How Republicans Can Win on Health Care

This should be a banner year for the Republican Party. Democrats are stuck with health care reform that most people don’t like. Even among those who do like it, almost everyone admits the law has defects galore.

Now for the surprise. What should be a cakewalk for Republicans in the fall is proving to be anything but that. Republicans aren’t doing noticeably better in the polls, and they are especially failing to take advantage of the health care issue.

Here’s why. Think of Obamacare as having two parts: a revenue side and a spending side. It is the spending side that needs to be repealed and replaced. Republican candidates who promise to do that should win and win big, other things being equal. If Republican candidates promise to repeal the revenue that funds Obamacare, however, they are taking a big risk. In fact, such a position could actually cost them the election.

During the next 10 years, Obamacare funding will total about $2 trillion. Where is all that money going to come from? The bulk of it will come from groups who agreed to receive fewer benefits or pay more in taxes in order to fund health care reform. Almost none of them are asking for their money back.