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Obamacarelite has a chance to pass in the Senate

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Graham Cassidy Bill

After months of repeal-and-replace failures, the Senate has a chance of passing something. It’s a great looking bill that addresses many of the problems with Obamacare. It’s clothed in some very appealing components that can get conservatives juiced up. Unfortunately, under the attractive facade lies a sad reality: it’s still just Obamacarelite.

If it can overcome some important hurdles such as getting the CBO report in time and convincing three of five potential Republican dissenters, then it should easily sail through Congress and reach the President’s desk before Thanksgiving. One of the dissenters, Senator Rand Paul, is the only one who seems willing to state the reality that it will not reduce premiums nor will it improve the quality of health coverage. It takes Obamacare and fixes a few things, but it misses completely on the part that most Americans would expect from a repeal and replace.

There’s good to this bill. It puts more power over finances and regulations in the hands of the states. It defunds Planned Parenthood. It eliminates the individual and employer mandates. All of this is great, but that it won’t slow the growth of premiums (and may actually accelerate the rise) should make this a no-go for conservatives.

It won’t. Senators who would normally be opposed to this type of legislation such as Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, and Ben Sasse will probably support it. Why? Because they need to pass something. They need a win soon. The GOP’s abysmal record since getting control of the White House means they need this in order to salvage their futures in the midterm elections.

Most Republican voters will support it. Most conservative pundits will approve. If things were going differently on Capitol Hill with a long list of strong legislation on the books, this bill would be unnecessary. They could hold out for something better such as a full-repeal that gradually cuts Obamacare to pieces over time while putting together a true free-market solution that lowers premiums and increases innovation. Instead, they’re playing politics and keeping most of Obamacare intact to mitigate election-day fallout from their failures.

I detailed the two biggest reasons this bill is unacceptable on the Federalist Party website.

There’s still a good chance it won’t pass. Mike Lee is looking at the details before deciding, but will probably accept it. It’s hard to imagine John McCain not backing Lindsey Graham’s bill. Rand Paul is a hard “no.” That means that to pass, they’ll need to convince Lisa Murkowski or Susan Collins to sign on with an outside chance of Democrat Joe Manchin crossing over. Mitch McConnell has not endorsed the bill yet, saying he’s staying out of it until they get the 50 votes they need to pass. They better hurry. If they can’t get it in under reconciliation, the bill is dead.

Perspectives

Obamacare replacement bill misses on the two most important goals of repeal

http://thefederalistparty.org/2017/09/16/obamacare-replacement-bill-misses-two-important-goals-repeal/Until we remove DC completely from the healthcare system, we’re not going to see lower premiums. We aren’t going to see better healthcare. Don’t fall for any arguments that this bill is a first step. It’s the only step. They’ll call it a day and let this continue to eat away at our economy for years until single-payer rears its ugly head. The only way to prevent Obamacarelite from becoming Berniecare is if we get DC out of healthcare altogether.

Urgent: Will Mitch McConnell Fight For a Vote on an Eleventh-Hour Obamacare Replacement Bill? | Guy Benson, Townhall

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2017/09/15/will-mitch-mcconnell-fight-for-a-vote-on-a-lastditch-obamacare-repeal-bill-n2381805Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) met on Tuesday afternoon with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to discuss their last-ditch ObamaCare repeal bill.  Leaving the meeting in McConnell’s Capitol office, Cassidy said the leader’s message was that Graham and Cassidy need to find 50 votes for the bill on their own.  “He just says we need 50 votes,” Cassidy said of McConnell…”The Leader has said publicly and repeatedly that to move forward on anything we’ll need at least 50 votes,” said McConnell spokesman Don Stewart, calling that a “consistent message.”

GOP Only 2 Votes Away From Replacing Obamacare | Robert Danachie, Daily Caller

http://dailycallernewsfoundation.org/2017/09/15/gop-only-2-votes-away-from-replacing-obamacare/Republicans seven month long effort to upend the American health care system failed in late July, after three Republican senators – John McCain of Arizona, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine – shot down the party’s third and final (until now) proposal to repeal Obamacare in a contentious 49-51 vote.

New Report: Obamacare Premiums Will Go Up AGAIN. 15 Percent Hike… | Kacie Burnett, Louder with Crowder

https://www.louderwithcrowder.com/obamacare-premiums-15-percent-hike/Insurers have pleaded for more certainty on key Obamacare payments called cost-sharing reduction subsidies, which reimburse them for giving discounts to low-income patients. The Trump administration has made the payments on a month-to-month basis, but insurers want them funded on a long-term basis.

