Even if the Senate passes the Obamacare “repeal” (which probably won’t happen), Barack Obama still wins. He may even be better off, because his legacy as the guy who covered millions will remain intact, and now if anything goes wrong, Republicans will get the blame.
Obamacare steals from the middle class (and healthy) and gives to the poor. The Senate bill does pretty much the same thin. The only thing it changes is how the government takes the money.
Don’t be fooled into thinking this would be a victory for conservatism. Modern-day Republicans (with rare exception) sound a lot like Democrats. They talk about pre-existing conditions, Medicaid expansion, coverage mandates, bailing out insurance companies, and other liberal policies you’d expect to hear from Schumer and Pelosi, not McConnell and Hatch.
Almost nobody is talking about privatization, health-savings accounts, the free market, or other textbook conservative policies. Even lower premiums are hardly mentioned. Why? Because they cannot figure out how to actually lower them.
Republicans have been tying themselves in knots to devise schemes to insure everyone covered by Obamacare. Worse yet, they eliminate the individual mandate and many Obamacare taxes (thankfully), making it even harder to come up with the funds.
They’re finally seem to have figured out what Obama realized long ago — the numbers don’t add up. If you want to have a massive entitlement, you need the middle class’s cash to pay for it. You can call it a “tax credit” if it makes you feel better, but it’s just another way to redistribute wealth.
The two options we have now are keeping the current system, which is on the verge of collapse, or replacing it with a system that hopefully won’t collapse, just yet.
To illustrate how far left Republicans have shifted, think about this: Even if they vote to repeal Obamacare outright, all that would do is neutralize the most liberal piece of legislation in our history, and bring us back to where we were a few years ago. But it wouldn’t do anything to advance the conservative agenda. And yet that’s the “radical” option which most Republicans won’t even consider. The best we can hope for is to slightly limit the redistribution of wealth.
How did we get here? The short answer is, Obama was a shrewd politician with an extremist ideology, and a masterful visionary and strategist. He devised a game-changing approach — bribery. Rather than focusing on his unpopular policies and views, Obama made benefits take center stage. He didn’t talk about tax hikes, subsidies, and big government. Instead, he bribed a large chunk of the country to support him.
He knew his plan would bankrupt the country. But he also knew that once you create an entitlement for tens of millions of people, there’s no turning back. Now Republicans are too scared to become the cruel, heartless party that ripped 22 million people off coverage, and took money from the poor and gave it to the rich.
Obama made his bill virtually "repeal-proof." He’s like the rich uncle who gives endless free candy and junk food to his nieces and nephews, and if their parents do the responsible thing and take it away, they’re the evil ones.
For the sake of the country, Republicans must do a straight repeal, even at the expense of — brace yourself — their popularity and likeability. That includes ending Medicaid expansion, giving the rich back their money (don’t worry, they still pay plenty), and ending subsidies disguised as tax credits.
Would doing so make them unpopular in some parts of the country? Perhaps. But that’s no excuse for shirking their responsibility to the nation.
The mainstream media will hyperventilate, and print story upon story of how Republicans want seniors, kids, disabled people — and even puppies — to get sick and die.
In response, Republicans need to do something they’re really bad at: explain to the American people — convincingly — why they’re doing the right thing. They need to go on talk shows, and instead of pandering and sounding like they’re carrying out Obama’s leftist agenda, they need to explain to the country clearly and simply how much harm Obama has done, and how many millions of hardworking people pay a huge chunk of their income to support people who choose not to work. (Incidentally, they’ll sound more convincing if they actually believe it.)
Is this likely to happen? No. If I were placing a bet, I’d stake my money on Mitch McConnell crossing the aisle and working with Democrats to create a “stopgap” measure that bails out insurance companies and keeps Obamacare intact, which would be a total disaster, economically and politically.
But I guess we should look at the bright side — at least it would be in the spirit of “bipartisanship.”
Am I crazy, or does bipartisanship only happen when Republicans are in power?
Josh Margulies is the host of "Politics: Clear and Simple," a daily podcast offering analysis with an intellectual, conservative perspective. He has worked as an intern for the "Imus in the Morning" program, and has hosted several online political talk shows. Josh is currently a digital marketing consultant. He has assisted companies like Lockheed Martin, Netflix, and Bloomberg. Josh is also an ordained Rabbi who has studied Talmudic law. To read more of his reports, Click Here Now.
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