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Dear Washington: It’s premiums, stupid

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President Trump remarked a few months ago that health care is incredibly complicated. His first clue should have been that medical doctors have to go to school and serve as interns for a very long time before they’re allowed to practice by themselves.

Guaranteeing 20 million people who wouldn’t buy health insurance get it, in exchange for millions of families who desperately need affordable health insurance to pay for their care not being able to afford premiums is wrong-headed and stupid.

His second clue should have been that most people, upon arrival at a health care facility, have to endure running the gauntlet of check-in procedures, insurance cards, co-pays, and forms required for HIPAA and other federal laws. But billionaires who were born with silver spoons hanging from Sikorsky helicopters don’t worry about such things.

In the days of Marcus Welby, M.D.-style medicine, you would call the doctor, and the doctor would come, with a black medical bag. That’s only possible now if (a) you and the doctor are close, warm, personal friends, or (b) you’re rich. The rich can buy pretty much anything they want except good health. Even billionaires get sick, and if there’s one doctor on the planet who can help them, that man can still say “no.” Or he can say “yes, pay me” and the billionaire still dies.

Nobody can buy more life with money. It’s not what economists would call a fungible good. So, yes, it’s complicated.

But in America, we’ve taken complicated to Byzantine levels. We’ve got medical providers—the person who actually sees you; then there’s the medical facility or practice; there’s the administrative group that handles records and billing for the facility; there’s the insurance carrier; and there’s the ever-looming federal government.

The nanny state.

The process of obtaining “health care” is needlessly complicated by a government fixated on as many people as possible participating in a risk-sharing system known as health insurance. The ACA, “Obamacare,” grafted a massive government Medicaid program onto the existing health insurance market, and killed it.

Insurance company after company have withdrawn from state markets because they can’t afford to pay the claims. And people who used to get insurance from their employers at reasonable premiums now can’t afford the coverage. That’s because Obamacare mandated minimum coverages, required insurers to accept pre-existing conditions (like selling fire insurance on an already-torched house), and failed to get enough young, well people into the risk pool to cover the expenses.

This despite the fact that health insurance was required on penalty of hefty fines. But fines only deter to a degree. I read a story a while ago about how Rhode Island charged so much to register a tractor trailer to legally drive through the state that it was cheaper to pay the fines if you’re caught. I think you can guess the result of that. Similarly, people who can’t afford Obamacare premiums and 20 percent increases took their chances with the IRS.

Now President Trump did away with the IRS fines. And the U.S. Senate is about to pass some kind of health care reform, after the House of Representatives passed their version. While Senators and Congressmen argue over funding for Planned Parenthood and tax credits, and the number of people who will “lose health care,” a lot of folks who actually need health insurance aren’t insured because they can’t pay for it.

Don’t get me wrong, I am pro-life, and I care about giving a half billion dollars to abortionists. We shouldn’t do it. But on the other hand, our government has it totally wrong about health care. People without health insurance don’t lose health care. Health insurance should be a purely voluntary risk decision, which insurance companies are very well able to deal with.

It’s not the government’s responsibility to ensure everyone has equal health care. That’s because it’s impossible—remember, life is not a fungible good, and even billionaires get sick and die. The only way to ensure everyone gets equal health care is to ensure nobody gets it, so we all get zero. We are headed that way.

Government should have one goal. They should get out of the way. Provide what’s needed for those in genuine need, and ration it if necessary. For everyone else, let the market rule so premiums can decline. Keep drug companies from making obscene profit from patents for the public good, and that’s it.

We’re tired of the nanny state. A note to Washington lawmakers from Americans: It’s the premiums, stupid.

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Judiciary

Jeff Flake has become a punchline

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Jeff Flake has become a punchline

There are conservatives who oppose the President through conscientious means and with discernment of who to support and what to oppose. Then, there are “conservatives” like Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ).

In his final days in the United States Senate, Flake has decided to go out with his conscience intact. At least that’s what he’s telling himself and anyone who would listen. In reality, he’s going out with his middle finger raised to the man he blames the most for his career failures: President Trump.

Flake has threatened to hold up judicial nominations until the Senate votes to protect special counsel Robert Mueller. Let’s set aside the likelihood that such an action by Congress would be unconstitutional with Article 2 giving the President wide powers over the Justice Department. That’s a debate for Constitutional scholars.

Instead, let’s focus on what Flake is actually doing. He’s willing to jeopardize the judicial system which desperately needs an infusion of originalists just to fire a parting blow at the President. That’s really what this comes down to. He’s not obeying his conscience. He’s not protecting Mueller. He’s not trying to right a wrong. He’s being a child.

He’s a punchline.

Even if there was a real threat that President Trump might somehow interfere with the Mueller investigation, this wouldn’t be the way to try to protect him. All Flake is doing is pulverizing the few pieces of his credibility that were left standing.

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Democrats

Good news for the Democrat agenda: McConnell and McCarthy will lead the GOP

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Good news for the Democrat agenda McConnell and McCarthy will lead the GOP

Trumplicans chalked one up for the status quo yesterday when they chose Paul Ryan’s right-hand man, Kevin McCarthy, to be the party leader in the House and unanimously re-elected Mitch McConnell to lead the Senate. Both men were endorsed by Donald Trump for the jobs.

Despite the fact that Republicans suffered the worst mid-term defeat since Watergate, McConnell and McCarthy touted a list of vague GOP accomplishments that conveniently failed to mention the party’s failure to keep their promises, which is why the Democrats won last week.

