Restoring The Rule Of Law

A website called usconstitution.net explains the procedure involved in government spending:

…”All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives” (Article 1, Section 7). Thus, I’ve listed the House’s “original jurisdiction” over revenue bills (laws that affect taxes) as a check. The House, however, views this clause a little differently, taking it to mean not only taxation bills but also spending bills.

The plain language of the clause would seem to contradict the House’s opinion, but the House relies on historical precedent and contemporaneous writings to support its position. In Federalist 66, for example, Alexander Hamilton writes, “The exclusive privilege of originating money bills will belong to the House of Representatives.” This phrase could easily be construed to include taxing and spending. The Supreme Court has ruled, however, that the Senate can initiate bills that create revenue, if the revenue is incidental and not directly a tax. Most recently, in US v Munoz-Flores (495 US 385 [1990]), the Court said, “Because the bill at issue here was not one for raising revenue, it could not have been passed in violation of the Origination Clause.” The case cites Twin City v Nebeker (176 US 196 [1897]), where the court said that “revenue bills are those that levy taxes, in the strict sense of the word.”

Yesterday, John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article explaining how recent actions by President Trump are restoring that constitutional principle. On Thursday, President Trump announced that he was ending payments to insurance companies that were implemented by Executive Order under ObamaCare. Since the payments were never approved by the House of Representatives, the payments were illegal and should never have begun in the first place. The Obama Administration had made those payments.

The article at Power Line states:

Liberal news outlets are offering a parade of horribles that will ensue if the federal government doesn’t continue to pay off insurance companies. In most cases, they pay little or no attention to the constitutional issue at stake. Whether such consequences will result is not so clear. Chris Jacobs points out:

For the time being, individuals likely will not see any direct effects from the payments ceasing. Carriers cannot exit Exchanges mid-year, and contracts for the 2018 plan year are already signed. (A provision in carriers’ 2017 and 2018 contracts lets them exit Exchanges if enrollees do not receive cost-sharing reductions—not if the insurers themselves do not receive reimbursement for those cost-sharing reductions. This clause, awkwardly drafted by insurers’ counsel, may provide them with little legal recourse—and further highlights their questionable assumptions and behavior surrounding the subsidies.) So maybe—just maybe—Washington can spend some time focusing on the real issue behind the Administration’s action: Upholding the Constitution.

If Congress wants to continue the subsidies, it can do so. Its appropriation, obviously, will make them constitutional. But regardless of what happens from now on, the Trump administration has acted admirably by refusing to go along with the unconstitutional regime that Barack Obama instituted.

This is not about politics–it is about following the U.S. Constitution as the law of the land.

The Cost Of Keeping ObamaCare

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article today about what is happening to the cost of health insurance in Florida.

The article reports:

Obamacare plan premiums may increase an average of 45 percent in Florida next year due to health care insurers rate hike requests, according to Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation.

There are six insurers in Florida selling plans on and off the exchanges in 2018 including Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Celtic Insurance Company, Florida Health Care Plan, Health First Commercial Plans, Health Options, and Molina Healthcare of Florida.

Molina Healthcare requested the highest rate increase of 71.2 percent. Individuals with this coverage can expect their monthly premium to increase from $402 to $688.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield requested a 38.1 percent increase, Celtic Insurance Company requested a 46.1 percent increase, Florida Health Care Plan requested a 26.5 percent increase, Health First Commercial Plans requested a 39.3 percent increase, and Health Options requested a 36 percent increase.

On average, consumers in Florida can expect their monthly premium to increase from $463 to $671.

Part of the problem is the lack of competition. The article explains:

The Florida office notes declining insurer participation since 2015. In that year there were 21 participating insurers. In 2016 there were 19, in 2017 there were 14, and in 2018 there are 9, which includes the companies that participate off exchange. They also report there will be 42 counties in their state that will only have one health insurer participating on the exchange.

ObamaCare needs to be totally gone. Meanwhile, President Trump is dismantling the parts of it that he can legally dismantle. Since so much of ObamaCare was written as it went along, much of it can easily be eliminated by the Executive Branch. However, the ideal situation would be to get rid of ObamaCare totally and let the free market take over. That would probably result in lower healthcare premiums for everyone.

Cutting Federal Spending On ObamaCare

The rather feckless Republicans don’t seem to be able to get rid of ObamaCare, but President Trump is managing to clip its wings somewhat. Yesterday Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial explaining one way President Trump is cutting ObamaCare spending.

The editorial reports:

In late August, the administration announced that it was sharply cutting the promotional budget for ObamaCare as well as money spent on “navigators” paid to help people enroll when open enrollment starts on November 1.

Both cuts were more than justified.

The Obama administration nearly doubled ObamaCare promotional spending in 2016 to more than $100 million, only to see overall enrollment decline by 400,000 and the number of new enrollees drop by 42%. This year, the Department of Health and Human Services is slashing the ad budget to $10 million.

The navigator program was an even bigger waste of money. HHS notes that the Obama administration dumped $62.5 million on navigators last year — who then managed to help fewer than 82,000 people enroll. That’s $762 per enrollee. One navigator got $200,000 and enrolled one person. HHS is cutting the navigator budget by almost 40%.

Not surprisingly, the cuts were treated by ObamaCare defenders as another effort by Trump to sabotage the law.

But then something interesting happened. The private sector mobilized to pick up the slack.

The Huffington Post reports that former Obama administration officials just launched a project — called Get America Covered — that has raised at least as much money from foundations and private groups as the feds were going spend. It’s also established “partnerships with businesses, state officials and local media that will help spread the word.”

When the government gets out of the way, good things happen.

The editorial concludes:

Why should taxpayers fork over hundreds of millions of dollars for dubious federal ad campaigns and to pay underworked navigators, when there are passionate people and plenty of money in the private sector to take on this job?

It’s a safe bet, too, that these privately run and privately funded groups are going to use their money more efficiently and effectively than the government ever could. Plus, they will be able to look with pride at their successes, rather than complain about how the government should do more.

Instead of attacking Trump, these groups should be thanking him for giving them the opportunity to take on this challenge.

As for the rest of us, this is a perfect example of how government programs can be cut without harming citizens. With any luck, there will be many more such examples in the years ahead.

Milton Friedman said it best–“If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.”

Lied To Again

I don’t know how many times Senator John McCain promised to repeal ObamaCare when he was running for office. Evidently he doesn’t remember either. So it’s time to take a different approach to repeal. Understand that the Democrats will never support a bill that de-funds Planned Parenthood, something that the Graham Cassidy bill does. Every Republican should support the bill for that reason alone.

A website called The Stream posted an open letter to Senator Rand Paul yesterday. Here are some highlights from the letter:

Dear Senator Paul,

Let me start by saying “Thank you.” On issue after issue, from individual privacy to economic freedom, from constitutional war-making to criminal justice reform, you have been a light in an often murky Senate and a muddled GOP.

