Without so much as a drum-roll or elaborate fanfare, the House Energy and Commerce Committee threw off the veil of the legislative bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. However, unless you obtain a copy of the current Obamacare legislation (thousands of pages long), a copy of the Social Security Act, the Internal Revenue Code, the Code of Federal Regulations, and the United States Code, it is difficult to know exactly what Republicans are doing with this bill. Moreover, the release of the bill text is overshadowed by stories of Obama wiretapping Trump, Obama robbing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to fund Obamacare, and a plethora of sensational stories covering the “tit for tat” spat between the Trump and former Obama administration.
The repeal and replacement bill can be read here. In reading the first page, the public has no frigging idea what the Republicans are doing and it doesn’t get any better in subsequent pages. But, the American public can breathe a sigh of relief that Republicans have repealed and replaced Obamacare with something better.
Breitbart reported Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) saying about the Republicans Obamacare replacement bill:
After years of Obamacare’s broken promises, House Republicans today took an important step. We’ve spent the last eight years listening to folks across this country, and today we’re proud to put forth a plan that reflects eight years’ worth of those conversations with families, patients, and doctors. Simply put, we have a Better Way to deliver solutions that put patients – not bureaucrats – first, and we are moving forward united in our efforts to rescue the American people from the mess Obamacare has created.
With today’s legislation, we return power back to the states – strengthening Medicaid and prioritizing our nation’s most vulnerable. We provide the American people with what they’ve asked for: greater choice, lower cost, and flexibility to choose the plan that best suits their needs. Today is just the first step in helping families across this country obtain truly affordable health care, and we’re eager to get this rescue mission started.
According to Walden, they spent eight years “listening to folks across this country” and “put forth a plan that reflects eight years’ worth of those conversations with families, patients, and doctors.” Really? For the sake of good chocolate, I cannot recall any — not one — representative or senator who darkened the doorway of my community/district to remotely discuss anything regarding health care or health care insurance or Obamacare. And, it wasn’t for lack of trying. Over the past several years, articles this author penned on the subject of Obamacare challenged any Republicans to “come on down” to discuss this piece of legislation, their idea of a replacement, and justification for continuing an unconstitutional piece of legislation. No Republican would accept. Even requests made to the Georgia State Republican Party were ignored.
In February of 2015, one of the first of many plans to “replace” Obamacare was released by Republicans. Then, in May of 2015, several other options to Obamacare were floated around by Republicans, including the plan developed by Rep. Tom Price (R-GA). Fast forward to today and one can see the Republican “plan” is no better than those offered two years ago. It certainly is not reflective of “eight years of listening to folks across the country” or “conversations with families, patients, and doctors.” Basically, it is a rehash and jumbling of the different Republican plans for “replacement” to give Americans “Republicare,” “Trumpcare,” or “Ryancare;” but most importantly, it still amounts to “ScrewyouAmericacare.”
The 2015 bill features many of the components of the highly anticipated GOP platform, including: expanding consumer health savings accounts, increasing the number of tax-deductible contributions, and greater state control over government health care programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
Kevin Brady, chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, said Saturday that the GOP repeal platform will roll back every single tax implemented by Obamacare, including both the individual mandate and the subsidies provided to states to help low-income consumers obtain health coverage.
Brady corroborated Ryan’s claims that the bill will look similar to Price’s original proposal. The repeal effort will begin by giving states more control of Medicaid, and will also include Price’s plans to expand health savings and tax-deductions to help consumers purchase insurance.
The GOP “replacement” plan ran into a snag when it came to either using “tax credits” or “tax deductions.” Currently, the GOP plan includes an income limit for “tax credits.” The implementation of income limits prevents spending on wealthy consumers that could be allocated to those who need it the most. And, what exactly is considered a “wealthy consumer” and who decides that?
Chairman of the Republican Study Committee, Mark Waller, called this replacement proposal “a new health insurance entitlement with a Republican stamp on it.” He is withholding his support and vote for the plan until substantial changes can be made, encouraging other RSC members to do the same.
