The PJ Tatler

Lee: 'We Can’t Just Cut Obamacare, or Even Repeal It and Go Back to the Old System'

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) argued in a speech yesterday at the Reagan Ranch that “the similarities between the late 1970s and today seem to grow by the hour” and it’s time to do a realignment of the GOP like President Reagan did back then.

Lee gave the address to mark the 33rd anniversary of Reagan signing into law the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981.

“A chasm of distrust is opening between the American people and their government. Both parties are seen as incapable of producing innovative solutions to growing problems, or uninterested in even trying. Reagan’s ‘forgotten Americans’ are once again being left behind,” the senator said. “Once again, the left has betrayed the trust of the American people. But the right has not won it back.”

“So it seems to me that conservatives today need to do what Reagan did in the late 1970s: identify the great challenges holding back America’s working families, and propose concrete, innovative solutions to help overcome them,” he said. “Just like Reagan did, as conservatives today we need to re-apply our principles to the challenges of the moment. We need to offer the country a new, positive reform agenda that remembers America’s forgotten families and puts the federal government back on their side.”

Lee stressed that “a real conservative reform agenda has to do more than just cut big government.”

“It has to fix broken government. Reagan did just that a generation ago. Since then, new challenges have emerged, demanding repair – and conservative principles can once again point us toward exciting, innovative solutions,” he said.

Areas for reform include a level regulatory playing field for all businesses, transportation growth that would “cut out those Beltway middle-men,” and education reform that focuses on “fixing the system so college doesn’t cost so much in the first place,” the senator argued.

“A conservative reform agenda must confront a welfare system that isolates the less fortunate.  A reformed system would start to bring the poor back into our economy and civil society,” he said. “…We can’t just cut Obamacare, or even repeal it and go back to the old system we had before. Instead, we need to move forward with real healthcare reforms that empower patients and doctors, not big government and big insurance companies.”

“A renewed commitment to reform can not only put America on the path to recovery, but reunite our nation after too many years of bitter division… and empower our people after too many years of falling behind.”