One of the GOP’s primary targets this campaign season is the health care reform law. Never short on hyperbole, Republicans have drummed up blood oaths, “death panel” revivals, and a “repeal and replace” pledge all to ensure their base that “Obamacare” will wither away under their watch.
But, in an electoral debate for Ohio’s 15th district House seat Friday, GOP nominee and former business lobbyist Steve Stivers surprised many by going off the GOP script. After agreeing with President Obama’s Iraq and Afghanistan policy and admitting lenders and Wall Street “did bad things,” Stivers rebuffed “the strategy of Republican leaders” and said the health care law “needs to be fixed not repealed”:
On the topic of health care, Stivers again may have thrown Kilroy off stride when, instead of adopting the strategy of Republican leaders like John Boehner of Ohio who has vowed to repeal and replace the nation’s new health care affordability act, he said the bill needs to be fixed not repealed.
Stivers said that while new taxes and paperwork contained in the bill are unnecessary, improvements could be made through real torte reform and “encouraging real health behaviors” that would help people live more healthy life styles.
He said the bill does a good job on preventions and does “some things right like pre-existing conditions.” But he said it doesn’t focus on costs.
Stivers joins many Republicans who “want to let the new [already-enacted] benefits stay in place.” In fact, 7 of the GOP’s health care ideas in the “Pledge To America” are actually already included in the health care law. This is not surprising because the law is regaining support among Americans, with those “who think the law should have done more outnumbering those who think the government should stay out of health care by 2-to-1.” As Stivers’ stance indicates, the GOP’s pledge might not go anywhere beyond campaign rhetoric.