Since the Republican establishment pulled the American Health Care Act, also known as Obamacare Lite, in order to avoid a vote they were sure to lose, many in the establishment, and even President Trump, have placed the blame on Conservatives, specifically the House Freedom Caucus.
The accusations leveled at true Conservatives – like North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows, the Chairman of the House Freedom Caucus – who stood strongly against Obamacare Lite have ranged from erroneous claims like Conservatives, somehow, protected Planned Parenthood funding, to ensuring Obamacare will be around for ever, to even threatening that these Conservatives will lose their seats when they’re up for re-election.
We’ll get into those ridiculous, and completely false, assertions on Planned Parenthood and the fate of Obamacare in a later post on this issue, but for now, we’re going to focus on the idea that Conservatives may lose their seats for stopping the establishment’s Obamacare Lite health care plan.
The reality of the situation could not be more different than the comments and accusations being directed at Conservatives by the Republican establishment.
In fact, when one actually looks at the analytics at play with this issue, and understands the positions the American voters overwhelmingly took on the GOP’s proposed plan, it’s extremely evident that Conservatives actually did the Republican Party, and even President Trump, a massive favor by stopping them from committing political suicide through the passage of Obamacare Lite.
Chris Wilson, the CEO of WPA, a research firm that specializes in analytics for political campaigns and organizations, took to Medium on Tuesday to spell out how analytics prove that the House Freedom Caucus (Conservatives) saved the GOP on health care.
According to Wilson, “the data show overwhelming support for full repeal and replace and suggest that the House Freedom Caucus did the Senate, and Republicans’ hopes of expanding their Senate majority, a great service in stopping the bill before it made it across the Capitol.”
In order to gauge voter sentiment on the current health care battle in Washington, WPA’s data science team developed three predictive analytics models to test support for the various approaches to health care reform. They were:
- likelihood of each individual voter to support or oppose “preserving the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, mostly as it is.”
- likelihood of each individual voter to support or oppose “the Republican health care plan that eliminates the individual mandate, replaces income based subsidies with subsidies based on age and family size, but leaves many other elements of Obamacare in place.”
- likelihood of each individual voter to support or oppose repealing Obamacare and enacting a “plan that allows for the sale of insurance across state lines, expands Health Savings Accounts, incentivizes states to create high risk pools, block grants Medicaid, and is portable so it can be taken from job to job.”
WPA ran data for these models throughout the height of the debate over the Republican health care plan.
And the results couldn’t have been more clear.
“House Freedom Caucus members held the line, and the data show that is precisely what their constituents wanted,” Wilson wrote.
The analytics also show that even keeping Obamacare in it’s current form is much more popular than the Republican health care plan.
“While full repeal and replace of Obamacare has overwhelming support in these districts, even keeping Obamacare intact was more popular than the AHCA, often by more than a two-to-one margin,” said Wilson.
WPA also looked at the impact the passage of the Republican health care plan could have had on the GOP’s ability to hold on to control of the Senate after the 2018 mid-term elections.
“Just as critical to the political landscape is the impact non-passage of AHCA may have on GOP effort to maintain control of the senate,” Wilson wrote. “In each of the Senate’s potentially competitive races in 2018 the AHCA was opposed by majorities.”
You read that correctly, Conservatives in the House, like North Carolina’s Mark Meadows, not only saved House Republicans from themselves, but they also may have greatly increased the GOP’s chances of keeping their Senate majority by opposing the Republican health care plan.
Clearly, the American people overwhelmingly opposed the Republican health care plan, and would have likely turned on the GOP had Conservatives not stood on principle and saved them.
But what do people actually want? What it is that the American people truly agree on when it comes to the health care debate?
WPA’s research found that the American people support the exact type of stronger repeal and replace plan the Conservatives in the House and Senate – namely Mark Meadows, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), the rest of the House Freedom Caucus, and Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Mike Lee (R-UT) – have been pushing from the very beginning of this entire ordeal.
In regards to this matter, Wilson explains what the analytics show: “While it is clear the constituents of House Freedom Caucus members prefer repeal and replace, supporting this approach would also be a net-win in the key 2018 Senate states. Likewise, a vote to preserve Obamacare, rather than repealing and replacing, would be a net-loss for endangered Democrats.”
Therefore, if the GOP would, you know, actually fix health care rather than simply renaming and making minimal tweaks to Obamacare it would not only preserve their majority but also help strengthen those numbers by creating an opportunity to unseat some Democrats up for re-election?
Of course it would!
The table below from WPA “shows the number of supporters who prefer a repeal-and-replace plan versus those who support keeping Obamacare as is,” according to Wilson. “While the margins are tight in some states, in every state there is a net preference for repeal-and-replace.”
That’s right, the analytics prove that not only is a more Conservative approach to health care by implementing a stronger repeal-and-replace strategy the right thing to do for the American people, it’s also a big win for the Republican party as a whole in the 2018 mid-term elections, an incredibly crucial moment in the history of our nation.
As Wilson put it, “Our models illustrate the supported course of action is move a repeal-and-replace bill. Not only does this positioning have overwhelming support in each state, it would force endangered Democrats to choose between their party and their constituents.”
So, while the Republican establishment, and even President Trump, attack Conservatives and claim that they will lose their seats for stopping the Republican health care plan, the actual facts of the matter are that Conservatives, specifically the House Freedom Caucus led by Mark Meadows, saved the GOP from a potentially devastating decision.
And should the Republican party actually want to fix health care and win at the polls in 2018, they should immediately get on board with a stronger, more Conservative repeal-and-replace strategy before it’s too late.