For strategic reasons, I have signed onto liberal newsletter eblasts, so that I can know what the enemy is doing in my state. After Speaker Paul Ryan pulled the American Health Care Act (ACHA), every Democratic lawmaker, candidate, and special interest group exulted in their victory:
“Your calls made the difference!”
“We did it!”
“You saved health care.”
Uh … no.
Because Obamacare remains intact, healthcare remains in morbid free-fall. Doctors are still quitting the medical field, with premiums rising, health insurance exchanges failing, and hospitals closing. Democrats did themselves no favors in fighting against reforms. Obamacare is still an albatross hanging around their necks, and they will have to blatantly lie to voters that it’s working, or that somehow the Republicans are to blame because … they keep trying to fix the mess created by the Democratic Party.
So, should Democrats around the country pat themselves on the back for stopping another disaster? Perhaps they deserve a little bit of credit, since they were loud. The true glory and applause belong to Republicans across the country who hammered the Congressional majority to reject “Obamacare-lite.”
Yes. I wrote that.
Let’s walk through some surface realities about the bill that met a quiet death off stage rather than an ignominious demise before all. The Unaffordable Careless Act forced through Congress needs to be repealed—period. No replacement needed. This process could have been done and over with within days. All Speaker Ryan had to do was search the archive of dead bills for the budget reconciliation of 2016. That bill would have repealed Obamacare, except for the coverage for pre-existing conditions and allowance for children to stay on their parents’ healthcare plans until age 26.
I believe that Donald Trump approved of those two aspects of the Affordable Care Act (even though they should be repealed, and the opportunity for such benefits restored to insurance companies and locally-run agencies). It’s time to get back to basics and just do the right thing, yet the leaders refused to do so. What is the matter with the Washington DC leadership in the House?
Here are my thoughts on the matter:
The House Leadership is still part of the Old-Establishment-DC-Two-Step phalanx. Paul Ryan basically stepped on the neck of the House conference for the job. Since when did a candidate for Speaker of the House ever list a series of demands? The other leaders (and their powerbrokers) never ran for office on promises to drain the swamp and sharply limit the growth of Washington DC into Main Street. They said all the nice things that Republican voters and activists want to hear, but turned around and did the bidding of their major donors.
Now that social media and internet technology of have improved the average citizen’s watchdog role while facilitating grassroots candidates to run for office and succeed, this Mad Men/chain-smoking backroom wheeling and dealing doesn’t cut it anymore. US Senators like Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and Rand Paul (and I will add Pat Toomey) ran on platforms dedicated to operating outside of the Big Government GOP orbit. They will not be bought, or they will lose their seats.
Also, please stop blaming the House Freedom Caucus as a bunch of stuck-up ideological Pharisees. We need more in their ranks who will demand the best for the Constitution and the American people. Yes, the “compromise critics” will roll out arguments like “The Framers were not ideologues” or “In Washington, you never get everything that you want.” 225 years later, though, the Democratic Party has embraced socialism as a foundational philosophy. They have never wavered or apologized for this false, destructive world view. Republicans want to accommodate with this anti-Constitutional world view? Not going to happen.
From this cause, a new Congressional hero stands out in Washington DC. His name is Thomas Massie, and was crystal clear about his views on RyanCare. Well, he did change his vote, but from “No” to “Hell No!” He came to the defense of our President and his country, too, acknowledging that stopping this rotten stop-gap replacement bill would save face for President Trump—and the country.
Let’s face it, no matter how many majorities or minority results that Republicans yield from election to election, the power rests with us, and more Americans are flexing their muscle. Also, pundits should acknowledge that the House bill was going to be dead on arrival in the US Senate. Republicans opposed this legislation, which continued too many subsidies, practically slammed the same mandate on individual consumers, and maintained the worst of Obamacare in place.
What results must spring from Obamacare repeal in the healthcare industry, so that American voters feel that they are getting what they voted for by supporting Trump?
1. Lower insurance premiums
2. More access to quality health care
5. Less interference
6. No untenable waiting times
Would RyanCare have delivered on these promises? No.
Candidate Trump promised to repeal Obamacare. He also offered a health care program that he would take care of everybody. Nothing could make that happen more quickly than getting rid of Obamacare, then repealing the other mandates, regulations, and limitations which have made bureaucrats happy, but have made Americans unhealthy. Congressional Republicans don’t even have to “start over.” Back to the 2015 Reconciliation Bill, Republicans. Every time I called a House Rep to reject RyanCare, I also told them to reintroduce the previous bill. This is not a difficult process, people. US Senator Mike Lee is already on the job.
There is a silver lining to this RyanCare defeat. The Speaker may face an early retirement, just like predecessor John “Don’t Make Me Do This! It’s Too Hard!” Boehner. Principled Republicans like Dave Brat have further established their non-establishment cred, too. May their tribe increase … and again influence in Congress.
By the way, doesn’t “Speaker Thomas Massie” have a nice ring to it?