…Your stand on foreign policy in the 2016 election was equally brave and principled. Here at The Stream I echoed your sensible objections to the Syria policies of GOP establishment politicians. You were right in warning against Marco Rubio’s support for arming Syrian rebels. And against Chris Christie’s proposal to threaten to shoot down Russian planes in defense of jihadists. Indeed, you helped lead the fight to stop President Obama from a reckless and destructive U.S. intervention in Syria a year before.

You have been a voice of principle, of course. In the Republican party you may have the best claim to Reagan’s mantle. His optimism, his confidence that Americans would prevail if the government simply protected their rights and left them alone … there’s too little of that spirit in the GOP today, much less in the country. In an age where the competition seems to be for the label of “victim,” you carry on like the Gipper.

Here is the purpose of the letter:

I urge you to reconsider your position. To support an imperfect bill for the sake of the greater good. The Graham-Cassidy Bill is not the repeal of Obamacare that any of us hoped for. It doesn’t dismantle the huge array of perverse incentives, subsidies, and crony-capitalist tinkering that distort American medicine. However, as National Review has noted, it does make some real progress. It does restore some liberty. In fact, the bill offers some concrete benefits not to be sneezed at. Per NRO:

It abolishes the individual and employer mandates, caps per capita spending on Medicaid, blocks federal funds from going to insurance plans that cover abortion, and lets interested states attain freedom from some of Obamacare’s regulations. Some of those states could use that freedom to create markets in which people outside of Medicare, Medicaid, and employer-based coverage would finally be enabled to buy cheap, renewable catastrophic-insurance policies.

All of those are important improvements. But I’d like to focus on one. Pro-life groups have put heavy pressure on you to reverse your stand on this bill. That’s because it’s the one plausible chance to accomplish something which you’ve tried manfully to do on several occasions: to defund Planned Parenthood.

The letter concludes:

It’s crucial to keep the close attachment that evangelical Christians and conservative Catholics have had to American ideals of liberty. We don’t want the growth of a statist, nationalist party in America along the lines of France’s National Front. That’s not our GOP.

With your principled stand on life, your balanced stance on immigration, you could help anchor the party. You might well come to lead it. But if you get blamed for the failure to defund Planned Parenthood, and undo at least some of Obamacare’s damage. … I fear that will never happen.

So please, Senator Paul. The causes of life and liberty are here in perfect alignment. So is political prudence. And your own lofty ambitions, which I support. Please change your vote.

It is obvious that we cannot count on Senator McCain. Can we count of Senator Rand Paul to help end the nightmare of ObamaCare? This may be our last chance to get rid of this horrible law. I suggest that if we cannot end ObamaCare that President Trump immediately sign an executive order putting Congress under ObamaCare. If Congress if going to force the American people to live with a bad law, they should have to live with it also.

 

There Are Two Things In Play Here

Special interests are important in Washington; lobbyists and lobbyists’ money have a lot of power. However, educated voters also have a lot of power. We are about to see a clash between special interests (lobbyists, big business, the political establishment, etc.) and educated voters. The clash is going to take place before September 30 and will involve the repeal of ObamaCare.

ObamaCare is a nightmare for many Americans–their insurance premiums and their deductibles have risen drastically over the past six years, and some middle-class Americans are forced to choose between paying their mortgage or paying their health insurance bill. ObamaCare has failed, and the Republicans in Congress have thus far broken their promise to repeal it. Democrats are offering single-payer healthcare which will break the bank, but at least the are offering something. Voters have given Congress an approval rating of about 15 percent.  Next year is an election year for all of the House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate. Congressmen (and Congresswomen) have a choice–who do they represent? Some Republicans may be getting the message that voters are important.

The Washington Examiner posted an article today with the following headline:

Mitch McConnell asks CBO to score Obamacare overhaul

That is the sound of a Congressman who is beginning to feel the impact of the grassroots of the Republican party. Someone in Washington is beginning to understand that the Republican party will go the way of the dinosaur if they do not start listening to their base. Lobbyists may have money, but there are a lot of angry voters out there.

The article reports:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has asked the Congressional Budget Office to quickly score an Obamacare overhaul bill introduced this week, his office confirmed Friday.

The bill would take revenues from Obamacare and distribute them as block grants to states so they could write their own healthcare plans. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., introduced the bill along with Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Dean Heller of Nevada, and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.

This is not a perfect bill, but it may have conservative support because it moves money out of Washington and back to the states.

The article states:

Supporters hope the bill can be passed through the reconciliation, would need just 50 votes to advance and pass in the Senate, assuming a tie-breaking vote by Vice President Pence. Reconciliation is a budget measure that allows passage with a simple majority rather than the 60 votes needed to block a filibuster. The Senate faces a Sept. 30 deadline to use reconciliation, according to the Senate parliamentarian.

There are three choices–leave ObamaCare in place, single-payer healthcare or this bill. This bill is not perfect, but it is the best choice of the three. If the Republicans do nothing, they will lose badly in the mid-term elections.

It is ironic that many Republican Congressmen are spending more time opposing President Trump than they did opposing President Obama.

What Needs To Be Done

Congress has had a rather lackluster session so far this year. They failed to repeal ObamaCare and generally have not done anything to help the economy or the American people come out of the recession. Any economic growth has been the result of undoing regulations. That has been done by President Trump without the help of Congress. Now, as Congress comes back from their recess, it would be very nice to see them actually accomplish something. However, that is definitely wishful thinking, considering Congressional leaders and their agendas. The thing to remember here is that even though Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell have R’s after their name, they are not Republicans who believe in the Republican platform. They are Washington establishment types who believe in big government, expanding budgets, and expanding control over the lives of ordinary Americans. They have no intention of ever having to live under the laws they passed (they made sure they exempted themselves from any changes due to the repeal of ObamaCare before they discussed repeal). Keep in mind that the biggest nightmare of the Washington establishment is a successful Trump presidency. That is one of the reasons President Trump is so viciously attacked in the mainstream media.

One of the big items on the agenda for Congress this fall is tax reform. Our current tax system is a tribute to the efforts of lobbyists. Unfortunately, many of our political leaders are in the pockets a those lobbyists, so I am not optimistic that anything meaningful will be accomplished (other than possibly convincing Americans to vote these leaders out of office).

The Daily Signal posted an article today listing some of the problems with our current tax code. The current tax code is outdated, unfair, overly complicated, and an indication of the corruption that has crept into our government over the years.

The article lists some of the major areas where change is needed:

Problem 1: Our Tax Code Is Not Pro-Growth

Our current tax code suppresses business creation, expansion, and reinvestment thanks to high tax rates. The U.S. corporate tax rate is the highest in the industrialized world, which makes it difficult for American businesses to compete with their foreign counterparts.

