Your editorial “The ObamaCare Republicans” (March 25) does its best to blame conservatives—and absolve GOP leaders—for the defeat of their health care bill. We believe that a sober policy analysis of the bill reveals this was not an incremental improvement, but rather a step in the wrong direction.
Its biggest misstep was its failure to deal with ObamaCare’s tangled web of regulations that is responsible for 68% of the health-care premium increases for many Americans. And thanks to Sen. Mike Lee, we know the Senate parliamentarian was open to allowing this critical reform to pass through the budget reconciliation process.
In addition to getting the policy wrong, those promoting this bill misjudged the politics. Recent polling by the Cato Institute and YouGov reveal that large majorities of Americans oppose the coverage mandates when they learn how much it drives up the costs of their health-care premiums.
Americans deserve a thoughtful debate on repealing and replacing ObamaCare. It would reveal how this unsustainable program lowers health-care quality, raises costs and limits families’ access to the doctors they want. But thoughtful debate takes longer than the artificial deadline that the congressional leadership was willing to allow.
Unfortunately, the House health-care bill was a marriage of bad policy and bad politics being pushed through a bad process. Congress should start over soon with a bill that truly repeals ObamaCare and moves forward in a transparent process to achieve genuine health-care financing reform.
Those of us who opposed the leadership’s bill look forward to working with all of the policy-making community to provide real consumer-choice health-care financing for all Americans.
Ed Feulner and Jim DeMint
The Heritage Foundation
This commentary has been updated to reflect the text as it ran in the Wall Street Journal on March 29, 2017. A previous version included text from a "Letter to the Editor" not published by The Heritage Foundation.
This piece originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal