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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.

Christian, husband, father. EIC, NOQ Report. Co-Founder, the Federalist Party. Just a normal guy who will no longer sit around while the country heads in the wrong direction.

Healthcare

Direct Primary Care: Hopefully, the future of basic healthcare

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Direct Primary Care

There’s a trend that’s sweeping the nation. No, it’s not Pokemon Go… that’s old news. The trend is actually an old one: Direct Primary Care. It’s how healthcare was handled in the past when doctors still made house calls and it’s quickly becoming a viable way for tens of thousands of people to receive their basic healthcare needs.

For now, it’s still only available to thousands instead of millions. With a stranglehold on the healthcare industry being jointly held by the national government and the insurance cartel, most Americans don’t even have access to this type of service. Thankfully, it’s growing rapidly.

Joel Kurtinitis of the Federalist Party said, “Direct Primary Care is a rapidly growing solution to the healthcare problem. Unless DC tampers with it, its trajectory is such that it could replace the health insurance structure we have today.”

In this video by ReasonTV, they explore the burgeoning industry.

These Doctors Got Fed Up With Insurance. Now They Treat Their Patients Like Valued Customers. – Reason.com

https://reason.com/reasontv/2017/10/16/doctors-direct-primary-careOne of the most profound changes brought about by the Affordable Care Act is that it drove thousands of independent doctors to throw in the towel and join large hospital networks. This is particularly true of primary care doctors. As the rules involving medical records, billing codes, and prior authorizations have gotten more complex, physicians find they can’t survive without joining large health care networks. And they’re becoming increasingly demoralized.

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Healthcare

Mixed feelings on Trump’s current opposition to Obamacare bailout

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Donald Trump Opposes Alexander-Murray

In today’s political atmosphere, conservatives and federalists must take victories when we can. It shouldn’t matter if those victories come through ignorance or error, but for whatever reason I’m stuck on President Trump’s opposition to Alexander-Murray, the proposed Obamacare bailout bill.  I’m glad he opposes it, but I’m annoyed by his reasons for doing so. They’re wrong.

It’s hard to discern full intention from a Tweet, but if I’m reading the President’s 140-character statement on the proposed bill properly, I can only assume he doesn’t quite understand what’s being proposed.

There are two problems here. First, the bill wouldn’t bail out insurance companies. It bails out Obamacare’s low-income recipients. The money that President Obama illegally procured was to allow insurance companies to charge below-market prices for coverage by compensating them with the difference. They get their money with or without the bailout. It’s just a question of whether the low-income families pay the difference or the taxpayers.

The second confusing part of the Tweet is supporting insurance companies who have made a fortune off Obamacare. Granted, Obamacare has been what the insurance companies have wanted for decades, but they weren’t making the fortunes they expected. That’s why so many of them are pulling out. If they were making fortunes through Obamacare, they wouldn’t be running as quickly as they can away from the program.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting that they’re not making money. Those who have survived are poised to make even more money as choices have been eliminated. The herd has been thinned so that those who remain have greater opportunity for profits. Still, the President seems to be missing the point.

We need a full repeal. We need this repeal to be implemented in appropriate stages; some pieces of Obamacare can be eliminated immediately while others can be weened off over time. We can get things to the best point we’ve ever been in the modern era’s healthcare world by fixing some of the problems that existed before Obamacare while eliminating the federal government as a whole from the health insurance industry. If the President understood this, we’d have a much better chance of seeing real change for the better. Instead. we have a Congress that doesn’t know how to move forward and a President who isn’t even aware of which direction he’s heading, let alone where he’s taking the nation.

Some “pragmatic” conservatives would say we need to help the low-income families so the GOP doesn’t lose majorities in 2018. First, I’m not one who’s too concerned about majorities since it’s clear there’s very little difference between the major parties. Second, by bailing it out, the GOP takes ownership. They need to declare that they won’t bail anybody out because the whole program has been a failure from the start. They need to do everything they can to remind everyone that Obamacare was failing before President Trump took office. They need to put ownership back where it belongs, in the hands of the Democrats, so they can force them to choose between repealing it or allowing it to collapse.