America’s tax code puts companies at a disadvantage by failing to allow full expensing, or the ability to allow all businesses to deduct the full cost of new capital investments such as a building, machinery, technology, etc., necessary for business creation and growth.

It also taxes companies on the profits they earn overseas, discouraging foreign investment here in the U.S. to the tune of $2.6 trillion.

Finally, the tax code punishes saving and investment through double or even triple taxation, hurting small businesses and families looking to grow their personal wealth.

The tax code needs to be changed to encourage the growth of entrepreneurship and small business.

The article lists the second problem:

Problem 2: Our Tax Code Is Too Complex

When it started in 1913, the tax code was 400 pages long. By 2013 it was over 74,000 pages.

Americans spend 9 billion hours complying with the tax code every year, which costs them over $400 billion in lost economic productivity every year. It’s critical that we don’t just cut the tax rate, but that we work to simplify it as well.

More and more tax professionals are specializing in a small segment of the tax code, such as estate tax or small business taxes or companies with large assets that depreciate.

Four hundred pages was too long, seventy-four thousand is ridiculous.

Problem number three:

Problem 3: Our Tax Code Is Full of Corporate Favoritism

Well-connected people and businesses routinely game the tax system, precisely because it’s designed that way. This leaves the majority of hard-working taxpayers at a disadvantage.

For example, Nevada agreed to give Elon Musk’s Tesla $1.3 billion in tax incentives in exchange for them building a lithium battery production plant in the state.

Timothy Carney points out that other producers of batteries were experimenting with other types of battery power, but when they found about the special interest subsidy given to lithium batteries, they abandoned their testing of those battery types and focused on producing lithium.

Not only are taxpayers having to foot the bill for nearly a quarter of this for-profit investment, but there are opportunity costs lost in what could have come out of further innovation that was halted because business owners wanted to take advantage of a tax break.

Thank God the people manufacturing buggy whips didn’t have a better lobbyists. Who knows what subsidies they would be getting!

It’s time for common sense to intervene. It is questionable whether or not Washington is capable of common sense, but if the current Congress intends to be re-elected, they need to do what needs to be done to correct the problems in our tax system. It is long past time for an overhaul and long past time for excuses.

Reading The Tea Leaves

Some pundits and some Republicans are beginning to realize that President Trump was elected by Americans who want to see his agenda (repeal ObamaCare, tax reform, smaller government, end Iranian nuclear treaty, shrink government, build the wall, etc) move forward. Blocking that agenda is not a smart move. Many of us are tired of empty promises and lame excuses. There are a few people now concerned that if the Republican Congress does not deliver on their promises, there will no longer be a Republican Congress. Democrats are salivating, and Republicans who have never had to live up to their false promises are beginning to wonder if they will have a job after 2018.

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article quoting Representative Mark Meadows, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, on what Republicans need to do when Congress reconvenes.

The article reports:

“We’re going to have to juggle [the debt ceiling, Obamacare repeal, spending bill, and tax reform] and if we don’t I can tell that really the next 12 days, and that’s all we have — 12 legislative days in September — will decide whether we’re going to remain in power as a Republican majority or not,” Meadows said in the interview with Breitbart Washington Political Editor Matthew Boyle on the program. “Are we serious about getting the president’s agenda done? The next 12 days will do that. You mentioned a couple of those items — the debt ceiling; obviously repeal and replace Obamacare.”

…“The vehicle that we have for that actually will soon expire,” Meadows said. “So if we don’t use that reconciliation instruction in the next 30 to 45 days we will have lost the opportunity to get it done with just 51 votes in the Senate. As I look at it is critical that we are ‘all hands on deck.’ But more importantly that we have a plan. I think the frustration that I have is that I see the critical deadlines that are coming up and yet I see a lot of talk but no action. I just talked to a friend. A guy by the name of Clay Tally, who really represents the typical Trump voter. He was saying, ‘You know what, I’m tired of the talk, let’s get some things done and why not support the president and make sure that we get it done.’”

The article concludes:

Meadows concluded by noting these 12 legislative days in September will literally determine the future of the Republican Party. 

“You may call it the bloody September — I call the Dirty Dozen because we’ve got 12 legislative days left. Hopefully we can rise to the occasion and get these things accomplished,” Meadows said. “They need to make sure that their member of Congress, their senators understand they are tired of talk. Just like my friend Clay Tally told me, they are tired of the rhetoric, they want results and they want us to get behind the president’s agenda, make sure that we support him and get it done. and if we don’t they need to let them know that there will be consequences.”

He called on Americans to rise up and call their members of Congress and make their voices heard throughout the process.

“You know the voice of the people is a very, very powerful tool,” Meadows said. “I’ve found that any time you go against the people’s voice you’re going up against a tsunami that will have unbelievable power and implications. So they need to be sure that they make their voices be heard early in September — that we go ahead and start working that first week back.”

If the Republicans choose to remain in power, they need to start listening to the voters. Otherwise they will be voted out of office. Most Americans recognize the need to ‘drain the swamp’ that is Washington, D.C. The Republicans have the choice as to whether or not they want to be the part of the swamp that is drained. We know that the majority of Democrats do not want the swamp drained–if they did, they would be doing something other than obstructing the President at every turn. It is time for the voters to unelect all Congressmen and Congresswomen who are standing for the status quo.

The Next Step After Failure To Repeal ObamaCare

Investor’s Business Daily posted an article today about the consequences of the Republicans’ failure to repeal ObamaCare.

The article states:

Many Democrats and their ideological allies are using the congressional recess to crow about the GOP‘s defeat — and dream about replacing Obamacare with a bonafide single-payer system.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has promised to introduce a single-payer bill next month. “I have no illusions that . . . suddenly we’re going to see a Medicare-for-all, single-payer passed,” he said last week. “Why is the United States the only major country on earth not to guarantee health care to all people?”

Several folks within the senator’s sizeable political following have hinted that support for single-payer will be a “litmus test” that will determine whether they will get behind Democratic candidates — or primary them.

So what does single-payer healthcare mean? The Medicare for All plan that Senator Sanders introduced during his presidential run would cost $2.5 trillion — nearly double what the Sanders campaign claimed. Another study by the Urban Institute found that the plan would increase spending by $32 trillion over the next decade.

The article further reports:

Last November, Colorado voters rejected Amendment 69, a ballot initiative that would have created a single-payer system in the state, by an 80-20 margin. An independent analysis revealed that the plan would have run a deficit of $253 million in its first year — and $7.8 billion by 2028.

Bernie Sanders’s own state of Vermont experienced similar sticker shock. The plan under consideration in the Green Mountain State would have cost $4.3 billion — nearly 90% of the entire state budget.

