Last month in the National Review, Mark Hemingway debunked the notion peddled in the MSM, by liberal pundits and on left-wing blogs that the GOP, deprived of political power in our nation’s capital, is also bereft of new ideas. He held that
The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder, who’s not known for being a partisan bomb thrower, appeared to be vying for the David Broder Award for Lazy Conventional Wisdom when he recently wrote, “My Republican friends keep asking me when I’ll take the GOP seriously again and why I’ve stopped writing about ticky-tak political gamesmanship and GOP consultant tricks. When they’re a serious party with serious ideas, then we can talk.”
Perhaps that notion stemmed from the 2008 campaign when Republican presidential nominee John McCain failed to adequately promote his own policy proposals, particularly his sensible proposal for health care reform.
So, let’s hope that when congressional Republicans put forward similarly sensible proposals, they do a better job than did our party’s presidential candidate in promoting them. Today, GOProud is helping them do just that. Yesterday, Republicans Senators Richard Burr (NC) and Tom Coburn, M.D. (OK) Representatives Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) introduced the Patients Choice Act, a comprehensive health care reform bill, in the Senate and House respectively.
Jimmy LaSalvia, Executive Director of GOProud, was quick to praise the proposal, pointing out “This free-market based healthcare reform bill would expand access to domestic partner benefits and empower individuals – including gay and lesbian Americans – to take control over their own healthcare.” (Emphasis added.) I doubt, however, that other gay groups will hail how the free-market aspects of the Republican reform bill benefit gay people. They seem to discount the private sector’s record in responding to our concerns. Private companies have been quicker to offer domestic partnership benefits to same-sex partners than have government entities.
Simply put, private-sector approaches give us more choices:
The bicameral Patients Choice Act would make quality, affordable healthcare available to all Americans without creating government run healthcare. “Our friends on the left advocate for a larger role for the federal government in our healthcare system; the truth is that expanding the federal government’s involvement in healthcare will expand discrimination against gays and lesbians,” continued LaSalvia. “Federal laws currently prohibit the extension of domestic partner healthcare benefits and refuse to recognize same-sex relationships.”
We all recognize the need for comprehensive reform, but Democratic plans, which rely heavily on increased federal involvement, will only serve to exacerbate health care problems. Democrats need to learn from the experience of government-run health care around the world where increased state involvement has led to lower quality, fewer services and longer waits.
Kudos to GOProud for pointing out the merits of the GOP’s market-based approach. Let’s hope other gay groups don’t let their fealty to the Democratic Party and statist ideas prevent them from realizing how this approach, by offering more choices, is particularly beneficial to gay and lesbian Americans.