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Economy

Obamacare could be fully repealed if political considerations were erased

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In 2015, President Obama had a bill placed on his desk that fully repealed Obamacare. There was no replacement. Had he signed it, we’d be well on our way to the completely privatized health care system the nation deserves. He didn’t, of course, and the vast majority of GOP politicians pointed fingers and blamed the President for the failures that were developing in the legislation that was supposed to be his legacy.

In 2017, President Trump has not and likely will not see the same bill. In fact, he won’t see anything even close to it. Why? Because now that the GOP has complete control, they can’t bluff anymore. They are in a position to somehow not admit that they never wanted to fully repeal Obamacare in the first place. The result so far is the AHCA from the House and some variation the Senate can muster.

Whatever finally reaches President Trump’s desk will not be a repeal. It won’t even be a “repeal and replace” as they’ve been calling it since taking power. It will be a “tweak and rebrand” effort that leaves the damaging core of Obamacare fully intact, redirects how the mandates are delivered, redistributes penalties for citizens who do not comply, and throws in some easy-to-consume “conservative meat” like defunding Planned Parenthood to try to keep as many right-wing critics as possible at bay.

In the end, we will take one humongous government-run health care system and replace it with another humongous government-run health care system.

To those who believe that it’s not technically “government-run” because some autonomy is afforded to health insurance companies, health care providers, and even states, let’s be clear: if a program lays out guidelines for providers and consumers as both ACA and AHCA do, then it’s a government-run program.

Why would the GOP break their promise?

There are times when a party and the politicians representing them will do their best to “sell” an idea to the American people. They will go on news shows, perhaps speak at town halls, and even invest in television commercials to present their case to Americans in an effort to get them to help pressure the opposition into support. We’ve seen this since the birth of our nation. In fact, the reason for the Federalist Papers was to convince people that ratifying the United States Constitution was in the best interests of the nation and its citizens.

In recent years, we’ve seen it with welfare reform, Gang of 8, and even with Obamacare itself. In all of these cases, the group supporting pieces of legislation made their pitch to Americans because they believed they could convince enough people their ideas represented the right course for the nation. More importantly, they wanted to use the victory as a launching pad to expand their political standing and ensure future victories. This technique of selling an idea and then riding the wave of victory once it’s sold is only effective if you believe in what you’re selling.

It’s quite conspicuous that the GOP has not taken this approach with the AHCA. On the contrary, they want as little attention paid to the machinations of the bill as possible. It’s not that they don’t believe it’s a better solution than Obamacare. They simply don’t want more people pointing out that it’s not very different. They’d like to get it passed and signed quickly so they can then start focusing on midterm elections.

This is an important point. Their fear of losing in the midterms is the second biggest reason they’re unwilling to simply repeal Obamacare with either no replacement at all or one that pushes for privatization over time. They know there will be repercussions if they repeal Obamacare; if one person dies as a result of losing health care, Republican strategists believe the Democrats will have a chance of taking the House and the Senate in 2018.

It’s not necessarily true, of course. Both parties still embrace the old concept that Americans are too simple-minded to be shown the truth. They think that we’re only interested in what affects us directly and any attempt by the government to act responsibly will result in major losses. They can’t accept that Americans have more access to information than ever before. They play the news cycle and pull the heart strings. If they were correct, there’s no way Ted Cruz should have won Iowa after declaring that he wanted to end ethanol subsidies. There’s no way Bernie Sanders should have won Oklahoma after being on the wrong side of many liberal issues near and dear to Sooners.

People may be misinformed by mainstream media and fake news outlets, but we’re not stupid. If they lay out the facts and put together a compelling case, the GOP could repeal Obamacare. All they’d have to do is inform the people about why things will be much better in the not-too-long-term. Unfortunately, they’ve calculated that the benefits of repealing Obamacare would not be realized before the 2018 election and they’re unwilling to take the risk.

Instead, they’re hoping to insert Trumpcare and hope for the best. It’s a disgusting strategy for two reasons. First, it’s a lie. Presenting it as a repeal and replace is false as I mentioned above. Second, it won’t work. They will be blamed for health care failures regardless of whether it comes from the AHCA or from a full repeal. Taking this “safe” approach is still a losing effort.

