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BrundleFly or Hillarycare: The sad choice for Graham-Cassidy

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The other day, I wrote a long-winded defense of Graham-Cassidy. In response, JD Rucker, the EIC of this site, wrote a short rebuttal. These two pieces illustrate the upside-down nature of this bill.

In short: people who believe Graham-Cassidy should not be passed argue on the basis of it actually being implemented. People who argue that we should pass Graham-Cassidy do so on the basis that it cannot possibly be implemented.

They’re both right

If Graham-Cassidy is implemented as the bill is written, no politician could ever claim that it will solve Obamacare’s problems. All it does is intensify them and allow healthy individuals to go without insurance or join health cost sharing organizations. (Disclosure: I am a member of Medi-Share, a Christian medical expense sharing ministry that’s exempt from Obamacare.)

Moving the money to the state level as Medicaid block grants without gutting the Medicaid expansion, the coverage requirements or the heinous recordkeeping and administrative load of Obamacare is worse than living with the current, mostly-implemented and known system. States will not have enough time to enact enabling legislation, therefore by the 2020 deadline, many states will simply fall in a huge crack or the federal government will have to grant en-masse extensions. Remember, we went through this with Obamacare, which took until 2014 to fully swing into action, and by 2016, 19 states still hadn’t really done anything to get people off the federal exchanges.

Supporters say this is a feature, not a bug.

Burn the ships!

We’re passing Graham-Cassidy so we can be like Cortés in 1519. I love this story.

In 1519, Captain Hernán Cortés landed in Veracruz to begin his great conquest. Upon arriving, he gave the order to his men to burn the ships. As I imagine it, someone then laughed and Cortés promptly thrust his sword into the man’s chest. After which, the rest proceeded to get hammered on rum by the glow of the blaze. Almost like a bloodier version of The Pirates of the Caribbean with Cortés played by Johnny Depp.

The lesson, presented by business leadership coach Travis Robertson is: Retreat is easy when you have the option.

There is no political body in America more in need of a swift sword smack in the behind than the United States Congress. It is in a permanent state of retreat, unless it comes to spending your money and mine on endless projects in this district and that district to make a few people wealthy and the rest of us feel good about getting something for nothing. Most of us just pay and get nothing anyway, then go about electing the same people over and over again.

There is only one argument for Graham-Cassidy. Passing it destroys Obamacare with no way to go back. Passing Graham-Cassidy burns the ships and cuts off retreat.

Brundlefly

Passing Graham-Cassidy will force Republicans to either embrace Bernie-style single-payer or proceed to a fuller repeal of the destroyed, mutated Obamacare-monster. Like the 1986 horror classic “The Fly,” the Graham-Cassidy fusion teleporter only works one way. There’s no going back. And like the BrundleFly-Telepod monster, the result cannot survive.

There will be no choice but to destroy it or it will self-destruct before it ever sees the light of day.

Or do nothing and have Hillarycare

The other option is to not pass Graham-Cassidy and do nothing. Just embrace Obamacare and let all states adopt it. We could tweak coverages or eliminate some waste and inefficiency from the program. President Trump could re-enable the IRS (still led by Obama appointee John Koskinen) to enforce the fines for not purchasing coverage. Congress could make some allowances for conscience in health sharing ministries. But that’s it.

We could make Obamacare work, such as it is, and try to keep health care costs from ballooning further within that framework. But it means more government control, more cronyism, less small government, state-controlled commerce. It also means higher taxes for everyone.

In a nutshell, it would be what Hillary Clinton would do. We’d have Hillarycare.

Congress won’t advance when it can retreat

The one truth here is that Congress will never advance when it can retreat. It will never take on anything for which it has to later be responsible without someone standing up behind them holding a sword. It will never act on its own unless leadership does what Cortés did and make an example of someone. Until we can get some leadership, or Trump actually begins to lead on health care, our only options are between BrundleFly and Hillarycare, either of which could lead to single-payer.

