It has become a tired, familiar act. Members of the House Freedom Caucus say they are the only true conservatives, while other congressional Republicans are RINOs, “Republicans in Name Only.” In the latest episode, the Freedom Caucus and its outside allies—including Heritage Action and FreedomWorks—denounced the GOP health-care bill as “ObamaCare Lite.”
The Republican plan “not only accepts the flawed progressive premises of ObamaCare but expands upon them,” thundered Heritage Action’s CEO, Mike Needham. Americans, he added, “will notice no significant difference” between the GOP bill and the Affordable Care Act.
The Freedom Caucus’s vice chairman, Rep. Jim Jordan, sang the same tune. “It’s ObamaCare in a different form,” he said. The caucus’s chairman, Rep. Mark Meadows, wrote an op-ed with Sen. Rand Paul calling it “ObamaCare provisions dressed up in shiny new GOP-branded clothes.”
These claims confused the grass roots but were simply untrue. Look at the legislation’s text, which canceled ObamaCare’s insurance exchanges, halted and reversed its Medicaid expansion, killed its taxes, and whacked its individual and employer mandates.
Karl Rove joined Fox News Channel as a political contributor in February 2008. He also currently serves as a columnist for the Wall Street Journal. Mr. Rove helped organize the political-action committee American Crossroads. His latest book is "The Triumph of William McKinley: Why the Election of 1896 Still Matters" (Simon & Schuster, 2015). Follow him on Twitter @KarlRove.