To cover that tab, payroll taxes would have surged 11.5%; income taxes would have increased 9%. Consequently, in 2014, Democratic Governor Peter Shumlin shelved the plan, deeming it “unwise and untenable.”

The article reminds us that the way to make single-payer more economical is to ration care. That is not an improvement to the healthcare Americans received before President Obama ruined it for the majority of Americans.

The article concludes:

The median Canadian, for example, waits nearly five months to get treatment from a specialist after receiving a referral from his general practitioner. That is more than twice the wait of 25 years ago.

The United Kingdom’s single-payer system offers more of the same. At the end of June, 4 million people were waiting for care. That is the highest figure in a decade.

Is this really the path the United States wants to go down? According to a June Pew survey, only 33% of Americans think single-payer health insurance is a good idea. But that number is up 12 percentage points since 2014.

It should come back down, once Americans realize that single-payer means paying a lot more for a lot less health care.

It is long past time for the Republicans to repeal ObamaCare.

 

Why Congress Failed To Repeal ObamaCare

For seven years, Republicans promised to repeal ObamaCare if voters gave them the House, the Senate, and the White House. Last week they failed to repeal ObamaCare. What were some of the things that kept them from keeping their promise.

Yesterday CBN News posted an article about some of the things about the relationship between Congress and ObamaCare that were not widely reported.

The article reports some of that history:

In 2009, when lawmakers were debating Obamacare, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, put forth an amendment calling for congressional employees to subject themselves to insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act. The amendment was unanimously adopted.

“The whole point of this provision was to make them feel the pain if it didn’t work,” Kerpen (Phil Kerpen, president of American Commitment) said in an interview Wednesday with CBN’s Pat Robertson.

One flaw in the final Senate bill was that the amendment did not include employer contributions. Consequently, when Obamacare passed, it terminated coverage that members and their staff previously had through the Federal Employee Health Benefit program, which subsidized about 75 percent of their health care plans.

…Senate Democrats met with President Barack Obama in 2013 to address this problem. After the meeting, Obama directed the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to issue a rule qualifying both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate as small businesses, which is a label legally only given to businesses with less than 50 employees.

Kerpen says one person filed “blatantly false documents,” which were obtained by Judicial Watch, in order to sign up 12,000 people in an exchange that should only apply to companies with 50 employees or fewer.

…When President Trump threatens to end the bailouts for members of Congress for Obamacare, he is threatening to direct the OPM to reverse Obama’s regulation allowing employer contributions to exchange plans.

If this rule is reversed, members and their staff would lose their government-funded subsidies and be subjected to paying the premiums people without employer coverage have to pay that make too much money to qualify for subsidies.

“This is mandatory work they’ve got to get done for the American people,” Kerpen said.

This is the tweet from President Trump:

I hope that the President follows through on that threat–Congress is supposed to live under the laws they pass! Insurance Companies should not be compensated for the campaign donations they make!

 

The Fourth Estate Has Forgotten Its Purpose

The purpose of journalism in a representative republic is to keep the voters informed on the issues so that they can make intelligent choices at the voting booth. The idea is that the voters will elect people who represent them and who make wise decisions. In theory that is a really great idea. In practice, it currently does not work.

Yesterday Investor’s Business Daily posted an article about some of the recent reporting by the mainstream media on ObamaCare. Now that the repeal of ObamaCare has failed in Congress, evidently the media feels comfortable reporting the truth about how bad ObamaCare is.

The article reports:

Up until last week, the Times had been reassuring its readers that ObamaCare was doing just fine. In an April story, for example, it said that “growing evidence suggests that the markets are far from collapse. Several recent analyses argue that this year’s increase was a market correction, and that a smoother market would follow in the years ahead.”

It added that “many insurers had been struggling to make money but now seem closer to breaking even.”

Another Times article from a few months back quoted Gary Claxton, a vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation, saying that “things are getting better.”

In fact, we were told that the only reason the ObamaCare markets were struggling now was because Republican repeal threats were creating “uncertainty.”

Now the Times is telling readers that “even people who rely on its coverage agree that it still has big problems.”

Reuters, meanwhile, published a story the day after the Senate repeal votes failed, reporting that “hundreds of U.S. counties are at risk of losing access to private health coverage in 2018 as insurers consider pulling out of those markets in the coming months.” This information has been widely available for months, but was apparently of no interest to Reuters before the repeal effort collapsed.

Much of the mainstream media is now reporting that ObamaCare is unsustainable and will collapse under its own weight. So where were those stories when the votes were taken? There is a lot going on here. The Democrats want ObamaCare to fail so that they can institute single-payer, totally government-controlled healthcare. If you think that is a good idea, take a look at how it has worked at the Veterans Administration. Also consider the fact that the British healthcare system has considered denying people needed care because they were overweight or smokers or drinkers. Do you really want the government telling you how to live your life?

The Republicans (specifically John McCain and Lisa Murkowski) betrayed the voters when, after seven years of promising to repeal ObamaCare, they voted not to repeal. It is time to put the Washington elites under the same health insurance as the average American. The media does not realize what single-payer will do to them, but the Washington elite knows they can avoid the hazards of single-payer by exempting themselves (as they have in the past). If the current Congress will not create a healthcare system that covers themselves as well as the rest of the country, it is time to elect a new Congress. ObamaCare does not need to be modified–it needs to be destroyed. It was a bad idea from the beginning.

 

A Rational Solution To Health Insurance

Townhall posted an article today that contains the perfect solution to fixing health insurance in America.

The article breaks the solution into two distinct Executive Orders:

Executive Order #1: President Trump should issue an immediate Executive Order forcing every member of Congress to use the same healthcare plan as the rest of us. Let Senator McCain come off his high horse and live under the rules of Obamacare. Make every member of Congress live by same rules as the rest of us.

Executive Order #2. My gut instinct is usually on the money. I feel it in my bones. The Senators who voted against the repeal are corrupted, bribed, on the take. Senators and Congressmen are making an unimaginable fortune off of Obamacare. That’s why they are against the repeal. They don’t want to end the gravy train.

…President Trump should issue an immediate Executive Order demanding disclosure of all financial interests and ownership in healthcare related companies or stock by every member of Congress- including all family members and offshore accounts. Failure to disclose will result in a long prison term.

I think that about covers it! I have nothing to add.

The Need For New Leadership And Different Republicans In Congress

Last night the Senate voted on a bill to repeal certain aspects of ObamaCare. The Senate failed to repeal ObamaCare. The Gateway Pundit reported the story. Three Republicans voted against the bill to repeal ObamaCare–Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and John McCain of Arizona. The first thing that needs to happen here is that all members of Congress and their staffs need to no longer be exempted from ObamaCare. Let’s make these legislators live under the laws they are forcing the voters to live under. The second thing that needs to happen is that the Republicans in Congress need different leadership. The third thing that needs to happen is that the three Republicans that voted against the partial repeal need to have primary challengers when they run for re-election.

