The following op-ed from Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Ryan Haynes appeared in the Tennessean on July 1, 2015. To view the op-ed online, access it here.
The nation’s campaigner-in-chief returns to Nashville
The ink is barely dry on the Supreme Court’s stunning decision to throw a life preserver to Obamacare for the second time in three years and, already, President Barack Obama has made his way back to Tennessee to spike the football.
Should we be surprised? This is the setting — the campaign trail — where he flourishes, especially when it presents the opportunity for him to gloat; a public display of patting himself on the back.
If there is anything noteworthy about this all-too-common exercise, it is the ease with which Mr. Obama takes credit for the work largely done by others.
Just recently, Congress approved Trade Promotion Authority thanks to Republicans, which is easily the White House’s biggest accomplishment in overseas commerce.
So, too, it is with health care. The judicial branch has now had to twice conduct “somersaults of statutory interpretation” for the health law to sidestep an early demise.
The truth is, an embarrassing defeat for Obamacare was avoided by only the narrowest of margins. The fact that the White House views this as cause for a victory tour reveals just how untethered 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. is from the rest of the country — and reality.
In the real world outside the Beltway, Obamacare isn’t loved. This shoddy and reckless law forces states to choose from a menu of options ranging from bad to terrible.
This failed policy introduces government bureaucrats into the very personal relationship between patient and doctor. It has caused health insurance premiums to balloon at a rate best described as government-induced theft.
It is no wonder that those of us having to live under the law take such a dim view of it. An ABC News poll found a mere 35 percent of Americans approve of how the Obama administration has implemented the president’s namesake law.
A Fox News poll found a robust 58 percent would vote to repeal Obamacare, if given the chance. Such consistent levels of dissatisfaction lead to an even more alarming figure — The Economist found 64 percent of Americans believe our nation is on the wrong track.
Despite this negative backdrop, Democrats are set to crown a new leader in Hillary Clinton, who will perpetuate the misery.
Instead of offering solutions to prevent Obamacare from continuing to empty the pockets of American families, she will extend support for additional maneuvers to worsen our health system and bloat our national bureaucracy. That is why we must stop her.
Can you imagine the fallout of an Obama 2.0 presidency matched with a Supreme Court where mere words, let alone legislative intent, “no longer have meaning”? We would become a republic of rubble.
Democrats allege there is no alternative to Obamacare. But this rhetorical sleight-of-hand is used to make you think we are stuck with this bad law.
Nonsense! Republican ideas adhere to the basic American principle that patients and families know their health best and how to properly manage it.
We believe in maximizing health care choices, allowing small businesses to pool resources and ensuring consumers can purchase insurance across state lines. Simply put, our vision is one of freedom and personal responsibility. These simple American concepts are foreign to this White House.
The effort to restore dignity to the White House must begin now. We are offering up the most diverse collection of leaders we have ever had in our primary field.
These leaders will propose dynamic solutions to put the most important person back in the driver’s seat of your life — you.
Keep that in mind as our nation’s Campaigner-in-Chief takes the stage Wednesday to lecture Tennessee.
Ryan Haynes serves as the chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party.