Brady indicated the details of the bill will be finished soon, then sent to the House for review. Excuse me? Are we to understand this “unveiling” of the Republican “replacement” is still unfinished? Why put before the public this replacement bill that is unfinished and in all honesty, difficult for the public to understand? It’s a CYA tactic for the GOP to show the public they are working on a new health care insurance bill.
Not surprising, another difficulty encountered by the Republicans in their stellar “repeal and replace” plan is money. The initial budgetary impact estimates by the GOP “repeal and replace” agenda was shown to be negative, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
The CBO projects that premiums for individual policies purchased either through marketplaces or through insurers will increase between 20 and 25 percent in the first year after the law is repealed. The increase would double to 50 percent the year after eliminating the Obama administration’s Medicaid expansion program and marketplace subsidies — two key pillars of the Republican agenda.
When it comes to Medicaid, Rep Walden stated, “If you’re on Medicaid today, you’ll be on Medicaid tomorrow,” when speaking to the news media about those receiving Medicaid benefits under the GOP plan. Walden’s statement sounds a little too similar to “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.” Walden did say that future recipients of Medicaid might not get much aid because funding those liabilities is unsustainable.
Let’s face the reality here. These Republicans are slicing and dicing “replacement” plans developed in 2015 with nary a new idea being levied. The GOP is “stuck” into repealing parts of Obamacare, retaining some tenets of the unconstitutional legislation, and adding their caveats to it; then, they peddle it to the public as something “new” and “not Obamacare,” but Obamacare Lite. Well, this isn’t salad dressing. And “government health care insurance lite” still does not cut the mustard.
And, since they are floating plans developed in 2015 they sliced and diced to create this new one, the GOP claim of speaking to the masses falls short of the truth by a long shot. What the GOP is trying to do is please the liberals who want government controlled health care insurance and please the voting base who does not want government involvement at all in health care insurance. What Republicans don’t realize is there is not going to be any plan developed that can satisfy everyone. And, they are running on the premise of “you can’t put the cat back in the bag once he’s escaped.” In other words, a full repeal is not possible since Democrats opened the bag to government controlled health care insurance. The GOP is unwilling to roll back the dial to procurement of health care insurance as it was before Obamacare and decreasing certain regulations that would allow for lower premiums for everyone because they don’t want to suffer the backlash. And, Republicans want their chance at proving they can create a better government controlled health care insurance platform than the Democrats.
What Americans are really witnessing is a sort of sibling rivalry between Republicans and Democrats. The Democrats had their shot at “government controlled” health care insurance and it is imploding upon itself — the parent public is disapproving of the Democrat scheme. The Republicans, to prove to the parent public they can do better than their brother the Democrats, developed this “plan” to replace Obamacare that they believe will work in order to earn them approval from the parent public.
But, the biggest reason Americans will not see a full repeal of Obamacare and will get a Republican replacement bill is government has seized control of one-sixth of the US economy that it will not relinquish. And, if Americans have not learned by now that once government gains control over any area it is not authorized to control, it never returns that control to the appropriate constitutional authority, Americans will never learn.
While the Republican plan may not “mandate” or “force” anyone to purchase health care insurance under punishment of penalty, any health care insurance plan purchased by the public will be under the control of the government, disguised as a “free market system.” There were several excellent suggestions made by many on altering regulations to make health care insurance more affordable for all under a full repeal of Obamacare without implementing any new “replacement” plans. Yet, Republicans in Congress considered those of us who offered those suggestions after being in the health care and health care insurance industries as too stupid to tie our shoes, so they ignored us. Not only were we too stupid to tie our shoes, we did not advocate for “big insurance companies” or “government control” over health care insurance.
So, whether Americans like it or not, government will from now on have their grubby little hands in the health care insurance industry and health care industry cookie jar. What was once known as Obamacare, but now with a Republican flare, is here to stay. That is to say, it is here to stay until it too fails and the public is primed to be moved to government funded, rationed-care, socialized, one payer system, where everyone is covered by health care insurance, but not everyone will receive health care.