The other reason

As I previously mentioned, the second biggest reason they don’t want to repeal Obamacare is fear of losing in the midterms. The biggest reason is because they like what government-run health care gives them. It’s not across the board; there are a handful of Senators and a small group of Congressman who truly want government out of the system. However, they are a tiny minority compared to the bulk of GOP lawmakers who see ACA and AHCA as a boon for big government and big budgets.

The more money that’s in the federal government’s pot, the easier it is to redistribute it based upon political considerations. More money muddles our economic system. As strange as it may sound, many in the federal government thrive in chaos. The more there is to draw the attention of the people, the easier it is for them to operate corruptly in other areas. This may seem like some conspiracy theory, but it’s not. This is really how the government operates in DC.

A better way

A blog post is not the right venue to lay out a comprehensive and detailed plan, but it’s a great place to give a 30,000-foot view of how things should be. Put simply, we need to privatize health care once again.

There are those who will point to challenges that existed before Obamacare. These challenges will return if Obamacare is repealed, but they won’t return in the same form. Things have changed. Now that we’ve experienced rising premiums that yield higher deductibles while delivering worse results, we have empirical data behind which we can rebuild the privatized market.

The sticking point for many Americans who might fear a full repeal is care for those with pre-existing conditions. As Michael Nolan noted on DailyWire:

One argument against privatized health care (and for Universal Health Care) is that insurance companies will continue to discriminate against those with pre-existing conditions. What the argument fails to take into account is that 90 percent of health care policies cover pre-existing conditions, as shown by health care expert Avik Roy. The free market has created a system by which those with employer-based coverage don’t need screening because the insurance is purchased in bulk by the employer. For those with employment-based coverage (currently roughly 50 percent of those with insurance), pre-existing condition exclusions can only be triggered if the client has had health insurance for less than 12 months. This encourages and rewards those who buy long-term medical coverage (which promotes good life choices and planning) as opposed to those that only purchase insurance when they get ill.

The other big advantage of having seen Obamacare is that we now have a better idea of what needs to be changed in order to make privatized health care work from economic, accessibility, and innovation perspectives. Daniel Horowitz came up with a cheat sheet at Conservative Review that gives us a great starting point to attack this beast. One of my favorites is his take on competition across state lines:

If insurance is enough of an interstate commerce issue to regulate people into oblivion at a federal level, then the federal government should be able to invoke the Commerce Clause to tear down the barriers to purchasing insurance across state lines. Indeed the Supreme Court has said as much [United States v. South-Eastern Underwriters Association, 1944]. This will foster massive competition, make insurance portable, and together with individualizing insurance through equal tax treatment and expanded HSAs, will save many individuals who get sick later in life after moving to different states from the problem of pre-existing conditions.

Not only will this reform create a more competitive national market, but it will induce states with a costly regulatory burden to get with the program and relax their regulations to compete with the more pro-consumer states. It will also create momentum for states to ease regulations on tele-medicine from out-of-state providers.

If we systematically repeal Obamacare, we can have privatized health care once again. A replacement plan that tries to predict what will happen is foolish. Instead, we should repeal, then monitor and analyze the market. Over time, we’ll find the holes that need to be plugged. States, charities, and other organizations can fill most of these holes. Whatever is left, if anything, can fall to the federal government. This way, DC becomes the final safety net instead of being the first line of defense. That’s the way it should be in health care and a plethora of other areas.

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Culture and Religion

The complete fraud that is socialism

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The complete fraud that is socialism

Once again we are witness to the age-old scam of socialism with Leftists making promises to attain power that can never be fulfilled.

Long before Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago exposed the systematic oppression, torture, incarceration and deliberate mass murder that are the hallmarks of socialistic slavery. James A. Michener documented the 1956 Hungarian uprising against communism in his book ‘The Bridge at Andau’. While both are great literary works, ‘The Bridge at Andau’ laid bare the complete fraud that is the collectivist ideologies in creating a ‘Heaven on Earth’ or ‘worker’s paradise’ that never comes to fruition.

