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Conservatives supporting Graham-Cassidy are pretending it’s not Obamacarelite

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Graham Cassidy Obamacarelite

Graham-Cassidy is Obamacarelite. Period. It fails to address the two biggest issues with Obamacare… which happen to be the two biggest issues raised by conservative Republicans over the past seven years. First, it does NOT remove the federal government’s hands from a healthcare industry in which it does not belong. Second, it does NOT take steps to reducing premiums or health care costs for average American households.

On the first issue, some would point to the block grants, state waivers, and the removal of individual and employer mandates as examples of how this is a step towards removing the federal government from healthcare. I’ll address each of these individually, but let’s look at the obvious problem with that argument. This bill isn’t designed to be a “step.” This is it. This is what the GOP wants the healthcare system to look like indefinitely. If you have a knife in your back, pulling it out a little bit doesn’t mean you no longer have a knife in your back.

Let’s look at the three major components:

  1. Block Grants: Paul Ryan and Lindsey Graham are screaming, “yay federalism!” Here’s the problem. Block grants coming from the federal government instead of going towards Medicaid expansion doesn’t change a thing. It’s still the federal government taking our money and giving it to insurance companies. Adding the states as a middle man does nothing to change that fact. It gives the states more control on how the money is distributed, but it doesn’t reduce the distribution by a penny. On paper, they’ll come up with math that shows cost reductions for DC. Long-term, it will actually increase the expenditures as grants are reconciled from projections to reality.
  2. State Waivers: This is a misdirection. It won’t be used in a significant way by any states. Why? The block grants. It would be political suicide for any state legislature to say they’re going to accept less money from DC so they can put everything on the backs of the citizens in their state. Some states will waive some portions, but again, it will not be significant. This is just a magic flag conservatives can wave around to justify voting for the bill.
  3. Removing Mandates: Good. No problem with this. In fact, I love it. Outside of defunding Planned Parenthood, this is my favorite part of the bill.

As for the second issue – not reducing premiums – this will actually accelerate the rising costs of healthcare, premiums, and deductibles. In other words, when Republicans vowed to reduce your costs of healthcare, they weren’t serious… at least not if they pass this bill. There are many things they could do to reduce costs if they would simply repeal Obamacare and start taking free-market steps. Open up interstate competition. Incentivize HSAs. Encourage innovation and competition in the healthcare industry in general. They have the power and the mandate to make healthcare more affordable for average American households and they simply refuse to do it.

The most common argument you’ll hear is that it’s not perfect but it’s better than Obamacare. I’m okay with better as long as it’s TRULY better, but since this doesn’t address the two biggest flaws of Obamacare, it’s only incrementally better. Pouring sugar on a rotten piece of peach cobbler might make it easier to eat, but you’re still eating rotten food nonetheless. It will still make you sick. The Republicans have control of the House, Senate, and White House. They have absolutely, positively zero excuses for not putting forth a bill that actually addresses the fundamental flaws of Obamacare.

One final note: both Obamacare and Obamacarelite are stepping stones to single-payer. Obamacare’s failures are the reason that “Medicare for All” is gaining steam. Obamacarelite suffers from the same problems. It’s a very tiny band-aid that will not stop the bleeding, so when it’s demonstrated as not being able to solve the problems of Obamacare, the cries for single-payer will grow louder. If this bill passes, watch for major GOP losses in 2018 and 2020 followed by a push for single-payer in 2021.

I’ll wrap up in a moment, but first let’s look at what’s being said about it from around the web:

Perspectives

New GOP ObamaCare repeal bill gains momentum | Peter Sullivan, The Hill

http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/351198-new-gop-obamacare-repeal-bill-gains-momentumDemocrats argue the block grants would be too small and would lead to cuts to Medicaid and other health spending. The liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found the bill would on average lead to a 17 percent cut in spending compared to ObamaCare in 2026.

Lindsey Graham: Obamacare overhaul is ‘Bernie Sanders’ worst nightmare’

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/lindsey-graham-obamacare-overhaul-is-bernie-sanders-worst-nightmare/article/2634728Cassidy has said the bill is only a vote or two shy of the support it needs to pass. In July, Senate Republicans failed to pass a bill that would have narrowly repealed portions of Obamacare. All Democrats voted against it, as did GOP Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska; John McCain, R-Ariz., dealt the fatal blow to the legislation and called for public hearings to discuss ways to improve the healthcare system.

Dems demand full CBO analysis of Obamacare repeal plan | Heather Caygle, Politico

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/09/18/obamacare-repeal-lindsey-graham-bill-cassidy-cbo-242841Democratic congressional leaders are demanding a full budget analysis of the latest Republican effort to repeal Obamacare, a move that threatens to stall the legislation ahead of a critical Sept. 30 deadline.

