During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump pledged to repeal the disastrous and unconstitutional Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. It was a welcomed pledge to constitutional conservatives to roll back the infringement of government upon health care insurance and health care, in general. However, as the campaign progressed, the pledge changed from “repeal” to “repeal and replace” in order to bring aboard GOP establishment individuals who bucked Trump’s candidacy at every turn. The change raised concern among constitutional conservatives that government would remain with their hand in industries better left to private entities.
Now, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), in a recent CNN interview, criticized House Republican efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare due to the House members keeping the bill “secret” while maintaining many components of Obamacare.
In the interview, Sen. Paul cited several components of Obamacare that would be kept, calling it Obamacare Lite, when conservatives wanted a repeal of the legislation that mandated individuals purchase government health care insurance plans.
“When we heard it was secret, we wanted to see it even more because if something is secret, you do worry that people are hiding things. What we think is being hidden from conservatives is that there’s a lot of Obamacare lite in their bill. There’s a new entitlement program that will increase at about 5 percent a year forever. There is also a Cadillac tax, or something similar to the Cadillac tax that was in ObamaCare. And there’s also an individual mandate, believe it or not. Instead of paying the mandate to the government, they’re going to tell you that you have to pay the mandate by law to an insurance company.”
This is exactly what constitutional conservatives and others voiced concern over when Republicans talked about “repeal” but indicated there had to be a replacement option. And, as has been stated in prior articles here, once government assumes power over something, it never lets it go, returning it to the proper authority. Likewise, Republicans want an opportunity to put in place a form of “Romneycare” whereby the public will be herded into something that could be known as “Republicare” or “Trumpcare.”
Do House Republicans honestly think that keeping an individual mandate — forced requirement to purchase the government product — is a good idea after the disaster of Obamacare? And, why do House Republicans think a “punishment” mandate paid to an insurance company is different than a “punishment” mandate paid to the government? Both of these provisions of their plan remain unconstitutional and did not work under Obamacare. Moreover, their plan keeps a Cadillac tax similar to Obamacare that many Americans reject, as well as initiating a new entitlement program “that will increase at about five percent a year forever.” How is this any better?
Sen. Paul walked to the House side to demand to see a copy of the bill to repeal and replace Obamacare that he believes is being kept under lock and key.
Even though the room which Sen. Paul asked about the bill was the incorrect room and Aides told the Senator there was no bill to see, this failed to dissuade the Senator from driving home his point.
“This should be an open and transparent process,” Paul said. “This is being presented as if it were a national secret, as if this was a plot to invade another country, as if this were national security. That’s wrong.”
Paul ventured to the House Thursday afternoon after reports surfaced that House Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee were being granted an opportunity to review the current draft of the Obamacare repeal legislation and ask questions behind closed doors.
Opposed to the House legislation’s principles, Paul said he wanted to see the bill himself even though he didn’t serve on the committee.
Outside the small House office, the chaotic scene continued with a handful of Democrats demanding they, too, see the legislation, which aides continued to say was not even in the room. Two Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Committee and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, a Democrat from Maryland, asked aides if the bill was ready, only to be rebuffed.
“I want to see the bill. I want to read the bill,” New York Democrat Paul Tonko said, noting that as far as he knew, Republicans were still planning to move forward with a markup on the legislation next week.
This is no different than when Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) paraded before the news media when Obamacare was initially introduced to say, “We have to pass it to find out what’s in it.” It is a terrible way to conduct business in government or business period. And, it was unwelcomed when the Democrats did it; it is unwelcomed now that Republicans are doing it.
With Republicans trying to push forward with a “new” health care insurance mandate at the same time as repealing Obamacare, it should wake everyone up from their slumber to see that Republicans are no different than Democrats, meaning they are just opposite sides of the same coin. Both want to be the party in control, not only of government, but of the people.
And, the process being done in secret reeks of the process by which the Transpacific Partnership (TPP) was presented — the TPP agreement could only be read in a secure, guarded room without any Senator or House member taking any notes in order to convey provisions of the agreement to their constituents. The conundrum resulted in the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce committee addressing the state of the bill.
Downplaying the perceptions of secrecy, Rep. Greg Walden stated, “Reports that the Energy and Commerce Committee is doing anything other than the regular process of keeping its members up to speed on latest developments in its jurisdictions are false. Simply put, Energy and Commerce majority members and staff are continuing to discuss and refine draft legislative language on issues under our committee’s jurisdiction.”
Well, now, that explains everything. But, as CNN reported, leadership is being much more cautious with the repeal and replacement of Obamacare reconciliation after a version of the bill was leaked to news agencies last week. Yet, why should there be any secrecy at all in the legislation? Why can’t the House place the bill on the website where the citizenry can review it and provide comments as well as other members of both chambers of Congress?
It is an attempt to get their “Republicare” that is similar to Obamacare passed without causing an uproar among the citizens who have indicated that Obamacare should be repealed without a replacement option. To do a repeal and replacement plan, the Republicans are following the playbook laid out by Jonathan Gruber — “lack of transparency is the advantage to get this passed,” and “rely on the stupidity of the American voter.” GOP House members have already indicated their constituents were concerned about not having a replacement for Obamacare, indicating these constituents are not conservative, do not support the Constitution, and are not willing to live by its tenets since no authority over health care or health care insurance is listed in the enumerated powers of Congress in the Constitution.
Of course, when the House Republicans voted for Paul Ryan to serve as Speaker of the House again, it was obvious the American public was going to be screwed over.
When it comes to the issue of repealing Obamacare, the GOP continually drags the citizens around the Mulberry bush over and over because of their “repeal and replace” rhetoric. As I have previously stated, this republic will be under some form of Obamacare, known as “Republicare” or “Trumpcare,” in order for government to retain control over the health care insurance industry and health care, which is one-sixth of the republic’s economy. And, like Obamacare, Republicare or Trumpcare will be set up to fail in order to instill a national socialized health care provision platform. Moreover, in order to maintain solvency through socialized health care, rationed care is required to be part of the government plan, meaning the elderly, the very sick and the disabled will be denied health care procedures that could improve the quality of life or be life-saving because it would be too expensive for the return on the investment.
In return, the republic could see another mass exodus of health care professionals, as occurred prior to the implementation of Obamacare, who would face ethical dilemmas in conflict with their oaths taken applicable to their profession. The doctor-patient relationship has suffered because of Obamacare and will further erode under some type of Republican “replacement” option. In essence, the face of health care and health care insurance has now changed in a republic that had an excellent health care system. It wasn’t perfect. It was, however, better than any other in the world.
Americans can take solace in the fact that everyone will have health care insurance which does not guarantee access nor payment for services as well as further professional shortages in the health care delivery system. Just like Obamacare, Americans can look forward to subsidizing others that qualify and pay “penalties” and other “taxes” under the Republican option. In short, only the party has changed, not the plan.