Which Republican will be able to compete with Underwood on healthcare?
Need to publish your policy/position papers on healthcare including prescription drugs as Underwood been doing so for 3 months
It’s one week before the primary debate among the seven Republican candidates competing for the honor to challenge Congresswoman Lauren Underwood in November.
And in case you’ve missed it, over the past 3 months, Underwood has rebuilt momentum on the issue that propelled her to Congress in 2018 — healthcare.
Let’s look at the the timeline:
- October 18 – Underwood releases her 5 point plan to lower prescription drug prices hinging on the approval of seven pieces of legislation
- October 18 thru November – Underwood does a media tour including an opinion feature in the Chicago Tribune highlighting her prescription drug prices 5 point plan
- October and November – Underwood named to the Time: Next 100 influential people and Crain’s Chicago Business 40 under 40 for her leadership in Congress on healthcare
- December 11 – The House approves H.R. 3 which calls for “negotiation” of prices for medications between pharmaceutical companies and Medicare, with significant penalties if Pharma does not go with pricing based on the price of same medications in six countries plus cap on out of pocket under Medicare Part D
- December 17 – Underwood introduces Lower Costs for Insulin Now Act (H.R. 5444) while simultaneously putting her bill’s language into the final appropriations bill negotiated and approved on same day.
- December 18 (same day House approved Articles of Impeachment) – 5th Circuit Court of Appeals rules Affordable Care Act individual mandate unconstitutional
- December 19 – Senate approves appropriations package including Underwood’s legislation
- December 20 – President signs into law the Insulin bill with appropriations
- January 10 – Underwood introduces H.R. 5575, The Primary and Behavioral Health Care Access Act with 16 Democratic cosponsors
- January 13
- Northwest Herald publishes (online edition) article of Underwood introducing her new bill at a Kane County press conference on Saturday the 11th
- Underwood appears on MSNBC, basically calls President Trump’s commitment to protect preexisting conditions a lie and creates fear that Texas vs. USA will not be decided until after election and millions will lose their healthcare if decided in plaintiffs’ favor
So now it is time to see which Republican candidate(s) can step up and show the Republican primary electorate who can compete with Underwood in November on her strongest issue. It’s not taxes, it’s not impeachment, it’s healthcare, including prescription drug pricing.
And it’s time for the Republican candidates to publish their detailed policy/position statement papers so voters can read them and make up their own minds.
I will say up front that I’m operating off of the assumption most of the Republican candidates have already written these detailed papers, and are only waiting for the right time to publish them so the voters can read them.
It is my honest opinion that the time is now.
Contrasting what Underwood is doing on healthcare/prescription drugs, here’s Ted Gradel’s take on last night’s Democratic presidential debate, the video is less than a minute:
So as Gradel said and he is right, what was represented on the stage by ALL SIX of the candidates, including the “moderates” is the Lauren Underwood wing of the party.
And not everyone, including Underwood, is championing Medicare for All single payer or the Medicare Opt-In plans for healthcare.
Underwood’s latest legislation and the H.R. 3 prescription drug pricing are big government socialist solutions to healthcare.
Keep in mind, healthcare by itself is not going to propel the Democratic presidential nominee to beat President Trump in November, but healthcare by itself could very well propel Underwood to a 2nd term.
It’s up to the congressional Republican candidates to have genuine and well researched policy position(s) on healthcare and prescription drug prices. Just like high prescription drug prices, all of us are paying too high health insurance premiums, and Underwood in her latest legislation as well as her embrace of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s government price controls on prescription drugs, this is socialism without a single-payer healthcare solution.
And it will be said again, we are beyond platitudes, sound bites, abstracts, slogans, talking points and bromides. The primary electorate needs to see detailed policy positions.
While at the debate next week, candidates will have only two minutes to answer a direct question and most likely only one minute rebuttal, but hopefully on healthcare and possibly other issues, the candidate can refer the audience to their campaign websites for the details of their positions.
In case you missed it, here is what Lauren Underwood said in her interview Monday night on The Last Word on MSNBC to Lawrence O’Donnell is below.
Something needs to be pointed out that Underwood says in this just over 2 1/2 minutes segment from MSNBC. The attorney general did NOT tell the Court to take its time. The 5th Circuit ordered the case back to district court in its December 18 ruling to evaluate the case before the appeals process moves to the eventual U.S. Supreme Court date, presumably during the 2020-2021 Supreme Court session:
Just prior to the segment released by Underwood’s campaign Twitter account yesterday afternoon, MSNBC showed a graphic with recent polling of the Democratic primary/caucus electorate of the issues important to them:
Goes without saying (but will say it anyway), a general election poll will look significantly different than a Democratic primary/caucus electorate, but one would still see healthcare as a top, if not the top domestic issue, even over the economy and taxes.
Need more convincing? Look at these two videos released by Protect Our Care in the past 24 hours touting the most controversial component of H.R. 3:
So to the Republican primary electorate, don’t go easy on the candidates. Make them spell out their position on healthcare, and all of the major issues.
- Full segment (2 minues 42 seconds) of MSNBC Underwood interview: https://www.msnbc.com/the-last-word/watch/freshman-dem-debunks-trump-claim-about-pre-existing-conditions-76676165753?cid=sm_npd_ms_tw_lw
- Northwest Herald article on H.R. 5575: https://www.nwherald.com/2020/01/12/u-s-rep-underwood-introduces-legislation-to-expand-access-to-primary-and-mental-health-care/awlc2qn
- H.R. 5575 text: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/5575/text