Dem Senator: ‘Medicare For All’ Will Fund Abortions | Paul Bois, Daily Wire

http://www.dailywire.com/news/21118/dem-senator-medicare-all-will-fund-abortions-paul-boisNow that socialist Bernie’s “Medicare for All” proposal has gained steam among senate Democrats, the fight for universal healthcare may become the cause celebre for the 2020 election. Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal says the plan should include funding for abortions, which would effectively make the U.S. taxpayer complicit in the mass slaughtering of unborn babies.

Bernie Sanders’ Single-Payer Plan & Democrats | Matthew Continetti, National Review

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/451425/bernie-sanders-single-payer-plan-democratsAs President Obama would say: This isn’t my opinion. It’s the conclusion of liberals who would embrace a single-payer system if they had to recreate American health care from scratch. “A commitment to universal health coverage — bringing in the people currently falling through Obamacare’s cracks — should definitely be a litmus test,” writes Paul Krugman. “But single-payer, while it has many virtues, isn’t the only way to get there; it would be much harder politically than its advocates acknowledge; and there are more important priorities.”

Health Care Is So Expensive Because You Don’t Pay For It Yourself

http://thefederalist.com/2017/09/15/health-care-expensive-dont-pay/If we applied the same third-party payment technique to any other segment of the economy, we would get the exact same inflationary spiral we see in health care. I buy donuts from time to time. If those donuts were free at the point of purchase, I would buy (and eat) a whole lot more than I do today. The stereotype of cops eating donuts came about because donut shops gave them away to the cops for free.

Can Senate Republicans get Obamacare replacement over the finish line? | Power Line

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/09/can-senate-republicans-get-obamacare-replacement-over-the-finish-line.phpCollins seems unlikely to back the proposal because it defunds Planned Parenthood. McCain reportedly is well-disposed to the bill, which is sponsored by his pal Lindsey Graham. However, he is said to have cautioned that any repeal effort should go through the regular committee process. We’re already midway through September, which doesn’t leave much time for that.

Final Thoughts

With control of both chambers on Capitol Hill as well as the White House, there should be no reason to keep the seeds of socialized medicine that Barack Obama planted. The GOP that’s been promising to end Obamacare shouldn’t be giving us a different variation of the same thing, but that’s exactly what’s happening. The best-case-scenario if the bill passes is that we continue down the road of unnecessary financial burden on Americans. The worst-case scenario is that this will make it easier for the Democrats to implement their plan for economic oblivion, better known as single-payer.

Guns and Crime

Infographic: Opioid overdose deaths in the United States

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Infographic Opioid overdose deaths in the United States

The use of opioids in the United States has dramatically risen in recent years, prompting calls for action from both sides of the political aisle. It’s not like the old drug wars on the streets of New York or the suburbs of Dallas. This drug epidemic is affecting all races, economic conditions, and ages.

In this infographic from Visual Capitalist, they examine the death rates county by county. Of note is West Virginia, where in some areas the opioid death rate is approaching the cancer death rates.

Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist

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Healthcare

Trump’s Medicare policy the next step in his march toward socialized healthcare

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Conservative media outlet praises Trumps attack on the Constitution

After squeezing all the political life he could out of the Kavanaugh confirmation circus, Trump went to work this week on other ways to fire up his uninspired base ahead of next month’s election.

On Tuesday, Trump made an appearance at an Iowa worship service disguised as a campaign rally, where the man who once bragged that he was capable of changing into anything he wants when it comes to his ever-changing policies, reached out to corn farmers being hurt from his “good and easy to wintrade war.

In an obvious attempt to buy votes in November and lay the groundwork for the 2020 Iowa caucuses, Trump announced that he would be expanding the use of ethanol; free market and the environment be damned.

Yesterday, Trump allegedly wrote an op-ed for USA Today — I say “allegedly” because Microsoft Word graded it at college level, and Trump speaks at a seventh-grade level or lower — decrying the Democrat Party’s call for “Medicare for all.” For the uninitiated, Medicare-for-all is the politically correct way of saying single-payer.

Trump’s fake op-ed is nothing more than the latest round of the politics of distraction where the GOP attempts to shift voter attention away from the past two years of lies and broken promises. In Trump’s case, however, the op-ed is also hypocritical because he supports single-payer healthcare, and his policies pretty much guarantee that socialized medicine will be here sooner rather than later.

Throughout his political career, Trump often sang the praises of socialized medicine and single-payer healthcare, and he reinforced his support during the 2016 campaign when he promised to have the government pay for universal healthcare for everyone.

During his campaign, Trump also made the promise repeatedly broken by the GOP to repeal Obamacare, which Republicans love and was given a big boost when Trump and the GOP completely funded it with the #MiniBusBetrayal he signed into law in September.

