President Donald Trump was wrong to characterize the House healthcare legislation as "mean," Heritage Action for America's Michael Needham wrote in a column for The Washington Post.
But rather, compassion for the sick is found in communities vs. federally mandated programs, wrote Needham, chief executive of Heritage, a conservative group focused on activism.
"Anyone who thinks real compassion is found in a federal government program hasn't spent much time at the post office," Needham wrote. "That's the central insight motivating the inclusion of the state waiver from the Obamacare program in the House-passed American Health Care Act. And it's the reason President Trump was wrong to call the bill 'mean.'"
Noting that everyone is frustrated to some degree with the slow movement of repealing Obamacare, none more than conservatives.
"Conservatives are most justified in their frustration. After consistently being told the Republican Party was unified in the objective of repealing Obamacare lock, stock and barrel, we've had our worst suspicions confirmed about the cynicism of so many in Washington," Needham wrote.
Though Needham isn't totally satisfied with the American Health Care Act passed by the House, he watches closely to make sure Senate Republicans leave intact three key staples of the bill:
- "First, it is vital that the Senate preserve the flexibility to allow states to get out from under Obamacare."
- "Second, the Senate absolutely must maintain the significant entitlement reforms made in the House bill to Medicaid."
- Finally, the Senate must repeal all of Obamacare's taxes.
"The House-passed American Health Care Act was a step forward. And its most important insight — that true compassion lies not in Washington, but across this country in local communities where neighbors know and care for each other — should be the central insight the Republican Party brings to all future debates," Needham concludes.
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