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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

PragerU: What’s wrong with government-run healthcare?

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PragerU Whats wrong with government-run healthcare

This latest video from PragerU details how another vote-buying pipe dream from the Left can never work.

A new video from PragerU features policy expert Lanhee Chen from the Hoover Institution at Stanford, who explains how ‘Free Healthcare’ can never work in the real world. As is the case with most Leftist vote-buying schemes, the ‘The Medicare for all’ fiction is long on promises and short on how it will be funded. The tax burden for such a scheme would destroy the economy and would have to be levied on almost everyone. This kind of national socialized healthcare would also take away the incentive for innovation, which has made for the best healthcare system in the states and the rest of the world.

One often suspects that these assurances of freebies are never meant to operate as promised. Witness the much vaunted Obamacare that was supposed to eliminate the uninsured, but did nothing of the sort. Such is also the case with their push for Liberty control, since it never works as advertised.  In most cases, it should be apparent that the Left doesn’t care if their schemes will work or not. If they did actually care, they would try something else, something that actually works.

For the Left, their ‘Ends justifies the means’ mantra extends to most of their agenda. It doesn’t matter if their system of societal slavery works or not, only that it brings them the power they crave.

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Healthcare

Don’t tease us, Mitch. McConnell puts Obamacare repeal back on table.

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Dont tease us Mitch McConnell puts Obamacare repeal back on table

If Republicans can win enough Senate seats in the midterm elections, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he may take another stab at repealing and replacing Obamacare. Three separate attempts last year were thwarted by unified opposition by Democrats and some defections among Republicans.

McConnell says Senate Republicans might revisit Obamacare repeal

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-senate-mcconnell-policy/mcconnell-says-senate-republicans-might-revisit-obamacare-repeal-idUSKCN1MR2QEDespite their dominance of Congress and the White House, Republicans dramatically failed last year to overturn former President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law, known as Obamacare. McConnell called it “the one disappointment of this Congress from a Republican point of view.”

He said, “If we had the votes to completely start over, we’d do it. But that depends on what happens in a couple weeks… We’re not satisfied with the way Obamacare is working.”

His words were tempered so as not to unsettle voters ahead of the midterm elections. In past years, Republicans were bold about proclaiming the need to rid the nation of Obamacare. This helped them get control of the House, Senate, and White House. Now, public sentiment towards Obamacare has softened and so has rhetoric from Republicans in an election year.

My Take

What is really needed is a full but staggered repeal of Obamacare followed by a systematic revamping of the healthcare system with minimal government control. Most of that control should belong to the states, not DC. To make the ideal situation happen, we’d need to replace 80% of House Republicans and 90% of Senate Republicans with true limited-government conservatives and Federalists.

That’s not happening any time soon, so we’re stuck with a repeal and replace. Based on what has been proposed in the past, a repeal and replace would be incrementally better than what we have, but it may not be worth supporting. A little better than awful is still awful.

If Republicans can keep control of the House and Senate and are still unable to repeal and replace Obamacare before 2020, it will be a sad testament to the state of the party.

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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.

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