In an opinion piece for FOX News, McConnell bragged — now try not to laugh — about how the past two years of Republican leadership “will be remembered as a period of historic productivity.” He then challenged the new Democrat majority in the House to put aside partisan politics and work with Republicans to get things done.

Apparently, the concept of irony is lost on McConnell. Outside of the GOP’s alleged success at saving the Supreme Court, Democrats and Republicans have always been working together, which is why they still fund Planned Parenthood, Obamacare, DACA, and sanctuary cities with massive new spending that exploded the budget deficit.

While McConnell and McCarthy have adopted Trump’s “blame the Democrats for my failures” playbook, the sad reality is that Republicans favor the Democrat agenda because it’s their agenda; bipartisanship is a given.

Based on developments during the lame duck session, it’s going to be worse when the 116th Congress opens for business in January.

Nancy Pelosi called last week’s victory a mandate to save Obamacare and she will promote legislation designed to move America closer to a single-payer healthcare system. Trump has a track record of support for Obamacare and he promoted single-payer healthcare during his 2016 campaign.

Following the recent shootings in California, Pelosi announced that she would make gun control a top priority. Trump and the GOP have actively promoted radical gun-control legislation, including: seizing guns without due process, establishing an FBI database to track guns and gun owners, and requiring a license to own a gun.

Now comes word from the Democrats that they will work to bring back a classic of Bernie Sanders and Democratic Socialists — a federal minimum wage of $15 an hour. As expected, Trump appears to be a fan of the idea.

During his 2016 campaign, Trump supported raising the minimum wage to at least $10 and hour. And as part of the recent US-Mexico trade deal, he fought for and won a $16 an hour minimum wage for auto workers on both sides of the border in an effort to price Mexico out of the auto industry. Ironic because he’s essentially admitting that mandatory minimum wages eventually result in lost jobs.

Even thought economic advisor Larry Kudlow recently stated his preference to see the federal minimum wage eliminated, Trump’s history of flip-flopping on this along with a host of other issues, along with his 2020 re-election hopes, means that the Democrats will likely win on the issue.

We were repeatedly told last week to vote Red to make sure we stop the Democrats. But to quote Hillary Clinton during the Benghazi hearings, when it comes to the difference between Republicans and Democrats . . .

“What difference, at this point, does it make?”

 

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.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook.

Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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Media

To advance conservatism, nobody gets a free pass

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To advance conservatism nobody gets a free pass

Before the midterm elections, most of the writers here spent a good chunk of their copy space helping Republicans in their campaigns. They focused on exposing Democrats for what they are (as well as what they’re becoming) and often turned their back on the negatives associated with Republican candidates.

This was intentional and I allowed it. Like many proponents of limited government, I compare the rhetoric and actions of the two major parties and I see one that’s pushing for big government and another that’s pushing for even bigger government. The fallacies in the Democrats’ proposals are obvious and universal. Republicans have a mix of good and bad; for example, lowering taxes was good, but simultaneously increasing spending was bad.

I allowed the pro-Republican approach because in the world of partisan politics, we’re stuck in a lesser-of-two-evils scenario. While I personally didn’t get involved in party politics and focused my posts on fighting for conservative and limited-government federalist values, I didn’t ask my writers to do the same. Any who chose to promote the Republican agenda, which was most of them, were allowed to do so.

They still can. I’m not censoring anyone. However, I want to be clear about the true purpose of this news site.

We are not a partisan site that is pro-Republican or anti-Democrat. We are a pro-American site that understands the importance of limiting government, defending freedoms, and protecting life, plus many other ideas that are usually associated with conservatism and/or classical liberalism.

Now that the election is over, we are relaunching our GoFundMe page.

Getting donations during campaign season was tough, but now we’re ready to accept help. We need it.

The description of our site on GoFundMe encapsulates what we are.

Our society is rapidly deteriorating into helplessness. Ideas such as self-governance, conservatism, patriotism, personal responsibility, limited-government federalism, and civil discourse are being threatened by a sharp leftward lurch. It isn’t just progressives who are veering to the left. The center is shifting to the left and as a result, many who are or were conservative have become more open-minded to the cultural and geopolitical shifts.

We are losing our ethical, traditional, and logical cores as a society.

NOQ Report has three goals:

1) Expose the fallacies of this leftward lurch that is making progressives more unhinged and conservatives more malleable.
2) Educate the masses about the benefits of liberty-driven philosophies that include limiting government, defending freedoms, and protecting life.
3) Engage with people in a meaningful way. We want a dialogue with everyone whether they agree or disagree with us.

America deserves better than what mainstream media feeds us.

Every dollar donated is invested back into the site to pay writers, editors, and to promote the site so it can reach more people. We have limited advertising on the site for a reason. We do not want “corporate overlords” who try to steer content, nor do we want to load the site with spammy ads. This is why we must rely on you, the readers, to keep the site afloat.

As of the middle of November, 2018, we are relaunching this campaign. We had a soft launch that had minimal success. We are pushing harder now. Please help us elevate this news site to compete against the incessant leftist propaganda being pumped onto the internet. Donate now.

Moving forward, we are going to focus on our three goals. It doesn’t matter if someone is a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or whatever. If they aren’t helping to limit government, defend freedoms, and protect life, we’ll call them out.

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