Listening to lawmakers talk about the economy when they do not understand the mechanisms behind capitalism can be quite frustrating. Too often, they are unaware of how the system works and why it gives rise to affordable services and products, making trade and the distribution of several products, from basic to valuable items, accessible to nearly almost every American.
But every now and then, a legislator comes along to prove that they weren’t only elected to brag about passing complicated laws on national television.
Sean Hannity had Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) as a guest on his show to ask him a few questions regarding ObamaCare, the problematic Health Insurance Marketplace website and why Americans are appalled to have learned that their insurance premiums are actually much higher now than they were before the law kicked in.
According to Sen. Paul “if you mandate what is included in your insurance policy, if you say it has to cover all kinds of new things that haven’t been covered, it has to be more expensive,” which is why so many young and healthy people are quickly discovering that their coverage is much more expensive than before. While the Obama administration is attempting to give access to health coverage to every single American through ObamaCare, the final cost was apparently never taken into consideration.
The administration keeps repeating that people will now get better coverage without having to pay as much, but consumers are slowly learning that that is simply untrue, since all they have access to is insurance premiums offering excessive coverage that do not fit their budget.
If laws do not apply equally to Americans and members of the U.S. Congress, they shouldn’t be put on the books in the first place.
While this thought may seem commonsensical enough, it does not seem good enough for folks in Washington. The Affordable Care Act, for an instance, ensures that lawmakers continue to obtain federal employer contributions, which are destined to help them with their health insurance. The financial assistance that lawmakers and some Capitol Hill aides will continue to receive what amounts to an exemption from ObamaCare, which prompted Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) to act and ensure the legislative language is modified so that lawmakers are not exempt from the law.
To prevent this sort of thing from ever happening again, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) drafted a constitutional amendment that would assure Congress “shall make no law applicable to a citizen of the United States that is not equally applicable to Congress.”
According to The Daily Caller, Senator Paul explained earlier in September that the amendment he was then working on was directed to Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts: “If he likes Obamacare so much, I’m going to give him an amendment that gives Obamacare to Justice Roberts.”
Now that the anti-Obamacare defund “strategy” (such as it was) has been tried and failed, many on the right are suggesting we get out of the way and let it be implemented in full, on time, as written, so that it can be allowed to fail on its own. The theory is that when it doesn’t work, runs out of money, and breaks the insurance system, the public will demand its repeal just in time for a Republican president to be elected in 2016 and do just that. This, like “repeal and replace” and defund before it, is an unwise and short-sighted strategy.
What precedent is there for a government program, especially an entitlement, failing and just ending? Social Security is out of money, but no one will touch it. Medicare is out of money, Obamacare cut doctor payments rates under it, but no one will dare to truly reform it. Welfare was reformed, not ended or repealed, in the 1990s. Food stamps have exploded. Medicaid doesn’t work either, but was expanded under Obamacare. But we somehow think that if Obamacare runs out of money or doesn’t work as well as it was intended, it will just go away, unlike every other program ever?
Many conservatives who consider themselves the real Republicans have been grousing about those damn Tea Partiers; you know, the ones Ted Cruz was trying to appeal to when he filibustered against Obamacare? A calculated risk — because he and probably everyone else knew defunding was never going to happen — that led almost directly (no offense to a friend of mine who keeps trying to separate the two things) to the nearly two-week shutdown that ended with celebratory high-fives as bureaucrats skipped their way back into work this week.
Just shut-up rabble rousers, they said in kinder terms, Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn among them. Because you managed to make us all look bad and get us nothing in return except repeated lectures from the Reid-Pelosi-Obama trifecta.
I make no claims to be a Tea Partier but (with apologies), I don’t hold with Grover Norquist’s assertion that Cruz et al should apologize to their fellow conservatives:
“They hurt the conservative movement, they hurt people’s health care, they hurt the country’s economic situation and they hurt the Republican party,” he says. “And a lot of congressmen and senators are not going to win because we spent three months chasing our own tail — or at least, parts of the conservative movement spent three months chasing their own tail.”
Now that the debt ceiling has been raised through February 7 and the government shutdown has come to an end, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) used his official page to discuss the last crisis and bring the public’s attention to the fact that Washington is out of touch with the American people.
Lee stressed that the fight to defund ObamaCare might have seemed pointless to those who now regret that the Affordable Care Act was funded, and the debt ceiling raised as a result of a deal worked out between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). According to the senator, this fight ended the same way ObamaCare began, “in a last-minute deal, negotiated in back rooms, then forced on Congress and the American people.”
“The Washington Establishment can’t bring itself to believe that this is why Congress has a poor approval rating – because Washington doesn’t listen to the American people. It ignores them. And when the American people can no longer be ignored, the administration shuts down national parks, blocks veterans from going to their own memorials, uses the IRS to target certain groups, and holds hostage critical funding for cancer research, low-income women and children, veterans’ health benefits, border security, and our National Guard.”
While some conservatives suggest that House GOP should have considered they did not have enough influence or bargain power to ensure that Democrats would go with their plan before pushing the fight to defund ObamaCare, Sen. Lee believes that “fighting against an abusive government in defense of protecting our individual rights and freedoms is always the right thing.”
