David Frum | A republican reaction to health care reform

Monday, March 22nd, 2010 By

Conservative commentator David Frum

David Frum has offered a Republican reaction to the new health care bill that outlines "next steps" for Congress. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

By almost any definition, David Frum is a conservative, Republican member of the political community. A conservative activist and former economic speechwriter for President George W. Bush, David Frum has written several books about the Republican right and is a well-known commentator on U.S. and Canadian politics. So when David Frum outlined in his CNN.com column today how yesterday’s health care reform vote was the “Republican Waterloo,” it raised eyebrows. A vocal opponent of payday loans for the government through deficit spending, David Frum outlines what he suggests Republicans do to “recover” from this “devastating” vote.

David Frum argues against repeal of the new health care bill

First and foremost in his column today, David Frum points out exactly how bad an idea repealing the new health care legislation would be. Any repeal would require a presidential signature, and the earliest President Obama will be out of office is two years after the next mid-term election. By the time Republicans may be able to secure a repeal vote in both houses of Congress, they are not likely to receive a presidential signature.

Repealing the entire new health care bill would be exceptionally bad politics. Repealing the health care bill would involve removing many of the new consumer protections that are very politically popular. Medicare recipients that receive prescription drug coverage, Americans with pre-existing conditions that can now get coverage, and new Medicaid recipients would combine to create a formidable political force.

David Frum’s plan for Republicans

Despite arguing against a full repeal, David Frum does outline several steps he thinks Republicans should take to respond to the new health care bill. These include changing the method of funding, possibly using carbon taxes. His plan also includes encouraging reducing the regulation of policies inside health care exchanges and removing the fine for large employers that do not purchase health care coverage.

Finally, David Frum argues that Republicans need to quit defending the employer-based health care system, pointing out that employer-based health care inherently supports a conflict of interests between employers and employees — in essence, asking employers to provide payday advances on health care they should have no hand in.

About David Frum

David Frum’s political commentary has never been limited merely to the Republican party. He has written at least six books on everything from the conservative majority to the presidency of George W. Bush and how conservatism should change. He works as a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and manages a conservative group blog at FrumForum.com.

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