Republicans, it’s past time to euthanize Obamacare
Let us first get to the brass tacks. The Obamacare bill illegally passed by the Obama Democrats in 2009 was never about healthcare. It was a collectivist’s dream designed to pigeonhole Americans into a one-size-fits-all system that controlled health choices, fund leftist pet causes (baby murder, aka abortion), destroy the middle class and force everyone to purchase services from select crony corporations with the promise said crony corporations would receive unlimited funding from the federal treasury.
Over the next seven-plus years Republicans made 52 token efforts to repeal it. Their efforts were never serious. They just knew it would make for good press back home. It was politics, pure and simple.
Republican politicians promised ad nauseum that they would end Obamacare immediately if only…
- Voters give them the House of Representatives
- Voters give them the Senate and the House.
- Voters give them the presidency, the Senate and House.
Finally, in 2016, voters did. On January 4, 2017, following a meeting with then-Vice President-elect Mike Pence, House Budget Committee Chairman Diane Black (R-Tenn.) told Pence an Obamacare repeal bill would be on President Donald Trump’s desk by February 20.
And then began the hemming and hawing.
That there was never any intent to repeal Obamacare becomes patently obvious as establishment Republicans are still without agreement on a repeal plan. And rather than crafting a clean bill that would create a free market healthcare system, Republicans are scrambling to figure a way to sneak in more regulations, more bureaucracy and more sop for their handlers.
Senator Rand Paul isn’t buying it. He walked out of a Tuesday meeting of top legislative Republicans on Tuesday after he heard “things that are unacceptable to me,” including expanding so-called entitlements.
On Wednesday Paul joined with South Carolina Representative Mark Sanford to introduce a bill to replace Obamacare. The House Freedom Caucus – some 40 conservative members of Congress – support the bill.
According to The Daily Signal, the Paul/Sanford bill:
…focuses heavily on the expansion of health savings accounts (HSAs), which are medical savings accounts. Their legislation allows consumers to contribute an unlimited amount annually to HSAs. Currently, consumers can contribute a maximum of $3,400 per year.
The Obamacare Replacement Act also creates a $5,000 tax credit for those who contribute to a HSA, and prohibits consumers from using the money in their accounts to pay for elective abortions.
Under Paul and Sanford’s bill, consumers who don’t receive insurance through their employers can deduct the cost of premiums from their taxable incomes, which serves to equalize the tax treatment for individuals and employers.
Additionally, the legislation allows individuals and small businesses to band together through membership in an Association Health Plan to buy health insurance. Paul and Sanford said these pooling mechanisms will decrease costs for consumers.
The bill also allows insurance companies to sell policies across state lines and eliminates Obamacare’s essential health benefits mandate, which is a list of services insurance plans are required to cover without cost-sharing.
A major question that has emerged during the debate over Obamacare replacement plans is whether any new proposal will require insurers to provide coverage to consumers with pre-existing conditions, as the Affordable Care Act did.
Sanford and Paul’s plan would preserve that protection, so long as those with pre-existing conditions maintain continuous coverage.
Conservatives are beginning to grow antsy over the lack of progress on Obamacare’s repeal.
On Monday night, the House Freedom Caucus unanimously voted to support legislation undoing the health care law that passed the House and the Senate in 2015, a move that could force Republican leaders to use that bill as the floor for future repeal bills or risk losing the group’s support.
The 2015 bill repealed the individual and employer mandates, ended the subsidies and Medicaid expansion, and rolled back all of the law’s taxes.
There’s no way the bill will make it to the President’s desk by February 20. But it’s way past time for the Obamacare deathcare system to be euthanized.
The Paul/Sanford bill is a move toward freedom of choice in healthcare, which is good for liberty.