The good news is that this bailout is less likely to happen without the President’s support. The unfortunate aspect is that the President doesn’t know why he doesn’t support it and Republicans on Capitol Hill won’t admit why they do.

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Healthcare

BREAKING: Federal judge sides with ACLU: orders illegal alien to get free abortions

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UPDATE: The Washington Post is reporting that U.S. District Court Judge Tanya S. Chutkan has ordered the Trump administration to provide an abortion to the 17-year-old illegal alien. This is a travesty and an absolute moral evil.

Instead of protecting life, the ACLU wants to guarantee illegal aliens the right to kill their babies–even teenage unwed mothers–in America. Not much of “civil liberties” there.

Background

In a Texas case, a Central American teen was placed in a facility contracted by a little-known agency called the Office of Refugee Resettlement. ORR contracts out hundreds of facilities to handle the flow of refugees and unaccompanied minor illegal immigrants, and its parent is the Department of Health and Human Services.

The pregnant teen sought an abortion, because she was worried her parents might abuse her because of her pregnancy. Texas law requires parental permission, or that of a judge for a minor to undergo an abortion procedure. So attorneys tried to get a judge to sign off. But Texas officials arranged for the girl to talk to pregnancy care center volunteers and refused to bring her to an abortion clinic (at taxpayer expense).

The ACLU is up in arms that anyone would be denied what they see as a basic human right to kill unborn babies.

The case is ironic because HHS just released its strategic plan, including language that recognizes the personhood of unborn babies. But the issue of unaccompanied minors and illegal aliens is being used by liberals to push their agenda for abortion on demand.

Analysis

The abortion industry loves getting taxpayer money, although Planned Parenthood officially says just 3% of their “services” are abortions. It’s a cooked number, since handing out a pamphlet is considered a “service” in their reports. In fact, just about all PP does is abortions. They do nothing else–not mammograms, not well checks, just baby killing.

But another fact is that if Planned Parenthood lost its funding, they’d get more than enough money–probably many times what they receive from the government–from private donations by people like George Soros and grassroots liberals who buy coathanger jewelry.

What the abortion industry would love more than anything is for America to become an open-borders country, with taxpayer-funded abortions for all. This case is one of their attempts to set that precedent.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton opposes this, noting in an amicus brief that “(n)o federal court has ever declared that unlawfully-present aliens with no substantial ties to this country have a constitutional right to abortion on demand. The Court should decline to break that new ground.” He’s joined by the attorneys general of Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma and South Carolina in his opposition.

Perspectives

Liberals are Exploiting an Illegal Immigrant to Push Free Abortions for Non-Citizens | LifeNews.com

http://www.lifenews.com/2017/10/18/liberals-are-exploiting-an-illegal-immigrant-to-push-free-abortions-for-non-citizens/The story of a pregnant teenager, an illegal alien, has captured attention as the American Civil Liberties Union and abortion industry argue the United States should open its doors to all seeking abortion. According to reports, the girl said she sought an abortion because she was worried her parents might abuse her if they found out she was pregnant. However, Texas officials refused to allow the girl to be taken from state care to an abortion facility.

Justice for the unborn: HHS defines life as ‘beginning at conception’

http://noqreport.com/2017/10/17/justice-unborn-hhs-defines-life-beginning-conception/Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) changed its strategic plan for 2018-2022 in order to protect the unborn. Background Previously, the plan stated in its introduction that “HHS accomplishes its mission through programs and initiatives that cover a wide spectrum of activities, serving Americans at every stage of life.” The new…

Final Thoughts

This case is just one example of how the liberal ACLU and the abortion industry are using the court system to subvert the policy goals of the Trump administration, the rights of states to regulate and enforce their own laws, and to create a Mecca of sorts for unlimited, taxpayer-funded abortions for illegal aliens in America.

This needs to be shut down unequivocally by the courts. The next steps will be using Christian organizations’ opposition to abortion on moral grounds to strip them of federal funding and ORR contracts. This will harm actual refugees, forcing churches to withdraw their services. They’ve already done this with adoption, using same-sex marriage to end Catholic adoption agencies in states like Massachusetts.

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