According to the article, the bill to end ObamaCare that was voted on late last night included:

  • It would repeal the individual mandate, which is the requirement that most Americans buy insurance or pay a penalty. The provision was intended to help control costs by encouraging younger, healthier people to enter the market. Republicans have said it forced people to buy plans they did not want.
  • The bill would roll back the employer mandate, a similar provision that says large employers have to provide insurance for their workers.
  • The plan would expand a program that allows states to waive certain provisions under Obamacare.
  • It would suspend the medical device tax.
  • The proposal would increase contribution limits for tax-free health savings accounts.
  • It would defund women’s health provider Planned Parenthood for one year.

This bill was an extremely stripped-down version of repeal. It is a reflection on the swamp in Washington and those Republicans who are part of it that the Republicans promised to repeal ObamaCare for seven years. The promise was,  “Give us the House, and we will repeal ObamaCare. Give us the Senate, and we will repeal ObamaCare. Give us the White House, and we will repeal ObamaCare.” I guess the real solution is, “Give us a Republican Congress with integrity and a spine, and we will repeal ObamaCare. It is truly a shame that Senator McCain chose to reappear in Congress only to submarine the wishes of the American public.

Losing Health Insurance Because You Want To

Yesterday National Review posted an article about the claims the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is making regarding the number of people who would lose their health insurance if ObamaCare were repealed.

The article states:

Do you want to repeal every word of Obamacare and replace it with nothing? CBO says 22 million fewer people would have health insurance. Do you prefer replacing Obamacare with a system of flat tax credits, in which you get the same amount of assistance regardless of your financial need? CBO says 23 million fewer people would have health insurance. Do you prefer replacing Obamacare with means-tested tax credits, like the Senate bill does, in which the majority of the assistance is directed to those near or below the poverty line? CBO says 22 million fewer people would have health insurance.

22 million, 23 million, 22 million—these numbers are remarkably similar even though the three policies I describe above are significantly different. Why is that?

Thanks to information that was leaked to me by a congressional staffer, we now have the answer.

Nearly three-fourths of the difference in coverage between Obamacare and the various GOP plans derives from a single feature of the Republican bills: their repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate. But the CBO has never published a year-by-year breakout of the impact of the individual mandate on its coverage estimates.

So actually, a large percentage of the people who would lose insurance coverage if ObamaCare is repealed would choose to lose coverage because they would no longer be penalized for not having insurance. Basically, the CBO report is spin! There is also the matter of ObamaCare requiring people to pay for coverage they don’t need. Generally speaking senior citizens do not need maternity coverage or pediatric dental coverage. They should not be asked to pay for it!

“Don’t Throw Me Into The Briar Patch”

Joel Chandler Harris was an American author who wrote the Uncle Remus stories. Some of these stories later became an animated film by Walt Disney called “Song of the South.” One of the characters in these stories was Br’er (“brother”) Rabbit, who when captured by Bre’r Fox pleads, “Don’t throw me into the briar patch.” Of course, Br’er Rabbit has grown up in the briar patch, is quite at home there, and sees the briar patch as an escape route. So why in the world is a political blog talking about Br’er Rabbit and the briar patch? Because I believe the story of Br’er Rabbit and Br’er Fox totally explains the current healthcare debate.

Let’s look at the healthcare debacle strictly through a political lens. The best outcome for the Republicans (with a Republican President) is the complete failure of ObamaCare–rising costs, escalating premiums, denial of healthcare to senior citizens and young people, etc. Theoretically, President Trump has tried to avoid this. Had this failure occurred under a Democratic President, the solution would have been single-payer socialistic medicine. Under a Republican President, a free-market solution may be possible, but only after the total failure of ObamaCare. As premiums rise and health insurance and healthcare become more difficult to obtain, voters may get angry enough to remove from office those who had blocked the repeal of ObamaCare. I suspect that much of the Tea Party is already there. Because the Republicans could not repeal ObamaCare, it is still the Democrat’s policy. That may be exactly where the Republicans wanted it.

So where are we now in the healthcare debate?

The Gateway Pundit is reporting today that there is no possibility of repealing and replacing ObamaCare and there is no possibility of repealing ObamaCare over the next two years.

The article reports news from two sources:

From Bloomberg News:

GOP Senators Susan Collins, Shelley Moore Capito and Lisa Murkowski said Tuesday they’ll oppose a repeal of the Affordable Care Act. McConnell said late Monday the Senate would vote on a repeal with a two-year delay to give Congress time to agree on a replacement, but he could afford to lose no more than two Republican votes to advance the measure.

Repealing the law now and then hoping for a replacement “would create great anxiety for individuals who rely on the ACA,” Collins of Maine told reporters in Washington. “I believe it would cause the insurance markets to go into turmoil.” She said she would oppose bringing a repeal bill up for debate.

Capito of West Virginia said she would refuse to take up a repeal plan without an adequate replacement. “I did not come to Washington to hurt people,” she said in a statement.

Murkowski of Alaska also said she wouldn’t vote to take up a repeal-alone measure.

From the Washington Examiner:

House Republicans on Tuesday were seething with anger over the Senate GOP’s late Monday decision to pull the plug on a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Lawmakers leaving the House GOP’s weekly conference meeting said feelings of exasperation and anger have set in, now that the Senate has dropped plans to vote on an Obamacare replacement bill this month.

“There is a lot of frustration, borderline anger I guess, at what really has to be described as some level of incompetence to be able to get together and get something done,” Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., who heads the conservative Republican Study Committee, told the Washington Examiner.

I am not sure the Democrats are celebrating the fact that the Republicans could not repeal ObamaCare–now the Democrats are stuck with a healthcare plan that is rapidly crashing.

 

When The Numbers Just Don’t Add Up

This was posted by a friend on Facebook:

This seemed like a reasonable question, so I did some research. On December 2016, CNN Money posted the following:

Nearly 6.4 million Americans have selected Obamacare policies through the federal exchange for coverage starting Jan. 1, federal officials announced Wednesday. That’s 400,000 more than had selected policies a year ago.

Under the proposed repeal and replace ObamaCare bill, the rate of growth of Medicaid will be cut–Medicaid will still grow, but more slowly. The goal is to create a program that will create a rate structure that allows more Americans to pay for their own health insurance. I am not thrilled with the current bill in the Senate, but passing it may be a necessary evil if we are to avoid single-payer or socialized medicine (which would be the result of the total collapse of ObamaCare which is rapidly approaching).

Watching The Senate Democrats Drag Their Feet

It is amazing to me that anything ever gets done in Washington. The Democrats in the Senate, led by Senator Schumer, have done everything they can to block the appointments and agenda of President Trump. Yesterday The Daily Signal posted an article on that subject that included the following chart:

The article reports:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that after completing work on a health care bill to replace Obamacare, the Senate will turn to a defense spending bill and “the backlog of critical nominations that have been mindlessly stalled by Democrats.”

