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Infrastructure is Not Health Care

By Larry I. Willis

What do health care and infrastructure have in common? Most of us would say not much.

Unfortunately, some House Republicans, including some of our friends, are insisting that if the repeal of Obamacare goes down today then “we can’t do infrastructure.”

In the words of my teenage daughter — “wait, what?”

Putting aside the problems with the repeal-and-replace package scheduled for a vote today (and there are many), can’t we all agree that fixing an infrastructure system that our nation’s engineers recently graded as a D+ is too important to ignore and should stand on its own merits?

While we have been the first to acknowledge that a funding solution has eluded policy makers, the politics of meeting this challenge differ significantly from the health care debate. In fact, we know that Republicans and Democrats agree that investing in transit and rail systems, roads, bridges, ports, dams, airports and the other core aspects of our nation’s infrastructure creates jobs, grows our economy, and is simply the right thing to do.

We can and should debate the best way to fund these improvements and how to get them enacted, but let’s not pretend a vote on health care means we can’t come together on other priorities.

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