean it? Senator Ron Johnson thinks President Obama should keep his word and has introduced legislation to ensure that Americans can in fact keep their plans.
The "If You Like Your Health Plan, You Can Keep It Act" gives the two million plus Americans who have already received cancellation notices from their health insurance companies and the millions more whose premiums are skyrocketing an out. It allows them to do what President Obama promised, keep their current health insurance. Senator Johnson's bill would allow people who change jobs to enroll in their new employer's current health insurance plan as well.
The bill is far from perfect. For instance, Senator Johnson's bill is silent as to whether an employer can modify an existing plan by changing a premium or a co-pay or some level of benefit coverage. Senator Johnson's bill does not defund Obamacare either, so the vast expansion of single-payer government health insurance through Medicaid continues apace. Nonetheless, it is a significant step in the right direction and should be embraced.
In order to have any chance of becoming law, however, Senate Republicans need to be willing to do what Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Texas Senator John Cornyn swore they would not do at a fundraising retreat this past weekend, tie any rollback of Obamacare to forthcoming budget battles. Addressing the "elephant in the room," Senator McConnell suggested that the strategy of tying the Obamacare rollback fight to budget battles "could not and would not work” and was "not conservative policy." Unless Republicans are willing to tie bills such as this to budget resolutions, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid can block them from ever receiving a vote.
Republicans need to embrace the political momentum we have now and seize this opportunity to begin to roll back Obamacare. Democrats and liberal pundits are beginning to abandon President Obama allowing him to sink in his own political quicksand in an effort to save their own political skin. It is time for Republicans to unite as a party, lend a hand to any Democrat with an outstretched arm, and begin the process of dismantling this "crowning achievement" that is destroying health care and our economy.