Yesterday the House GOP unveiled their healthcare plan called the American Healthcare Act, and of course the discussion has begun. I believe a real analysis of the issue needs to be undertaken. In the military we called the assessment process that I am about to present as: issue, discussion, recommendation.
Issue: The Democrats back in 2009 embarked upon something they knew would fail. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, was an endeavor best defined as “stuck on stupid,” and as drill sergeants will tell ya, “you can’t fix stupid.”
Recall the insidious comment of one Nancy Pelosi who quipped “we have to pass the bill in order to find out what’s in it.” Obamacare was never intended to be about patient protection or affordable care, and anyone trying to argue its success is delusional — ask Bill Clinton.
Obamacare was supposed to only cost $900 billion, but due to massive incompetencies, its cost is far more, over $1.2 trillion. Barack Obama touted that Obamacare would save Americans on average $2,500 on their health insurance, ask anyone about the sticker shock they got last year October where some saw over 60% percent increases in their insurance premiums. The American people were told with Obamacare you could keep your doctor and keep your insurance — Politifact awarded Obama the 2013 “Lie of the Year” over that misstatement. Does anyone else find it funny and odd that the chuckleheads at Politifact waited until after the 2012 election to give Obama this dubious distinction?
Obamacare is essentially a tax and welfare law. There are twenty new taxes that comprise Obamacare, including capital gains, dividends, tanning, medical device, individual mandate, and taxes on health savings accounts, just to mention a few.
Obamacare nationalized college student loans under the federal government and raised the interest rates on those loans. Obamacare assailed Medicare Part D as a bill-payer for its government expansion. As well, Obamacare basically expanded Medicaid — you know, free healthcare — but Medicaid is a government healthcare program designed for those at or below the poverty level. So what Obama did in his eight years was grow the welfare nanny-state, and made everyone believe here was some new magical carpet. And when the magic carpet began to unravel, Obama took unconstitutional actions via executive order to amend a law. For those who comprehend civics, that’s an enumerated right reserved for the legislative, not executive branch.
The Democrats illustrated the devious brilliance of socialism: give folks something, make them believe it’s a right, have someone else pay for it, and watch it collapse. Why does it collapse? Because it always does, but the Cloward-Piven strategy means that if you overload the system, then it allows your subsequent real objective to come to fruition. The progressive socialist left has always wanted a single payer system.
The fait accompli of Obamacare is that if the Democrats had won the 2016 presidential election, the system would continue to collapse, and then they could seek a single payer (i.e. government only) system. However, in case the Republicans won — which they did — they’re now stuck with trying to replace something that is unwieldy and are then deemed insensitive because they’re taking something away from the people. Obamacare is the essence of the erosion of personal, individual freedom as it is government-directed, distributed and mandated healthcare. It is the antithesis of who we are supposed to be and what America should be.
We need be reminded of a quote from Scottish philosopher Alexander Fraser Tytler: “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to selfishness; From selfishness to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage.”
Now for the Discussion: The case against Obamacare is simple to make. The real issue is not about a repeal or replacement, it is about us as an electorate. If there is to be serious healthcare reform in the United States, we must ALL admit that Obamacare has failed — that is factual.
Therefore the House and Senate GOP must take a thermite grenade to Obamacare; it is not possible to work around the fringes. First of all, the GOP must break away from the idea that government exists to give people something. This is not about counting who gets covered or not. It’s not about government embracing the misplaced concept of benevolence being what they can dole out in an attempt to guarantee happiness, instead of developing the policies enabling the American people to pursue their happiness.
Yes, there must be safety nets for those needing them, but safety nets cannot become hammocks. The GOP should not try to “fix” Obamacare. They must remember the lessons of the drill sergeants: “you can’t fix stupid.”
Any endeavor by the GOP to reform healthcare in America needs to follow these basic guidelines:
> Restore individual freedom in healthcare decisions
> Relieve pressure on our small businesses
> Revive economic growth
> Relegate the Democrats to irrelevance and insignificance on the issue.
The GOP cannot replace Obamacare’s taxes, mandates, and entitlements with artful semantics that are just renamed taxes, mandates, and entitlements. An example is calling a subsidy a “refundable tax credit” or going from income-based subsidies to age-based subsidies. This is what sane people have come to despise about Washington DC — ye olde Beltway two-step. Or when the House GOP says they’re going to repeal the individual mandate tax, yet if you drop your mandated insurance, you’ll face a 30 percent penalty when you reapply. And why keep the 40 percent”Cadillac” tax on more expensive health plans, delaying the repeal from 2020 to 2025? Is this an example of choosing winners and losers via government?
Here’s my Recommendation: The GOP needs to realize their mission is not to fix Obamacare. They must fix our healthcare system, and not fall for the trap the liberal progressive socialists laid. Start over, and identify what the issues are with our healthcare system.
> There is a population group in America considered the working poor, so enable them to have expanded use of health savings accounts (actually for everyone), as well as a tax credit for their insurance.
> There are those with pre-existing conditions, so develop high risk pools, and if there’s a place for subsidies, it is there.
> Allow portability and end the idea that healthcare insurance must be tied to a job, or location. My car insurance didn’t end when I moved from Florida to Texas. End the state by state monopolies and open up competition across state lines for insurance coverage.
> Support national tort reform so Americans aren’t forced into paying for countless unnecessary medical tests due to doctors’ fears over being sued.
> Reverse the Medicaid expansion, i.e. welfare growth, but empower the states to manage Medicaid, and the best way to do that is to get Americans back to work.
> And stop the abuse of illegal immigrants of our healthcare system, to which costs are passed to hard working Americans.
> If folks want to keep their kids on their insurance until 26, feel free.
The GOP will own whatever is passed; Obama and the Democrats NEVER took ownership of the debacle they created. The media will ensure that, so why take the position that you’re repairing Obamacare? Trash it, and go big, go RIGHT. This is a great opportunity to evidence the ideological failure of socialist healthcare policy — shall I say veterans administration hospital?
And if you don’t believe me, well, here’s a four-minute radio address from Ronald Reagan to explain the point.