Ron Johnson schedules hearing on health care block grants – Washington Times

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/sep/18/johnson-schedules-hearing-health-care-block-grants/Mr. Johnson, chairman of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, and his cosponsors say the bill known as “Graham-Cassidy” is Congress’s best chance to devolve power from Washington to governors by replacing the 2010 Affordable Care Act with block grants to the states.

How Graham-Cassidy redistributes federal money – Axios

https://www.axios.com/how-graham-cassidy-redistributes-federal-money-2486664997.htmlThere’s a lot of skepticism in Washington over whether the latest Affordable Care Act repeal bill, proposed by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy, can pass. One of the many reasons is that a lot of Republican senators’ states — particularly those that expanded Medicaid — would lose a lot of money.

What Single-Payer Looks Like: Smokers and Obese Banned from Surgery at British Govt Hospital Thanks to Budget

http://legalinsurrection.com/2017/09/what-single-payer-looks-like-smokers-and-obese-banned-from-surgery-at-british-govt-hospital-thanks-to-budget/In Sanders’ fantasy world, single-payer system is the only cure for what ails the American healthcare system. Most of his Democratic Senate colleagues agree. They were wrong about Obamacare and what it would fix and they’re wrong single-payer.

Splintered: Single-Payer Litmus Test Has Cut The Democratic Party In Two – Matt Vespa

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2017/09/18/splintered-singlepayer-litmus-test-has-cut-democrats-right-down-the-middle-n2381168Like it or not, the Democratic Party is not a national one. It’s been decimated during and after the Obama era, with 1,000 fewer Democrats in office than there were in 2008-09. The GOP control Congress, the White House, 69/99 state legislatures, and two-thirds of the governorships. The Republicans are at the apex of their power.

Rand Paul is unlikely to support the Graham-Cassidy measure – Washington Times

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/sep/18/rand-paul-is-unlikely-to-support-the-graham-cassid/“No consevative [sic] should vote for a rebranded trillion dollar spending program just because it adds some block grants,” Mr. Paul tweeted adding, “Keeping 90% of Obamacare is not ok and it’s not what we ran on. Conservatives should say no.”

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Final Thoughts

This is not the fulfillment of the promises the GOP made for the last seven years. This is a false repeal and replace model that’s nothing more than “tweak and rebrand.” Spread the word that this isn’t the bill it’s being sold as by Republicans. They’re counting on the vast majority of Americans not paying attention.

Democrats

Democrats’ road to victory is paved with the broken promises of the GOP

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Democrats road to victory is paved with the broken promises of the GOP

In the push leading up to the November mid-term election, Republicans and faux conservatives have completely abandoned any semblance of integrity concerning the promises they made when America gave them full control of Washington two years ago.

One area where their betrayal has been most obvious is their promise to repeal Obamacare, a promise they made in 2012, 2014, and 2016, and again a few months ago if voters let them keep their majority.

Despite their repetitious “repeal Obamacare” mantra, Trump and the GOP recently passed an $854 billion spending bill that included a boatload of betrayals, including funding for Obamacare.

While they attempted to hide the fact that the spending bill provided a big boost to Obamacare and government-run, single-payer healthcare, Trump and the GOP aren’t even trying to hide their betrayal any longer as they have begun to support the “good” parts of Obamacare, such as pre-existing conditions.

This healthcare slight-of-hand is clearly nothing but a lame attempt to buy a few votes in November for Republicans, but it appears to be having the opposite effect. GOP betrayals have created votes for Democrats, giving the party of Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi fresh wind in their sails.

With no Republican resistance and momentum on their side, Democrat candidates for governor in red and purple states are openly pushing to expand Medicaid while “Medicare for all” — the politically correct way of saying single-payer healthcare — has been adopted on the national level as a 2020 campaign issue.

It appears that Democrats can and will win on this issue.

In Pennsylvania — a state Trump narrowly won in 2016 — Democrats are surging in popularity thanks to the GOP’s broken healthcare promises. Besides a likely victory for Pennsylvania’s incumbent Democrat senator and governor, the blue party could pick up six Congressional seats, 25% of the seats they need to retake the House.

Trump’s Medicare policies along with his long history of supporting socialized medicine and single-payer has already put America on the path to Obamacare’s ultimate goal of government-run healthcare, but now we’re hearing about Trump making overtures to Democrats ahead of their likely takeover in November in an effort to secure a few policy “wins” for himself ahead of 2020.

Which begs the question: If Trump’s willing to sell out to the Democrats with Republicans in charge, what do you think will happen to healthcare if his buddies Chuck and Nancy are running Congress?

I think we already know the answer to that question.

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.

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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.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook.

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

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