“In order to provide more time to complete action on important legislative items and process nominees that have been stalled by a lack of cooperation from our friends across the aisle, the Senate will delay the start of the August recess until the third week of August,” McConnell, R-Ky., said.

During a press briefing Tuesday, White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders noted McConnell’s announcement and accused Senate Democrats of “looking to set a record for pointless and dangerous obstruction.”

Citing the Obama administration, Sanders added:

While more than 90 percent of the previous administration’s nominations were confirmed by a voice vote, Democrats in the Senate have allowed only approximately 10 percent of President Trump’s nominees to be voted on in that way.

We’re coming up on the August recess of President Trump’s first term, by which point the Senate [had] confirmed 69 percent of President Obama’s nominations; less than a month out from that same point, the Senate has confirmed only approximately 23 percent of President Trump’s nominees. These numbers show the Democrats’ true colors.

I am not a big fan of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, but he is right about this. Even a blind squirrel occasionally finds a nut.

The Truth About The Current Healthcare Bill

Yesterday the Independent Journal Review posted an article about some of the lies we are being told about the current healthcare bill. I don’t support the current bill, but I resent the fact that lies are being used in an attempt to discredit it.

The article explains how the numbers are being twisted:

The current repeal and replace bill is a bad bill. ObamaCare needs to be fully repealed and the government needs to get out of health insurance. Let the people who understand actuary tables run healthcare. The only provision the government needs to make is to insure that high-risk pools are set up (and made affordable) for the people that need them. Healthcare should be available across state lines, tort reform is needed, and tax credits given to lower-income families to help pay for insurance. Otherwise, the government needs to let the free market to work.

 

Remember The Promise

“If you give us the House, we will repeal ObamaCare. If you give us the Senate, we will repeal ObamaCare. If you give us the White House, we will repeal ObamaCare.” How about you actually keep your promise and vote to REPEAL ObamaCare. Then you can work to replace it! Otherwise, let’s just throw the whole group out, get a new group, and keep doing that until ObamaCare is repealed.

Yesterday The Federalist Papers posted an article that may be an indication that I am not the only voter who feels that way.

The article states:

It was at a ritzy gathering in a Rocky Mountain resort over the weekend that major GOP donors aligned with the Koch brothers made their concerns known.

Texas GOP donor Doug Deason said he and ten other big Dallas donors are withholding any contributions to the Republican Party until they can actually get something accomplished.

Until then, his “Dallas piggy bank” is closed for business, LifeZette reports. Specifically, Deason wants to see movement on replacing Obamacare and significant health care reform.

“Get Obamacare repealed and replaced, get tax reform passed,” Deason said, according to the Associated Press. “You control the Senate. You control the House. You have the presidency. There’s no reason you can’t get this done. Get it done and we’ll open it back up.”

Deason said he has already said no to two prominent House members – both aligned with the so-called “Freedom Caucus.” Reps. Mark Meadows, from North Carolina and Ohio’s Jim Jordan asked him to hold a fundraiser and he turned them down.

“I said, ‘No, I’m not going to because we’re closing the checkbook until you get some things done,’” Deason said, adding that he even pressured two dozen other Texas-based donors to refuse to partner with them on the fundraiser.

This may be the only way to get things accomplished–cut off the donation money from the big donors. The danger in that is that those of us who are conservatives may not always be on the same page as the big donors.

I have reached the conclusion that ObamaCare may be here to stay. If that is in fact the case, the Democrats are no longer the only ones to blame. The lack of spine in the Republican Party and the desire to thwart Trump by the Washington establishment will also be responsible for the end of private healthcare in America.

Fake News Abounds About The Repeal/Replace ObamaCare Bill

I have stated before that I do not support the current bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare. I believe that what we need is straight repeal. Then we need to teach Congress about the free market and let them apply those principles to healthcare and health insurance.

On Friday, Investor’s Business Daily posted an article about the current repeal-replacement bill on ObamaCare.

Here are some observations from the article:

Look at any story about the Senate health bill, and you’ll see words like those describe its supposed cuts to Medicaid. What if we told you there are no such cuts?

First, the Senate bill doesn’t change Medicaid at all for three years. That means spending on the program will continue to grow, just as it is slated to now — at an annual 5% clip — until 2021.

What does that mean in dollar terms? Under the Senate’s “shredding” reform, Medicaid’s budget in 2021 will be $85 billion bigger than it is this year, and $209 billion (or 79%) bigger than it was in 2013.

What about after that? Under the Senate plan, there’d be a three-year transition to a new way of financing Medicaid.

And then, starting in 2025 federal Medicaid spending would be capped each year, with the cap set to grow at the overall inflation rate.

If you plot annual spending out over the next 10 years, what you see is that spending is never actually cut — at least not in the sense that most people think of a spending cut. Instead, it would grow at a slightly slower rate.

Even under the more restrictive House bill, Medicaid’s budget would still climb 20% over the next decade. So growth will end up higher still under the more generous Senate version.

This is the usual game that Congress and the media play with budget issues–only in Washington could a 5% increase be considered a cut!

The article explains the problems with Medicaid:

As a result, Medicaid now consumes about 20% of state general fund spending — and it’s rising. Next year, the 32 states that expanded Medicaid under ObamaCare will see their costs climb by an additional $9 billion.

Meanwhile, a Government Accountability Office investigation found that improper payments accounted for more than 10% of all Medicaid spending last year.

And for all this, Medicaid grossly underpays doctors and provides lousy care to many of its enrollees. In California, for example, the Medicaid expansion resulted in a flood of patients into emergency rooms because they can’t find a doctor willing to treat them.

In short, Medicaid is in dire trouble, and the Senate and House bills offer smart, prudent — and relatively modest — fixes.

Clean up the fraud, and encourage people to actually get jobs that will help them obtain medical insurance. We need less people riding in the wagon and more people pulling the wagon.

Just Repeal–Don’t Replace

The current ObamaCare bill is rapidly collapsing. It was designed that way. The plan was that Hillary Clinton would get elected and we would move to single-payer (totally government-controlled) healthcare. The fact that Donald Trump got elected and isn’t playing the Washington establishment’s games is a problem for those that want government healthcare. That is one of the reasons they are trying so hard to demonize him and get rid of him.

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article yesterday about the current state of ObamaCare.

The article reports:

Roughly 41 percent of counties in the United States could have only one insurer participating on the Affordable Care Act exchanges next year, according to a new analysis from Avalere Health.

This percentage is up from the lack of participation in 2017, when roughly one-third of counties, or 33 percent, had only one insurer participating on the exchanges.

According to their count, there will be 47 counties that will have no insurer participating on the exchange leaving about 34,000 consumers with no choice.