The government shutdown has come to an end and the debt ceiling has been raised after Congress passed the deal worked out between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
The final deal is funds the federal government through January 15 and raises the debt ceiling to February 7. It also allows for budget negotiations between the two chambers, with the goal of coming to an agreement by December 13. Those points were sort of the basic parts of the deal.
Other aspects of the deal include, according to Jamie Dupree, back-pay for furloughed federal workers, reporting requirements on verification procedures for ObamaCare subsidies, and blocks a pay raise for Congress in FY 2014.
At the time of this writing, there seems to be some movement on the “government “shutdown” (the shutdown in which 83% of government continues to operate), mainly in the form of Republicans regrouping yet again to come up with yet another offer for Obama, every one of which he has thus far rejected, demanding the GOP unilaterally surrender before he will he “talk” with Republicans about issues concerning them, like a monstrous and growing national debt, entitlement spending which pushes America into bankruptcy, and Obamacare, which has been disastrous (to use CBS News’ description) and which is killing jobs and raising health insurance costs drastically.
Why would Republicans continue to negotiate against themselves, when it is Republicans who have fulfilled their constitutional obligations by passing four major appropriations bills and a dozen or so “mini-CR’s” (smaller Continuing Resolutions to fund every operation of government except Obamacare)? That would be because Obama and his media lapdogs continue to spin this as a “Republican” shutdown, regardless of the fact that it is the Democrat-controlled Senate which has refused to vote on these bills, demanding House Republicans pass a single, massive bill to fund ALL of government, including Obamacare.
With Republicans negotiating against themselves so often in trying to find an offer Obama would accept, it might make one wonder why we are still at an impasse, and why Obama still refuses to negotiate with them at all. In order to understand that, you first have to understand that Obama, all the way back to his pot-smoking college days, has been a disciple of leftist radical Saul Alinksy, who wrote the guidebook for other leftist radicals hell bent on destroying the social order.
This is the final post exploring the Republican Study Committee’s proposal for replacing ObamaCare.
The Republican Study Committee’s recently introduced comprehensive health care proposal titled the American Health Care Reform Act of 2013 (AHCRA), H.R. 3121, repeals ObamaCare and offers the best set of proposals to date toward establishing a Republican consumer-driven health care narrative. Its core features include the Standard Deduction for Health Insurance, which would unchain the tax advantages for purchasing health insurance from employer-sponsored coverage, and its HSA enhancements to to unleash the power of the market in combating the skyrocketing costs of care and empower individuals to control their own medical savings and expenses.
AHCRA also includes a number of crucial market reforms that can answer some of the basic questions like “How do you address pre-existing condition exclusions without outright banning them like in ObamaCare?” or “If I can’t get coverage on an ObamaCare exchange, what would my options be?” These proposals are important steps in showing that the federal government can act in unintrusive ways to improve the pre-ObamaCare health coverage landscape, and without the endless and heavy-handed stockpile of mandates that define ObamaCare’s failures.
Some of the highlights include:
While it was a coincidence that the Obamacare insurance exchange website launched on October 1, the same day the partial federal government shutdown began, there have been few coincidences since. It is thus no twist of fate that many prominent liberals seem to be worried that the GOP is wasting an opportunity to criticize the failure of the exchange roll-out. This is concern trolling at its transparent worst.
The most blatant example comes from a usual source of concern trolling, Ezra Klein at the Washington Post. In a “Wonkblog” piece titled “Five thoughts on the Obamacare disaster” (bait deployed), the first three of those “thoughts” are overt criticisms of the law and its implementation so far (bait taken). Then Klein gets to the GOP’s “missed opportunity” (reeling in):
Their decision to shut down the government on the exact day the health-care law launched was a miracle for the White House. If Republicans had simply passed a clean-CR on Oct. 1 these last few weeks would’ve been nothing — nothing at all — save for coverage of the health-care law’s disaster. Instead the law has been knocked off the front page by coverage of the Republican Party’s disaster.
The San Jose Mercury News reported this weekend that two weeks after the now infamous debacle that was the ObamaCare exchange rollout, California’s new pride and joy still doesn’t offer a way to find out which doctors and hospitals are included in each health plan:
The website tool designed to help shoppers cross-reference tens of thousands of doctors and hundreds of hospitals that belong to the networks of Covered California’s 12 insurance providers finally launched last week after earlier promises that it would be available on Oct. 1, the day similar exchanges opened for business nationwide under the new federal health care law.
But when it finally appeared on Tuesday, a hard-to-find online tool was only in place about 48 hours before it was removed from the site because of what exchange officials called “uneven” performance.
Hmmm. This is the same “Covered California” that cost $313 million to develop, funded almost entirely with federal taxpayer dollars (thank you, everyone not living in CA). The same site that originally boasted of 5 million hits on launch day, only to later admit that the real number was actually 645,000. The same folks who described the overstatement of nearly 4.5 million hits as an “error,” “the result of an internal miscommunication,” and the always golden “someone misspoke.”