Published for Forbes, February 5, 2013

2013 will be a crucial year in the implementation of Obamacare, and a central focus of the Obama administration.  Thus far, the Obama administration’s emphasis has been on standing up the program’s basic edifice for the long run rather than making sure it rolls out smoothly. Once erected, the law’s dictates will transform the underlying architecture of the American health care system – perhaps permanently.

Given these stakes, Obamacare’s critics cannot afford to spend the next year on the sidelines and accept its intrusive excesses as the new status quo in American healthcare.  Opponents must change their approach to the law, pursuing reforms that thwart its most invasive elements while laying the groundwork for a market-based makeover. This won’t be easy, of course.

With Republicans in control of the House, conservatives must develop a list of workable reforms to Obamacare that they can pursue in exchange for deals with the Democrats on debt ceiling hikes and the litany of thorny budget deals going forward.

Political considerations aside, it starts with making sure that our current system works for all Americans. That means reforming Obamacare’s immediate woes.

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