The solution is not one we can achieve with this iteration of Congress. It will take something else from outside.

I say burn the ships and force the issue, but others say it’s too risky to deal with Brundlefly. Sadly, both answers are probably right.

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Culture and Religion

Here’s hoping the President is serious about late-term abortions

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Heres hoping the President is serious about late-term abortions

I’ll admit up front that I’m a cynic when it comes to the abortion issue. My entire life, I’ve heard Republicans vow to do something about abortion. The wins have been incremental at best and the losses have been devastating. As Planned Parenthood stands funded by the government despite repeated promised by Republicans and a majority to get something done for two years, I’m always skeptical when someone says they’re going to do something about abortion.

Last night, President Trump said he would urge Congress to take action against late-term abortion. It was the only reference made to an issue directly pointed towards evangelicals, and that’s okay as long as it gets done. Other fights, such as religious freedoms, are battles that must be fought by the people, but abortion is the main issue that has both political and cultural fronts on which the battle must be fought. We’ll keep fighting on the cultural front. Will Republicans in Washington DC finally fight on the political front?

If we give him the benefit of the doubt instead of my instant cynical perspective that this was just a vote-securing statement, what would it look like? Does Congress even have the power to mandate against states on this issue? I’m no Constitutional expert, but my gut says it would have to be fought all the way to the Supreme Court for it to actually work, and once there even the so-called “conservative” lean of the bench is unlikely to uphold it. Once again, the case against late-term abortion must be different from the case against abortion itself, and that would force us to run into Constitutional issues.

Here’s the problem with the statement and any attempts made by Congress. Currently, the sentiment against late-term abortions is on our side, but that can change quickly if DC attempts to subvert Roe v. Wade in any manner. Pro-abortion groups will paint this as an example of politicians trying to stand between a woman and her right to choose. Most Americans believe it should be illegal today, but part of that is because it isn’t illegal. If there’s one way to shift sentiment on an issue, side with what the people want today. Invariably, many will change their tune once action is actually taken.

By no means am I suggesting they shouldn’t take a shot at it, but they cannot miss. The worst-case scenario is that they try to ban late-term abortions nationwide and lose that battle. During the battle itself, the will of the people will shift. Therefore, if they cannot make it happen, they shouldn’t even try.

For Americans to have better understanding of the abortion issue, they need more information about preborn babies and the realities of their existence. If the GOP can pull off a late-term abortion ban, it will go a long way to helping with the cultural battle as well.

 


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Culture and Religion

The magical birth canal

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The magical birth canal

Choice42 makes the point that an arbitrary point in life doesn’t suddenly convey humanity and basic human rights.

The contention from the Left is that there is some magical demarcation point in the life of a child. That before birth it’s just a fetus, clump of cells or a ‘parasite’.

Then in a flash, it suddenly becomes a human being, from mere passage of the birth canal. This video from a couple of months ago illustrates that this is an absurd contention.

Bonus video

 

Leftists assert that like those on the Pro-Liberty Right that they want to protect the children. But only after the life changing passage of the magical birth canal. This video makes the point that the Left can’t have it both ways.

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Healthcare

Morgan Ortagus: Republicans can’t go into 2020 without a healthcare message

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Morgan Ortagus Republicans cant go into 2020 without a healthcare message

On a panel last night with Steve Hilton, Fox News contributor Morgan Ortagus warned the Republican Party going into the 2020 election season that they need to have a message other than opposition to Medicare-for-All.

Ortagus noted that the current plan came from a Democratic President, but Republicans aren’t taking advantage of this notion.

“So a smart Republican could sort of make this argument and say this is why the current Democrat plan doesn’t work but instead Republicans have inherited a faulty plan that they criticize but without a viable replacement,” she said.

My Take

She’s absolutely right. It seems like the GOP has resolved to not really address healthcare at all before the 2020 election after failing to repeal and replace Obamacare in 2017. Now, they’re just railing against the proposed fixes instead of offering a solution.

 


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