DONATELLI: The GOP after Massachusetts

February 5, 2010

By: Frank Donatelli,

Scott Brown’s historic win in Massachusetts scrambles the politi -cal picture for both parties. For Demo-crats, it means they will have far more dif- ficulty turning their momentary supermajority into a permanently larger federal establishment. For Republicans, it gives them a toehold on power in Washington, a seat at the policy table and an even greater opportunity to make real gains in the 2010 midterm elections.

The Republican Party needs to move on five main things right now.

First, the party needs to do everything possible to defeat Obamacare. More than anything, this was the signature issue that gave rocket fuel to the Brown campaign. The public was not buying the witch’s brew of higher taxes, Medicare cuts and higher insurance premiums. The special deals for the drug companies, the unions and Nebraska were icing on the cake. Republicans must pull out all of the stops to scuttle this bill.

Second, after the bill is defeated, Republicans should seek to engage the administration on true reform of the system that focuses on cost containment. Measures for discussion must include tort reform, enhanced health savings accounts and creating more vibrant markets and competition for individuals to purchase their own health plans. Democrats may want to have something to showcase on the president’s signature issue before the next election.

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