The selling of socialistic slavery to a new generation tends to follow a certain type of ‘progress’. Promises are made for all kinds of largess ranging from Free Healthcare, Free Housing, Free College, Free food to even Free income. All paid for with other people’s money. Never mind that It’s impossible to fulfill all of these wondrous asseverations. Appearances must be made to at least begin the process, so the ever-present task of wealth redistribution begins at the point of a gun.

This is also why the Socialist-Left obsesses over gun confiscation and the suppression of free speech. It is imperative for the Leftists to disarm the people since they generally object to having their property stolen from them. However, we are getting ahead of ourselves, this is to document how this exploitation of the people has ‘progressed’ in other collectivist enclaves to better understand how this crime against the people is perpetrated.

Why do collectivist regimes always require secret police apparatus and the suppression of Liberty?

This question was detailed in The Bridge at Andau in the chapters on the ‘AVO man’. In which he discusses the secret police organisation of the Hungarian Communists, the AVO (Allamvedelmi Osztaly). He bluntly asked and answered the question:

Why must communism depend on such dregs of society?

No matter on what elevated plane communism begins its program of total dictatorship. it sooner or later runs into such economic and social problems that some strong-arm force is required to keep the civil population under control.

As is the case now as it was then, a nation’s Socialist-Left will promise just about anything to attain power over the people:

When communism is wooing the workers in Csepel, all kinds of exaggerated promises are made if they seem likely to awaken men’s aspirations and their cupidity. These promises are couched in such simple terms and such effective symbols that they become immediate goals of the revolution.

Review briefly what communist agitators had once promised the Hungarians who appear in this book: consumer goods such as they had never known before, increased wages. increased social benefits, shorter hours of work, improved education for everyone, a greater social freedom, and a government directly responsible to the working classes. Under communism such promises were never even remotely capable of attainment.

[Our Emphasis]
If all of that sounds eerily familiar, it’s because that’s part of a very old song and dance that has deceived many a generation into enslaving themselves under socialism. Consider this recent story from the Associated Press:

Democrats lurch left on top policies as 2020 primary begins

NEW YORK (AP) — Democratic presidential contender Julian Castro launched his campaign by pledging support for “Medicare for All,” free universal preschool, a large public investment in renewable energy and two years of free college for all Americans.
….

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, who is expected to launch his presidential campaign soon, has sponsored legislation to create a federal jobs guarantee program in several communities across America.

The pilot program… could ultimately transform the U.S. labor market by providing well-paid government employment with benefits for anyone who wants it.

[Our Emphasis]

As Margaret Thatcher so aptly surmised, eventually they will run out of other people’s money. In our case in the states, that is already the situation given the enormous debt and unfunded liabilities reaching into the stratosphere of trillions of dollars. Of course, this hasn’t deterred committed collectivists such as Democratic mayor Bill de Blasio who recently stated that ‘There’s plenty of money in the world… It’s just in the wrong hands!’ Never mind that it is morally wrong to steal the property of others or that once a society turns down the dead-end of socialism there will always be more people wanting more money from those who have it.

Wealth redistribution scams will always wreck the economy. A socialist regime that nationalizes the economy can never function better than one of economic Liberty. Soon enough everything breaks down, the people see through the lies and the government has to start breaking heads. Thus it is imperative that they have previously confiscated the people’s guns and made it illegal to defend themselves.

The Takeaway

Socialistic schemes always run contrary to basic human nature. Rewarding someone for not working will always result in less work. Conversely, punishing someone for working will also result in less work.

This basic logic of human nature seems to be lost on Leftists. But perhaps it is not. They have to know their schemes have never and will never work. And yet they still try to impose them on everyone else. Perhaps they know of the epic fraud they are continually perpetrating on society, but they don’t care. That will be the subject of our next installment.


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Economy

Local communities giving support to border agents during shutdown

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Local communities giving support to border agents during shutdown

One of the most prominent stories the media has been pushing since the beginning of the partial government shutdown is that services are being hampered by federal employees calling in sick in large numbers. They are not getting paid (though they’ll receive back pay when the shutdown ends), so whether they call in sick or not makes no difference to their bottom line. The TSA in particular has been highlighted as long wait times at airports hamper travelers.

