Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Freedom Caucus tried its best, but Obamacare bill is still lousy

Sigh...there's gotta be more to a 'Round 2' than this, right? Come on!
CR: What is a conservative member of Congress to do when his party makes it clear that, despite campaign promises, hell will freeze over before it fully or even significantly repeals Obamacare?

That is the quandary the leaders of the Freedom Caucus find themselves in today. Some members might decide it’s not worth giving their conference cover for a phony repeal bill that will never survive in the Senate, and may instead try to expose their duplicity and elect likeminded patriots. Others feel it’s better to make the best of a bad situation and try to secure a deal that might offer some outlet for some potential easing of pain in a handful of states. Moreover, they have the weight of the entire Republican Party, a president, and rich Republican voters blaming them for stalling “tax reform” all on their shoulders. It’s a tough decision, and I personally respect members who choose either path.

But for those supporting this latest Obamacare bill, let’s be clear to call it what it is: a potential 10-30% repeal rather than definitive full repeal. Unlike the original version of the bill, which manifestly had no chance of ever reducing premiums and creating more choice, this bill — in the estimation of its supporters — at least gives us some fighting chance. A hail mary. That is a fine pragmatic choice … so long as the American people don’t think that this is our vision for health care or what repeal of Obamacare looks like. To its supporters, this is the cost of trying to get the best they can for consumers when dealing with lying weasels in their conference. I don’t envy their position.
Horowitz goes over the details of the new amendment, but reminds readers that "the proposed amendment is not a replacement of the original bill, it is added to the original RINOcare bill."
Therefore, it still maintains Medicaid expansion and the entire premise of subsidies for the middle class, which distort the market. In terms of Obamacare’s regulations, the bill still maintains every morsel of the ACA and its exchanges. What the amendment does is grant states the opportunity to request a waiver from HHS from some of the regulations — community rating and essential health benefits — if they register in the federal high risk pool program funded in the broader bill or implement their own risk pool to deal with the chronically ill.
Horowitz rattles off a litany of political and policy reasons this bill falls far short with the current irremediably broken Republican Party. But here's the bottomline:
The entire premise of these negotiations is backwards. The real question should be how Trump and Ryan “get to yes” on the conservative plan, which was their own promise: full repeal and the starting over on high risk pools as the replacement and broader free market reforms. If they have no intention of fully repealing Obamacare, they must honestly go before the American people and say they have changed their mind and will spend the right amount of time to fully vet an alternative plan. To break from that pledge and pass some half-assed and insolvent patchwork, all the while demanding that members do it immediately without any policy analysis and scoring, is weapons-grade stupidity, a betrayal of their promise, and an unfair request of individual House members.

Nonetheless, the Freedom Caucus has done everything they can do with their limited platform to make this runaway train better. Now it’s time for Senate conservatives (the few who remain) to step up to the plate and restart the narrative from a position of strength. They should use the House bill as a floor, not a ceiling for repealing Obamacare. And that floor must spring forth an array of ideas to move health care away from government control instead of doubling down on it.
Else, even with R's in power, we'll still be served up a sh*t sandwiches...and expected to take a bite.

Related links: Freedom Caucus rescues GOP on latest Obamacare screwup
BREAKING! Freedom Caucus APPROVES new TrumpCare bill!!

ADDENDUM: On Wednesday, Rep. Mark Sanford explained to Glenn Beck why the Freedom Caucus has now signed on to the health care bill via the MacArthur amendment:
TRS: Sanford doesn’t sugar coat this. He laments that Republicans won’t repeal Obamacare, despite the fact that they said they were and that they even sent a full repeal bill to Obama’s desk [but won't to Trump's].

That said he feels that the MacArthur amendment, which gets at Title I funding, which is at the heart of what drives up cost, is about as good as the Freedom Caucus is going to get from Republicans at this point. He described it as an experiment with federalism in that states will be able to choose which path they want to take with respect to letting insurance be insurance, a more free market based system or a more socialist model.

It's so PATHETIC that a majority-ruled Republican Party, led by Paul Ryan in the House, led by Mitch McConnell in the Senate, and under the presidency of Donald J. Trump, absolutely refuse to repeal Obamacare. It's stunning that we find ourselves here today on an issue like this.

There's no doubt about it; the party is stuck. But just imagine how stuck we'd be but for the Freedom Caucus!
If it weren’t for them we’d be stuck with the earlier Republican version, Obamacare lite, with Republicans lying to us and telling us it’s a full repeal.
So, as disheartening as it may feel now, thank God for the Freedom Caucus! Thank you for attempting to drive Republicans towards principles and promises, even if they're kicking, screaming and stabbing you in the back all along the way. Now, it'll be up to the handful of Senate conservatives to polish this.

I don't enjoy comparing being conservative to being Christian, but I can't stop thinking about Matthew 10:22 in cases similar to this that call for principled stands when we receive the lack thereof from those who supposedly represent us.

Related link: 20 ideas to crush Obamacare and cure America's health care crisis

No comments:

Post a Comment