Many, including myself, pointed to this broken promise as evidence of Trump’s lack of integrity, but now I think it makes sense when you consider that Obamacare was created to be the catalyst for single-payer healthcare.

In his op-ed, Trump also renewed his commitment to save Medicare from being used as the mechanism for delivering single-payer healthcare. It’s a politically convenient move, but in reality, Medicare is already the largest socialized healthcare program in the world, so his Medicare policies are guaranteeing socialized medicine, not preventing it.

When you look at the complete package — lifetime support of socialized medicine, not repealing Obamacare, and letting Medicare grow out of control — Trump is accomplishing everything Barack Obama and the Democrats wanted concerning socialized medicine.

I guess I see now why we had to keep Hillary from winning and advancing Obama’s agenda . . . Trump wanted to be the one to do that.

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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Healthcare

Failure to repeal Obamacare is the albatross Republicans must cast away to keep the House

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Failure to repeal Obamacare is the albatross Republicans must cast away to keep the House

Maintaining a Senate majority is looking more and more likely, but Republicans in the House are in trouble. Democrats are throwing a threat of repealing Obamacare back in the faces of Republicans who failed to do as promised. Sentiment has shifted and suddenly a majority want to keep Obamacare where it is. It could cost them the House.

For the record, I was against the repeal and replacement plan the GOP put forward because it replaced government-run healthcare with… government-run healthcare. Had they been bold and simply repealed it, then spent real time and energy coming up with solutions for those in the most need, they’d be in much better position today. Instead, we’re stuck with Obamacare and the House is in jeopardy because of it.

Voters are fickle. They were for Obamacare before they were against it before they were for it again. The window of opportunity to repeal and replace it closed and they’re going into the midterm elections without a plan to to take another shot at it next year.

It was the promise to repeal Obamacare that got them the House in 2010, the Senate in 2014, and the White House in 2016. Failing to do what they promised when they had the opportunity is the albatross about their necks right now. The very thing that won for them is quite possibly what will make them lose.

Now, they’re trying a new strategy: hang Bernie Sanders’ $32 trillion universal health care proposal on every Democrats’ neck regardless of whether they support the plan or not. It’s a dishonest ploy with ads running against Democrats who have publicly denounced the plan. If the Republicans aren’t careful, they’re going to get accused of treating the people like fools who won’t do their own research (which is true for most, but it’s still not a play that’s wise to make this close to the election).

As a conservative and a Federalist, I have no horse in these races. If I were forced to choose, I’d vote against Democrats. But I’m not forced to choose (this is still America) so the advice I’m about to give is not out of appreciation for the Republicans’ plight but out of fear of the Democrats being in power.

GOP, stop playing the fear game and put forth a plan

Republicans know the general public no longer wants them to repeal Obamacare. Polls are very clear. So, they’ve decided to take the side of the status quo (keep Obamacare as-is) and push the Democrats further to the left (all embracing Bernie’s plan). This is a bad plan that won’t work, but even if it did work it shouldn’t be done because it’s disingenuous. Leave that line of campaigning to the left. Take the higher road.

Republicans already have the framework for a repeal and replacement plan that would pass IF they get more control of the Senate and retain control of the House. Roll it out. Now. Democrats have already made healthcare one of the defining issues of this election. Double down on them and lay out a plan. Then, let the plan win the elections for you.

Democrats will attack it, but you have something in your favor. You have Lisa Murkowski. I know what everyone’s thinking. She’s the lone traitor who almost cost Brett Kavanaugh his confirmation. That makes her bad, right? Well, yes, but as one who voted against the repeal and replacement plans, it gives her credibility to endorse the new plan that you roll out next week…

…if you were smart and rolled out a plan next week. Which you’re not. So you won’t.

But hypothetically, if you rolled out the Republican Affordable Care Act Phase One Fix, you could start dismantling Obamacare. Perhaps more importantly, you would catch Democrats (and the press) off guard and have nearly four weeks to demonstrate why you’re not the bad guys who will pull the rug out from under people. You’re trying to fix healthcare. That’s potentially a winning message. If you put forth a plan that Murkowski (and possibly a few Democrats) could endorse, it’s a a sure thing.

Instead, you’re probably going to keep doing what you’re doing, accusing moderate Democrats of being far-left Bernie socialists. Yes, some are, but the ads are going after pretty much all of them. You’re relying on the naivety of voters instead of putting forth solutions and educating people on why they’ll work.

By restarting the process to fulfill your promise to repeal and replace Obamacare, the GOP will have the winning narrative. Drop this propaganda push and do what you said you were going to do.

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