There’s one government agency affected by the shutdown that doesn’t appear to be having the same problem, and local residents and businesses are being partially credited for making this possible. Border patrol agents aren’t calling in sick or taking leave any more than usual, according to a report by Anna Giaritelli at Washington Examiner:

Locals help border agents survive the shutdown with free meals, zero-interest loans

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/locals-help-border-agents-survive-the-shutdown-with-free-meals-zero-interest-loans“Although I don’t have official agency numbers, it is my understanding that call-outs or sick leave is at or near the same levels as in similar times in years past,” National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd wrote in an email Monday. “We certainly aren’t experiencing the same level of call-outs as TSA. As far as I’m aware, and again that is without official numbers, we have the same workforce reporting for duty under the shutdown as we regularly do under normal circumstances.”

The kindness and respect residents and businesses are giving to border patrol agents isn’t just a sign of support for those who keep the border secure. It’s a testament to the concept of philanthropy being more powerful than government. It’s often said that government does the job that people won’t. In reality, it’s the people who do the jobs the government can’t. Moreover, it’s the people who are able to do these jobs better than the government in most situations.

While I would never condone the use of civilians for our military defense or even border patrol, there’s one very clear example of how private solutions are beating government solutions, and oddly enough it comes from far-left San Francisco. Unlike most airports in the country, the lines at San Francisco International Airport are no longer or slower than before the government shutdown. This is because their security agents are not federal employees. TSA contracts with Covenant Airport Security. Their agents are getting paid through the shutdown.

My Take

As the government shutdown drags on, we should all be thankful that border patrol continues to do their job and that local communities are pitching in to keep these brave men and women taken care of until DC gets its act together.


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Economy

We need an intervention to break Washington’s spending addiction

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We need an intervention to break Washingtons spending addiction

As the manufactured government shutdown created by the reality TV president continues, something other than Trump’s DACA sellout for his metaphorical border wall is being missed by the public.

Lost in this latest episode of “The Apprentice: White House Edition” is the reality that the shutdown occurred because Republicans and Democrats have been unable to agree on how to spend money they don’t have to feed their spending addiction responsible for our record-breaking budget deficits.

Calling Washington’s spending an addiction is not hyperbole. Drug addiction, for example, is a disease that affects a person’s brain and behavior to the point that he/she is unable to resist the urge to find the next high no matter how much harm it may cause to themselves or others.

Likewise, Washington’s spending addiction is a political disease affecting their brains and behavior — even a “very good brain” like Trump’s — to the point that our representatives are unable to resist the urge to find the next spending high.

Short of admitting they need help, addicts will try to hide their addiction in many ways, including blaming others for their problem and scheming for ways to get more money for their addiction, which is exactly where we find Washington today.

Earlier this month, Trump’s favorite Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, passed a set of rules that automatically abolished the debt ceiling, thus putting out of control spending on cruise control. By eliminating the need for a vote on the matter, the impact of this bankruptcy-inducing scheme remains hidden because no one is forced to go on-the-record.

By the way, Trump supports permanently ending the debt ceiling and has already worked with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi to get it done.

Republicans in the Senate — including so-called conservatives like Mike Lee and Rand Paul — are also looking for ways to feed Washington’s spending addiction. Last week they were joined by Joni Ernst as sponsors of the “Government Shutdown Prevention Act of 2019.” This money-spending scheme would permanently eliminate shutdowns by guaranteeing endless financing by the government to keep it open, even if Congress fails to pass a spending bill.

According to Sen. Lee, “Shutdowns create instability and unpredictability not only in government, but also many families and businesses that interact with the federal government.”

Do you know what else creates instability and unpredictability? Explosive deficit spending and bankrupting America. Of course, Washington would have to admit they have a spending problem to understand this fact, which isn’t likely to happen, so eliminating shutdowns allows them to hide their addiction.

According to Spender’s Anonymous, the first step to recovery is admitting that you’re powerless over spending and money and that your life has become unmanageable.

Powerless over spending and money? Life has become unmanageable? Sounds like Congress to me, and it sounds like it’s time for America to hold an intervention … perhaps in 2020.

Originally posted on StridentConservative.com.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

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