Americans need insurance plans that translate into real affordable health care and solutions for the mess created by Obamacare, which cannot be found in more Republican nonsense and Obamacare Lite bills, like Graham-Cassidy.
More spending and continued regulation only moves America one-step closer to a nationalized single-payer health care system, and if Republicans truly believe Obamacare has harmed America, as often asserted, they have a duty to revitalize the free market segment of health care insurance, through a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
No matter how many welfare dollars Congress pours into these fabricated markets or any amount of price fixing they set, the exchanges are unsustainable, and Graham-Cassidy offered a permanent drain on this already strained system and the U.S. treasury. It also added a $700 billion dollar deficit next year to America’s $20 trillion dollar debt, without repealing a single Obamacare insurance regulation.
The only real solutions exist in a clean slate and a full repeal of Obamacare, ripping it up by the roots. At least a full repeal would save over a trillion dollars in spending over the next decade, instead of trying to save pennies on the dollar and leaving a poor health care system largely intact, through a bad bill like Graham-Cassidy.
Fortunately, Graham-Cassidy failed to be presented for a vote in the Senate, during the last week in September. It failed, after Susan Collins (R-ME), John McCain (R-AZ) and Rand Paul (R-KY) made it clear they would vote “no”, keeping it from the 51 vote threshold in a reconciliation vote.
Only Senator Rand Paul held the moral high ground in his decision. On September 20th, Senator Paul told Real Clear Politics: “That [Graham-Cassidy] is not what I promised voters. I promised repeal [of Obamacare]. … Block granting Obamacare doesn’t make it go away.”
Described as “a lousy process”, the New York Times (September 26th, 2017) quoted Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska stating: “The U.S. Senate cannot get the text of a bill on Sunday night, then proceed to a vote just days later, with only one hearing — and especially not on an issue that is intensely personal to all of us.”
Senator John McCain complained Republicans should have worked with Democrats, to restructure America’s $3 trillion per year health care system, which is simply asinine, in light of the fact, Obamacare is an entirely Democrat partisan piece of legislation, and it widely restructured a vital part of the national economy. These same Democrats destroyed dozens of governing norms through their lies, and they manipulated the Congressional Budget Score, in order to coerce every American’s participation.
Perhaps, once the problems associated with Obamacare compound themselves or Obamacare actually collapses, the Democrats will make an honest effort to compromise on substantive changes, rather than seek more spending and regulatory controls on consumer choice. However, to date, these Commie Travelers have had millions of ideas on how to expand the welfare state and not a single one to save Americans from it.
Many Americans should already have the option of circumventing Obamacare through the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). This act enables people to buy inexpensive insurance across state lines, by joining an insurance group or co-op through one’s workplace; and, it proves the U.S. really doesn’t need such an expansive program as Obamacare, which makes people pay for many services they don’t want or need, like abortion.
Americans want freedom of choice on their health insurance plans and plans with less comprehensive coverage than Obamacare allows, which would reduce the cost of premiums. They want the expansion of health savings accounts and an end to mandate taxes and penalties. And if possible, most of us would truly appreciate Medicaid reform.
Currently, the Alexander-Murray stabilization package offers subsidies to insurance companies to reimburse them for reducing out-of-pocket expenses for low income people and more freedom for sates to restructure their insurance markets. While the Democrats see the subsidy payments as essential, most Republicans, especially in the Freedom Caucus, see the subsidies as bailouts for insurance companies that would prop up Obamacare. Sensible leaders will not readily burn more of the taxpayers’ money in a system going south.
President Trump has the full authority to place a sunset deadline on the Obama administration’s unconstitutional subsidy payments, which it created to keep Obamacare from imploding, and he should do so immediately. Let the Democrats howl “sabotage”. There is not any political, policy or moral reason for the GOP to continue the payoffs.
The recent request for a twenty-three percent rate hike by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina further illuminates the corruption within the current system. The company acknowledges that it would have asked for only an 8.8 percent increase, if President Trump had agreed to fund the federal subsidies through 2018, and so, the U.S. taxpayer gets raked over the coals and robbed blind by Obamacare once more.
Premium prices have doubled and quadrupled, and doctors are harder to find. Barack Obama promised Obamacare would boost the economy, but across America, small and large businesses report Obamacare impedes their ability to expand and hire.
One must wonder how much of the Republican Party’s reluctance to fully repeal Obamacare lies with lobbyist efforts and donations to Republicans. Records show that between 2011 and 2016, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell received a total of $424,650 from Kindred Healthcare, Humana and Blackstone. Sen. Orrin Hatch received $133,500 from Blue Cross Blue Shield and Cancer Treatment Centers of America, while Sen. Lamar Alexander took $61,100 from Blue Cross Blue Shield and Community Health Systems in Franklin, Tennessee. And the list goes on.
After seven years of promises, where are the voices in the Senate offering passionate arguments for repeal? Where is the unified effort from the Republicans to speak for millions of Americans, who currently suffer under Obamacare’s spiking premiums and decreasing choices? It has all seemingly vanished, since repeal became a possible reality.
America’s well being is more important than any political party’s legacy and any insurance company’s bottom line, and so, Republicans must not allow this abominable and failed Obamacare “law” to be prolonged and continue to hurt the American people in despicable fashion. The next Democratic administration will surely expand its reach and push towards a single-payer system, if it is not soon repealed, as suggested by Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT).
The Republicans and America really do not have any reason to save a failed Obamacare, and they certainly cannot afford to let it become more entrenched, while it cuts a liberty destroying path through our society. Until Republicans gather the backbone to counter the ACA or fully repeal it, the Republicans have broken faith with the American people.
Author’s Note: One editor from The American Thinker suggested much of this piece was now moot, since the window to pass a repeal by a simple majority had closed on September 30th. I informed him that this window was only for the fiscal year of 2017, and the same simple majority through reconciliation can be employed in upcoming legislation for 2018, especially since the Supreme Court called Obamacare a “tax”. This piece is still relevant and Obamacare can be combined with the upcoming tax reform and repealed through reconciliation.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by iPatriot.com.