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Congressional GOP Lacks Courage for Obamacare Reform

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State Sen. Dr. Irene Aguilar, D-Denver, left, stands with an activist, as supporters of Obamacare hold a rally on the steps of the Colorado state Capitol in January of this year.  (Brennan Linsley/AP)

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Thursday, 23 Feb 2017 08:37 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Pity the poor Republican leadership in Congress.

There they sit, paralyzed by the power for which they pleaded over the last four elections. 

In 2010 when the GOP took control of the House they were powerless because Republicans didn’t have control of the Senate.

In 2014 Senate control fell into their hands, yet they were still powerless because Democrats controlled the White House.

Now they control the House, Senate, and the presidency — yet they remain powerless.

This time because the left still controls the media and Jake Tapper doesn’t stand for re-election.

The Obama presidency was really the good old days. Congress could bravely vote to repeal Obamacare secure in the knowledge the bill would never take effect because Obama would veto it. And it he did.

All those votes were so many talking points in a re-election commercial.

Now a vote to repeal Obamacare will pass and result in the opposition media’s veto.

And our timid, public trough-feeders fear the consequences.

Darn, no one told them winning in 2016 would mean they’re now responsible!

The electorate didn’t vote to replace Democratic meddling in the health insurance market with Republican meddling. This "repeal and replace" scam is another excuse for delay, and an opportunity to squeeze campaign contributions from lobbyists worried about how the "replace" might affect their insurance and hospital clients.

Back home when running for election GOP members make big promises, but what they mean is voters can have all the conservatism they want, consistent with the incumbent being re-elected.

The main objections to repeal or "boogeymen" as Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, describes are:

  • Twenty million people will lose insurance
  • People without health insurance will die in the streets
  • When the above people collapse they will land on the dead bodies of those with pre-existing conditions

Here are the responses:

Ah, yes, those 20 million new customers. I’ve always wondered how the GOP became convinced it made sense to overcharge their voters for health insurance so the extra money could be siphoned off to buy insurance for the opponent’s voters.

Congress could limit Obamacare coverage to acupuncture and aromatherapy and it wouldn’t make any difference since if the 20 million vote, they vote Democrat.

Besides, 20 million won’t lose insurance. Breitbart.com interviewed a group of doctors and they explained 16 of the 20 million are on Medicaid and repeal won’t affect them.

The other 4 million are stuck with subsidized policies that have a $6,000 deductible.

At their income level a policy like that is the equivalent of putting a Ferrari on layaway.

The cost and coverage solution has already been covered in an earlier column here.

People without health insurance still get healthcare.

At one time I had a policy with a deductible so high it wasn’t met until the foreclosure man was coming to knock on your door. I discovered offering to pay a doctor or test bill in full, before leaving the office, got at least a 30 percent discount. That’s what insurance paperwork before Obamacare added to a bill.

These people would be better served paying out-of-pocket and applying for Medicaid for serious illness. Or they could enjoy the benefits of competition after Obamacare repeal outlined here.

Repeal should include a pre-existing condition provision that says maintaining continuous coverage for six months means you can’t be denied new coverage. Without the continuous coverage provision it would be like waiting until your house is on fire to buy homeowner’s insurance.

People who don’t have insurance, but have a condition could go into a government high-risk pool analogous to the pools that cover high–risk drivers.

Sen. Lee wants the Senate to once again pass the 2015 repeal — the one that was free of consequences, since Obama vetoed it. That bill fulfills two campaign promises — repeal, and defunding Planned Parenthood.

As Sen. Lee told The Washington Examiner," We passed it in December 2015 and we did so with the understanding . . . this is what we will do when we're given the chance to govern . . . so I think that's what we ought to do."

Right now Congress is risk-averse because they fear weepy commercials attacking their health insurance heartlessness.

The thought of making a public case for repeal never occurs to them. They have no problem going before the voters and making a case for their re-election, but find themselves curiously tongue-tied when they have to make a case outside their personal self-interest.

I’m no fan of lawyers, but if Obamacare isn’t repealed in the next six months, I’d favor voters bringing a class action lawsuit for false advertising against every craven GOP officeholder that's ever used the word "leadership" in a campaign ad.

Michael R. Shannon is a commentator, researcher for the League of American Voters, and an award-winning political and advertising consultant with nationwide and international experience. He is author of "Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor!)." Read more of Michael Shannon's reports — Go Here Now.

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MichaelShannon
Congress is risk-averse because they fear weepy commercials attacking their health insurance heartlessness. The thought of making a case for repeal never occurs to them. They are tongue-tied when they have to make a case outside of personal self-interest.
Obamacare, premiums, repeal, replace
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2017-37-23
Thursday, 23 Feb 2017 08:37 AM
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