By FRC's Dan Hart
If an uninitiated viewer had stumbled upon the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett last week, they would have to be forgiven for thinking that Barrett was being nominated for a Health and Human Services (HHS) position in charge of regulating health care.
For hour after hour, Democratic senator after Democratic senator opined endlessly about how Barrett's nomination would somehow lead to people losing their health care, particularly those with pre-existing health conditions. It was a strategic political move on the part of the Democrats, born out of a realization that in order to paint Barrett in a bad light, they needed something--anything--to grasp onto because of Barrett's stellar character, reputation, and qualifications. The choice was clear: pretend that Barrett's nomination will cause people to die from lack of health care because she might theoretically rule against the Affordable Care Act (the ACA, also known as "Obamacare") at some point in the future.
What the Democrats conveniently left out of their soliloquies to the ACA during the hearings is how Obamacare has dramatically driven up the cost of health insurance for millions of Americans and has reduced health care competition and options by forcing the consolidation of providers.
Republicans have a clear response to Obamacare--the Fair Care Act--which the media never bothers to talk about. As Senator Mike Braun (R-Ind.) discussed on Washington Watch, the Fair Care Act (which he authored) would protect the most vulnerable, such as those with pre-existing conditions, and give options back to the health care consumer without involving the government, which Obamacare failed to do. "I don't think anybody should go broke because they get sick or have a bad accident, but not through government," Braun said. "Government tried that through Obamacare. That was big government, big health insurance--that was doomed to fail. The only winner out of all that was insurance, for a while, because it gave them bloated profits and still didn't serve the underserved health care patient."
In contrast, Braun made clear, the Fair Care Act "takes every market-oriented principle--competition, transparency, rid[ding] the barriers to entry" so that consumers can make informed choices on the quality and price of the health plan that fits them best.
What if the Democrats win in November and move forward with a Bernie Sanders-style full government takeover of health care? Braun was unequivocal about what would happen: "Whenever you look at the Great Society programs, you look at Social Security itself. You look at Medicare, Medicaid--have they grown or have they shrunk? Obviously, they've grown immensely over time, even to the point where they can implode because actuarially, we put too much pressure on those programs."
"This could be the start of where there is the point of [no] return," Braun concluded. "I'm worried about that. That's why in two weeks, it means a lot to get out there and vote."
Be sure to listen to the full interview with Senator Braun, which also covers the COVID relief bill that would help small businesses, which the Democrats are stalling.