…”In addition to the cost of premiums, insurer decisions around whether or not to offer plans in the exchanges will impact shoppers,” said Caroline Pearson, senior vice president of the group. “Consumers will see fewer choices on the exchange again in 2018, with some counties at risk of having no options.”

This is not what success looks like. ObamaCare has been a failure. The best replacement would be to let the free market rule. Tax credits could be used to help lower income people afford health insurance, but the free market would make healthcare more affordable for everyone.

There are a few principles that would reform healthcare in a way that would benefit everyone–portability across state lines, tort reform, high risk pools for people with pre-existing conditions, and letting the companies with the actuary tables determine rates. The government does not have a stellar record when it comes to running things. There are very few government programs that are not wasteful, inefficient, and expensive. We don’t need another government money pit. It’s time to repeal ObamaCare. Then the debate on its replacement can begin.

Are The Republicans Trying To Lose Their Majority In Congress?

“The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can ‘throw the rascals out’ at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy” (Georgetown University Professor Carroll Quigley, Tragedy and Hope, 1966.)

It is my opinion that the above quote perfectly describes the ObamaCare repeal bill the Republicans are attempting to see to the American people.

Yesterday Reason Magazine posted an analysis of the proposed bill. We all remember the Republicans promising the voters that if we would give them the House, they would repeal ObamaCare. Then they promised the voters that if we gave them the Senate, they would repeal ObamaCare. Then they promised the voters that if we gave them the White House, they would repeal ObamaCare. Now they are trying to sell us a bill that does not repeal ObamaCare. The bill continues the bad policies that have caused so many insurance companies to opt out of ObamaCare. The bill continues the bad policies that have caused health insurance premiums to rise sharply and government expenditures on ObamaCare to skyrocket. This bill will ensure that a large number of Republican Congressmen running for office in 2018 will be voted out of office. The bill should be called the ‘give Congress back to the Democrats’ act.

The article at Reason Magazine explains:

In other words, it is exactly what critics predicted: a bill that, at least in the near term, retains weakened versions of nearly all of Obamacare’s core features while fixing few if any of the problems that Republicans say they want to fix. It is Obamacare lite—the health law that Republicans claim to oppose, but less of it. It represents a total failure of Republican policy imagination.

To understand the Senate plan, it helps to recall Obamacare’s underlying framework. The centerpiece of the law was a reform of the individual market, intended to give those who do not get coverage through work or a federal program access to subsidized, regulated coverage. The law created a new federal subsidy, based on income, for lower- and middle-income households to purchase health insurance. It set up federal rules requiring insurers to sell to all comers while limiting their ability to charge based on health history. It mandated that all individuals obtain health coverage or pay a tax penalty. And it erected a system of government-run health insurance exchanges on which consumers could purchase subsidized, regulated individual market coverage.

Those exchanges have never been fully stable as either business or policy propositions. Premiums have marched steadily upwards; last year, the price of a typical plan rose by 22 percent, and early reports show large spikes coming this year as well. The non-profit health insurance organizations that Obamacare funded have mostly shut down. Large, for-profit health insurers, meanwhile, have lost money and either scaled back their participation or dropped out entirely.

Republicans have repeatedly criticized these marketplaces for being expensive and unstable. As Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who spearheaded the drafting of this bill, likes to say, “Obamacare is collapsing around us.”

Yet even more than the House plan, the Senate plan retains the essential structure of Obamacare’s individual market reforms. It would likely result in fewer people being covered, and it would not stop the destabilization of the market.

There is a correct way for Congress to deal with healthcare reform–get the government out of it, and let the free market prevail. That would mean a true repeal of ObamaCare. Unfortunately we have reached a point where neither political party truly shares the interests of the American people. The first step in the process of fixing healthcare in America should be the full repeal of ObamaCare. It was a bad bill. The second step in this process should be to make sure that Congress is covered under whatever healthcare plan they pass. That might result in a better product. The third step would be to look at the tort reform that was successful in Texas and see if it could be applied on a national level. The fourth step would be to make health insurance something that could be purchased across state lines. These four simple steps would stop the damage currently being done by ObamaCare. There are other things that could be done–tax credits that help people pay health insurance premiums, health savings accounts, etc., but these could be added later. Right now we just need full repeal.

If the current ObamaCare Lite bill proposed is not significantly altered, it should not be passed. However, what is actually happening here is that the Democrats are moving ahead with their plan for total government healthcare (single payer), which is what will magically appear when ObamaCare collapses. It is time for the Republicans to repeal ObamaCare fully. Then they can worry about how to replace it. Right now, they are simply working hard to remove themselves from office.

 

When Budget Cuts Are Actually Budget Increases

Yesterday Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial about President Trump‘s budget proposal.

The article included the following graph:

As you can see, the federal budget does increase. However, it increases at a lower rate than it would if baseline budgeting were used. Baseline budgeting is a tactic used by people who want to grow the government to convince the rest of us that the sky is falling. It is very simple–if you got a 3% budget increase last year and you get a 2% increase this year, your budget has been cut (even though it grew by 2%).

The article further reports:

Trump’s proposed spending cuts for entitlement programs have been described as “massive,” “sweeping,” and on the surface, the $1.7 trillion spending cuts Trump proposes look massive.

But these reports always leave out one key fact. Spending on entitlement programs isn’t being cut. At least not in the traditional sense of spending less next year than you spend this year. Trump’s budget doesn’t touch Social Security or Medicare, and only slows the growth of the remaining “safety net” programs.

In fact, the projected 10-year spending for all entitlement programs under Trump’s budget would be trimmed by less than 8%. (See the accompanying chart.)

Some analysts say Trump’s budget would end up cutting $1.4 trillion from Medicaid over 10 years, because his proposed $610 billion in savings from reforming the program would come on top of the $800 billion proposed cuts contained in the House ObamaCare repeal-and-replace bill. (The budget doesn’t spell this out, but does contain a mysterious “allowance for ObamaCare repeal and replace” line item, with annual savings that match up to spending reductions in the House repeal bill.)

If true, that looks like a huge chunk, even from a program slated to spend $5.3 trillion. But keep in mind that states also contribute almost an equal share to Medicaid. In fact, when you combine federal and state spending, Medicaid is forecast to shell out more than $8 trillion over the next decade.

The article concludes:

Is Trump’s budget perfect? Hardly. We’d prefer that he tackle Social Security and Medicare reform in addition to Medicaid. The ObamaCare repeal savings are likely exaggerated. His $200 billion in infrastructure spending will only whet the appetite of lawmakers.

But on balance, this budget is far more realistic, and more responsible, than anything that ever came out of the Obama White House.

And as a statement of Trump’s governing principles — which is really all the presidents’ budgets ever amount to — Trump’s focus on spending restraint, entitlement reform, work incentives and on removing government impediments to growth is spot on.

