March 22nd, 2010
12:00 PM ET

How GOP can rebound from its 'Waterloo'?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/03/22/health.care.main/c1main.obama.biden.gi.jpg]
David Frum
Special to CNN

What the hell do we Republicans do now?

In the very short run, our course is obvious enough: There will be more votes on health care in the Senate, and we will vote nay again. But this is anti-climax territory. The decisive vote occurred Sunday night.

The "what next?" question pertains to the days further ahead, after President Obama signs the merged House-Senate legislation and "Obamacare" becomes the law of the land.

Some Republicans talk of repealing the whole bill. That's not very realistic. Even supposing that Republicans miraculously capture both houses of Congress in November, repeal will require a presidential signature.

More relevantly: Do Republicans write a one-sentence bill declaring that the whole thing is repealed? Will they vote to reopen the "doughnut" hole for prescription drugs for seniors? To allow health insurers to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions? To kick millions of people off Medicaid?

It's unimaginable, impossible.

But there are things that can be done, and here are some early priorities:

1) One of the worst things about the Democrats' plan is the method of financing: an increase in income taxes. The top rate of tax was already scheduled to jump to 39.6 percent at the end of this year. Now a surtax of 5.4 percent will be stacked atop that higher rate. At first, the surtax bites only very high incomes: $500,000 for individuals. But that tax will surely be applied to larger and larger portions of the American population over time.


Filed under: 360° Radar
soundoff (No Responses)

Comments are closed.