Norquist: Obamacare Should Be Replaced by 'Something Useful'

Thursday, 08 Aug 2013 05:40 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Grover Norquist says the push by his tax-reform group to delay all provisions of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act is the most sensible way to try to get rid of it for good.

"Ultimately, the goal is to completely repeal all, every bit of Obamacare and then to replace it with something that actually is useful for consumers. More competition, not less competition. More transparency, not less transparency," Norquist told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

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"But right now we have a president who thinks of this as his personal success in life since he doesn't have many others — and he is not going to sign a bill to eliminate Obamacare. [It’s] going to take a different president for that."

Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, joined members of the Obamacare Repeal Coalition this week in writing to congressional Republican lawmakers to demand a one-year delay of Obamacare in any spending deal they approve.

In their letter to House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and other top GOP lawmakers, they said: "With the clock ticking to open enrollment on October 1, it is abundantly clear to members of the Repeal Coalition that the structure at the heart of [Obamacare] is simply not ready."

"To help the American people avoid getting hit by what Senator Max Baucus memorably referred to as 'a huge train wreck coming down,' we . . . urge you to insist on, at minimum as part of any final deal, a one-year delay of all 2014 provisions . . . in the upcoming [continuing resolution] and in fiscal negotiations with the White House."

According to Norquist, a delay would save face for the president, who has already delayed the employer mandate provision of Obamacare by one year.

"The president has admitted that he's not ready for primetime . . . and this is the sort of delay that Obama could actually sign — look American people in the eye, and not feel completely humiliated," Norquist said.

"He doesn't want this thing to be blowing up in America's face as he goes into the 2014 elections. So we can use his fear of being defeated at the polls, the Democrats in the House and Senate, for a year's delay."

Norquist said a one-year stall would also make it easier to do away with the Obamacare when Republicans hopefully take back the White House and gain a stronger foothold in Senate in future elections.

"We come back with a stronger Republican House, a stronger Republican Senate, and a president who's on his way out and Democrats looking to run for president who are less invested in Obama's version of Obamacare," he said.

Even if Obamacare were to be implemented following a year’s delay, it would be less entrenched in people’s lives and could therefore be easier to dismantle, he explained.

"You put in a tree this year, three years from now its roots are down there, it's tough to take it out," Norquist said.

"I would rather have a Republican president in three years and a Republican House and Senate that has to pull out, root and branch, Obamacare that's only been in place for a year or two, not when it's been in place for three or four years. So there's an argument that delay makes victory easier later."

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