In the world of Washington politics, power is measured by how much money you control. Bureaucrats love to spend our money. They will not give up that power easily. There will be a lot of people running around in the coming days yelling “the sky is falling.” They are misinformed. I wish this budget could pass Congress in its present form, but that is highly unlikely. However, I hope that the principles behind the budget will somehow survive and we will see a recognition of the fact that we are currently spending ourselves into destruction. The Washington establishment will not go down easily, but they seriously need to go down.

Fighting The Spin

You have heard the statements. People will die if ObamaCare is repealed. Those deaths will be on Republicans hands. Neither one of these statements is true, but I am willing to bet you have heard them reported as news.

On Friday Townhall posted an article about the ObamaCare replacement bill that passed the House of Representatives.

The article reports:

…But based on rhetoric from elected Democrats and the Left generally, one might assume that Obamacare was called the “Pre-existing Conditions Coverage Act” (side-stepping the whole “choice and affordability” fairy tale they peddled), and that the Republican bill obliterates those protections. The proposed law would be a “death warrant” for sick women and children, they shriek, casting Obamacare opponents as the moral equivalent of accessories to murder. This is demagogic, hyperbolic, inaccurate nonsense. To review the actual facts, even under an exceedingly unlikely scenario in which the Senate passed the House bill without making a single alteration, people with pre-existing conditions are offered several layers of protection:

There are a few layers of protection to make sure no one is left uncovered. The article explains:

Layer One: Insurers are required to sell plans to all comers, including those with pre-existing conditions. This is known as “guaranteed issue,” and it’s mandated in the AHCA. No exceptions, no waivers. I spoke with an informed conservative news consumer earlier who was stunned to learn that this was the case, having been subjected to 24 hours of unhinged rhetoric from the Left.

Layer Two: Anyone with a pre-existing condition and who lives in a state that does not seek an optional waiver from the AHCA’s (and Obamacare’s) “community rating” regulation cannot be charged more than other people for a new plan when they seek to purchase one — which, as established above, insurers are also required to sell them.

Layer Three: Anyone who is insured and remains continuously insured cannot be dropped from their plan due to a pre-existing condition, and cannot be charged more after developing one. So if you’ve been covered, then you change jobs or want to switch plans, carriers must sell you the plan of your choice at the same price point as everyone else. Regardless of your health status. This is true of people in non-waiver and waiver states alike.

Layer Four: If you are uninsured and have a pre-existing condition and live in a state that pursued (and obtained after jumping through hoops) a “community rating” waiver, your state is required to give you access to a “high risk pool” fund to help you pay for higher premiums. The AHCA earmarks nearly $130 billion for these sorts of patient stability funds over ten years.

The article goes on to explain that the healthcare bill passed in the House of Representatives is not perfect. However, ObamaCare is collapsing rapidly, and something does need to be done. Hopefully some positive revisions will be made in the Senate. Meanwhile, something needed to be done.

Please follow the link above toTownhall to read the entire article. Much of what the mainstream media is reporting about the healthcare bill that passed the House of Representatives is false. It’s important to know the truth.

A Breath Of Fresh Air In The House Of Representatives

This article is for all of the people who have sometimes looked at the U.S. House of Representatives and thought, “Who in the world do they represent?” Well, I may have found someone who does not physically represent my district, but she sure represents me.

Martha McSally is a Congressional Representative from the Second Congressional District of Arizona. After the repeal and replace ObamaCare bill passed the House of Representatives, Ms. McSally introduced H.R. 2192. H.R. 2192 has already been voted on and passed by the House of Representatives. The bill passed the House unanimously. So what is H.R. 2192?

According to Thomas.gov:

115th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 2192

AN ACT

To amend the Public Health Service Act to eliminate the non-application of certain State waiver provisions to Members of Congress and congressional staff.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Elimination of non-application of certain State waiver provisions to Members of Congress and congressional staff.

If the American Health Care Act is enacted, effective as if included in the enactment of such Act, section 2701(b)(5)(A)(ii) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 300gg(b)(5)(A)(ii)), as added by subsection (a) of section 136 of the American Health Care Act (relating to permitting States to waive certain ACA requirements to encourage fair health insurance premiums), is amended by striking “1312(d)(3)(D),”.

Passed the House of Representatives May 4, 2017.

What this bill does is to say that if the repeal and replace ObamaCare bill is passed, Congress and Congressional staff members would not be exempt from the law (as they have been under ObamaCare). The law would apply to both American citizens and the politicians who wrote the law. What a wonderful idea. This lady is my new favorite member of the House of Representatives! Let’s see if the bill gets past the Senate.

 

Is ObamaCare Dying?

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill today to repeal and replace ObamaCare.The bill, named the American Health Care Act, passed by a vote of 217-213. It is not a perfect bill, but it is a first step in stopping the collapse of ObamaCare and the descent into a government-controlled single-payer system. When President Obama gave us ObamaCare, the Democrats knew it would fail–the law ignored the statistics of the actuarial tables that keep the insurance agencies in business. There was no way it could succeed. The goal was to create an entitlement that would collapse and then institute a single-payer government plan. If Hillary Clinton had been elected, that would have happened. Instead, we have a President Trump who believes in free markets.

The Daily Signal posted an article about the passage of the bill today.

The article details some of the amendments to the bill:

New Jersey Rep. Tom MacArthur’s amendment would give the secretary of health and human services the authority to grant a waiver to states that wanted an exemption from costly Obamacare rating rules and benefit mandates.

In order to secure a waiver from these federal insurance rules, the amendment specifies that states must establish a high-risk pool for persons with pre-existing conditions, a program to stabilize the those premiums, or participate in a new federal risk-sharing program designed to secure continuing coverage and market stability.

As drafted, the waiver from these federal regulations would be virtually automatic. In short, the states would make the key regulatory decisions over benefits and rating rules.

A second amendment, offered by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) and Rep. Billy Long (R-MO) adds $8 billion over 2018-2023 to the bill’s $130 billion Patient and State Stability Fund (making the total around $138 billion).

It specifies that those additional funds are to be used by states that have received a waiver from federal insurance rules (under the MacArthur Amendment) to assist individuals with increased healthcare costs.

A Good Foundation

The House’s action should be understood as part of a continuing process of national health reform.

As amended, the House bill rightly focuses on costly health insurance rules, makes historic changes in Medicaid—transforming Medicaid from an open-ended entitlement to a budgeted program—and repeals the national health law’s mandate penalties and its slew of taxes.

In fact, the House bill provides for one of the largest tax reductions on record.

It’s not perfect, but it’s a beginning. Twenty Republicans voted against the healthcare bill. All the Democrats voted against the bill. It would be nice if Congress stopped playing politics and worrying about campaign donations and elections and simply tried to do what was best for America.