Republicans need to offer their own healthcare ideas and do more than criticize the Affordable Care Act, Karl Rove wrote in a commentary in The Wall Street Journal.
Democrats are shifting their campaign strategy, Rove wrote. They will no longer try to run on the successes of Obamacare — since half the country disapproves of it— and instead ask voters to trust them to fix it. Democrats will claim "Republicans want to go back to the bad old days," Rove wrote.
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That is why Republicans need to win over voters with their own ideas and not just talk down Obamacare, according to Rove.
First, he said, Republicans need to tell voters that Democrats can't be trusted to repair the broken law. Rove cited a comment from then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as Congress considered the Obamacare legislation: "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy."
Beyond criticizing the law, GOP candidates need to explain what alternatives they have to offer. "Republicans must present themselves as a party of change rather than simply one of opposition," writes Rove, a former deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush.
GOP lawmakers in both houses have by now crafted comprehensive healthcare reform rooted in choice and competition, Rove wrote.
"A pledge by GOP candidates to replace Obamacare with sensible reforms— like promoting competition through interstate insurance sales, permitting small businesses to pool their risk to get cheaper premiums, allowing families to save more tax-free for medical expenses, making insurance portable so people can take it from job to job, requiring transparency in pricing and medical outcomes, and expanding inexpensive catastrophic coverage — would go a long way toward answering Democratic charges that Republicans want to go back to the days before Obamacare."
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