Monday, March 27, 2017

Observations From the Back Row: Obamacare Stands......Like a Drunken Sailor, Part III

By Rich Kozlovich

This is Part III in this ongoing series - and as time goes by I'm sure it won't be the last.  What the Republican leadership and writers who villified conservatives for stopping O'Ryancare don't seem to undersand - they want Obamacare repealed - and they're not going to stop until it is.  So I think it's important to define this whole mess in order to get clarity.

Brendan Kirby posted this article, The Five Biggest Losers in the Health Bill Debacle on March 26 saying the "blame game commences after GOP effort to repeal-replace Obamacare ends in disaster". He makes some points worth viewing, but it's my opinion and most of them are wrong.

Using his article as a touchstone, let's start with defining who are the winners and losers in this mess, and what are the long term consequences.
 
President Trump:

Trump apparently had little to do with drafting this bill and that clearly was a mistake on his part.  I wonder who he listened to in this matter causing him to think he could trust the House Republicans to do the right thing - presumably since they've been living with this for eight years.  Surely they must have understood what was needed.  But did they understand what was right?  Apparently they didn't understand either. 

Trump will not be impacted by this in the short term and any efforts he may exert to get tax reform through will be supported - strongly - by the conservative Freedom Caucus that played a major role in defeating O'Ryancare.  Those who are promoting the idea this will "tarnish his image as the ultimate deal maker" are mistaken at this point.  Furthermore he now knows the RINOs can't be trusted and can't deliver. 

He tried to make light of Republican resistance by saying, “We were very close,.....“It was a very, very tight margin. We had no Democrat support. … So it’s a very difficult thing to do.” 

Horsepucky - the Democrats passed Obamacare without one Republican vote.  If this bill had the support of the party it would have flown through passage.

Lesson's learned:  He will reach across the aisle to Democrats and out to the conservative caucus to get his next deal done.  And it will get done!  And in spite of the author claiming this was a failure for Trump - well that's relative.  In reality I see this as a successful - and painful - step in the President's education, and he won't forget it.  Nothing teaches as well as failure. 

This is a win in the long term for Trump.

Speaker Ryan:

Kirby says: "failure to pass the bill reflects, perhaps, most directly on Ryan. He is speaker, in large measure, because his predecessor failed to keep the party’s various factions in line. After years of enmity, former Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) finally had enough and walked away in 2015."  Well, that's only partially true. 

Boehner failed to keep the factions in line because the only line he wanted led to more taxes, more regulation and more government.  So how has Ryan been any different?  He's viewed by the author as "big, fat failure" because he couldn't rescue O'Ryancare, aka, the American Health Care Act. 

Well, he's right, he's a failure, but not because he couldn't save AHCA but because he and his coterie crafted it, pushed it, and introduced it. With little or no thought for the rest of the House, especially the conservative House Freedom Caucus. 

He's quoted as saying: “I will not sugarcoat this,” Ryan told reporters. “This is a disappointing day.”  He may find this is going to be a disappointing year.  And now it seems to me no one can trust him.

As Mark Levin states:  

"Mr. Ryan, you continue with your mantra, that the GOP is now a governing party not an opposition party. These are words that apply to you. 

  • You failed to develop a plan that embraced market capitalism..
  • You did not involve the GOP conservatives in the early phases of drafting your plan. 
  • You tried to force this plan through, adopted a few changes, but mostly continued with big-government ideas and much of Obamacare's essential elements.
The failure to govern is on the GOP leadership. And the failure to uphold the repeal promise with an actual repeal of most of Obamacare is also on the GOP leadership. These troubling circumstances could have been avoided."

This was a loss of monumental proportion for Ryan. 

House Freedom Caucus:

The author notes: "some will praise members of the House conservative group for standing on principle. But a failure to rally around repeal will only reinforce its reputation for intransigence and a lack of realism."

More horsepucky.  

He did note Trump didn't criticize the Freedom Caucus, while quoting him as saying he was surprised and “we learned a lot about loyalty.”  He's right.  Now he knows these conservatives are loyal to a fault - to doing the right thing.  To making sure what politicians claim they're going to do are done. 

As for him going after then in the next election - This in my opinion is wishful thinking on the part of RNIOs and leftists in both parties.  Trump has a reputation for loyalty and appreciates real loyalty, but not stupidity.  In his business life he has one rule - perform - and you stay on the job.  He's now learned these people have integrity and they will be the backbone in his efforts to fix government.  They will perform, and that's what he likes.  He will reach out to them a lot more from this point on, and he will reach out to any Democrats who will support his efforts. 

This was a major success for the House Freedom Caucus. 


Tuesday Group Republicans:

This is a group I was not familiar with until now, but was formed as "an informal caucus of approximately 50 moderate (read RINO as I know one in the leadership of this group) Republican members of the House in of Representatives in the 114th Congress (2015–2017), easily aligned with the leftist Republicans in the Republican Main Street Partnership.

It appears they played as big if not bigger role in defeating this bill than did the Freedom Caucus, but the reasons they gave seems to favor more government, not less.  Their commitment to Trump's effort to fix government and drain the swamp has to be seriously questioned. 

This is a loss for them over the long haul as it's clear they - like all leftists - are not to be trusted. 

Health Insurance Customers Not Protected by Subsidies:

The author correctly notes the "failure to pass a bill leaves Obamacare in place. And even Democrats acknowledge it has shortcomings." He goes on to say: More than 1,000 counties and five states now have only one insurance provider — and some counties soon will be left without any insurer on the government-run health exchanges. Average premiums rose by 25 percent last year. What the author seems to miss is this trend is going to continue and get worse, which is what the framers of Obamacare wanted justifying government controlled socialised medicine for the nation. 

This will be a long term win for consumers.  No one will be without health care in this nation when Obamacare is repealed.  Medicaid will still be in effect. 

There are currently about 73 million people on Medicaid nationwide.  Will it be the same?  No, but will it be worse than before Obamacare?  Even with all the speculation no one knows what will actually happen.

However, the states, like Ohio under Governor John Kasich, are all going to face major budget crises down the road if Obamacare isn't repealed.  Medicaid is already an economic disaster covering a whole range of people who could easily get jobs and pay taxes. 

“By unilaterally adding more than 600,000 able-bodied adults to Medicaid under Obamacare, Kasich has made Ohio the most dependent state in the Midwest.” 

"Ohio, Illinois and Michigan are the only Midwest states with more than 20 percent of their residents enrolled in Medicaid, a welfare program jointly funded by the federal government and the states."

"Missouri, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Indiana each have between 15 percent and 20 percent of their residents enrolled in Medicaid, and Medicaid enrollment rates are between 10 percent and 15 percent in North Dakota, Nebraska, South Dakota and Kansas." 

That was in 2015, and these numbers continue to climb.

Trump needs to build a case explaining why no one will have insurance if Obamacare isn't repealed and Medicaid isn't seriously reformed as they will bankrupt the nation, and no one will have insurance. 

 If you doubt that can happen - go to Venezuela.


 

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