Friday, February 24, 2017

Moving on Obamacare

By Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

Jeffrey Lord discovers Lyin’ Ryan has a problem:
[…]  Ryan specifically said the Congressional Budget Office was scoring a specific [repeal ObamaCare] plan. Yet there on the Wednesday Hannity radio show were members of the House Freedom Caucus saying they had seen no such bill.
Huh? Hannity was gobsmacked.
So stunned that he suggested he would come back to D.C. and do a joint televised interview with Ryan and the House Freedom caucus members to find out what in the world is going on.
To put it gently? Speaker Ryan, you have a problem. -link-
Will Obamacare be repealed, or not?

During the campaign I was alarmed by the "repeal and replace" sentiment coming from the Trump camp.  I get it, the rhetoric by the Democrats is that if you get rid of something they believe is beloved by the people, you've got to replace it.  Fact is, federal intrusion upon health care is unconstitutional.  There should be absolutely no federal influence on health care, or health insurance.  Therefore, there should be no "replace."

Originally, we were told the insurance companies were the problem, and that's why healthcare was so out of whack. If that's the case, how is making government the insurance company better?

If a third-party-payer is the problem, shouldn't we work towards getting back to the patient/provider dynamic?

The House of Representatives and Senate are who needs to get the repeal started in the first place, yet we've got members saying there is nothing on the docket.  Meanwhile, at their townhalls, the lefties are screaming at them about Obamacare.  Is the GOP intimidated and backing down from fully repealing Obamacare?

Time is running out.  While Congress passed the FY 2017 “shell” budget resolution (S. CON. RES. 3) in January, which was supposed to start a filibuster-proof process of repealing Obamacare through budget reconciliation, no action seems to have followed up.  It seems Congress is still in the process of writing the budget reconciliation bill repealing Obamacare.  And the longer it takes, the more that Americans are beginning to believe the Obamacare repeal isn't going to happen.

The longer it takes to repeal, the longer before we can heal the nation's health care system, and the longer Americans must suffer under the current shortcomings of government influenced health care.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) agrees, saying in a recent interview: “I don’t think we have the luxury of this (Obamacare repeal) dragging out for a lengthy period of time. There is a reason to wrap it up. This is a very intense effort of consultation with all three branches about how to do this in the relatively near future. We want to complete this exercise before we get to the second budget reconciliation for tax reform.”

April 28th is the funding deadline, and May 3rd is the date when insurance companies must submit proposed premiums for 2018 Obamacare plans.  If the Republicans fully repeal Obamacare, it must beat those dates, otherwise the garbage kicks into another year.

Even worse is the fact that some Republicans are saying they believe we can repair Obamacare.  Or, some members of the GOP actually oppose repeal unless there is a "replace" simultaneously.  Democrats will never vote to repeal Obamacare and the Republicans will never agree on a replacement bill.  Delaying repeal prolongs the crisis, and it increases the likelihood that repeal never happens.

Therefore, repeal needs to be as soon as possible, before the Democrats convince more Republicans to get nervous about it, and while it's possible to use budget reconciliation so that the vote is only a simple majority needed.

Congress can use budget reconciliation to repeal Obamacare so that it doesn't matter what the Democrats think or do.  Only a simple majority will be needed, without a need for cloture.  Congress should write and pass a one-sentence reconciliation bill that fully repeals Obamacare, and be done with it.

Then, the Republicans can work on ways to get the federal government completely out of the way of the health care industry, removing any obstacles like the unconstitutional federal restriction that keeps insurance companies from selling across State lines.  Healthcare savings accounts may not be a bad idea, either.  The idea is to remove the federal footprint from the industry and create free market choices that strengthen the patient/provider relationship.

As that happens, the Republicans also must make sure Neil Gorsuch gets confirmed to the Supreme Court quickly so that the left's challenges fall flat.

The thing is, the Republicans need to act quickly.  If they don't get this going, time may become their enemy, and run out.

After all, the left is doing what it can to sabotage everything, and the next election is right around the corner.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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