This week the AARP has been running ads on the radio asking listeners to thank Congressman Amodei for opposing Republican efforts to repeal and replace 0bamacare, on the grounds that the Republican bill threatens to cut off people with pre-existing conditions and allow huge rate increases on older people.
This morning (May 3) Rush Limbaugh went to great lengths to explain the difference between insurance and welfare, and that the authors of 0bamacare imposed the legal requirement on everyone to buy it in a desperate effort to disguise a welfare program as private insurance.
Most importantly, Rush Limbaugh also reported a fact NOT mentioned anywhere else, not even in the “alt-right” media: that the latest incarnation of the Republican bill to repeal and replace 0bamacare contains two parts:
1. Insurance for all “normal people” who want to buy in voluntarily;
2. A federal fund of $130B for people with pre-existing conditions (that is, another welfare program).
So it appears that once again, as always, the AARP is caught in a lie. The latest version of the Republican bill to repeal and replace 0bamacare does not throw people with pre-existing conditions under the bus. And AARP’s effort to make it look like they support Amodei (and Heller, in another ad) must be viewed with great suspicion. Why? Because the AARP is and has long been a major supporter and mouthpiece not for the retired, but for the Democrats and their far-left agenda; AARP was an original, and now obviously still remains, a major proponent and defender of 0bamacare.
Now you would think that this two-part Republican solution to the dilemma posed by pre-existing conditions should be and would be obvious, and therefore when at long last even congressional Republicans had managed to stumble on it, it would be reported and celebrated with great fanfare. But no, the media are silent about that. It is so much more fun to fan the flames of the Republican fratricide, or the story that, when Republicans win, elections have no consequences because the Republicans are either still too stupid to govern or still too heartless to help the truly needy, and therefore, as is obvious from the latest budget bill, the Democrats still win, as always. Trump may be President but life is back to normal.
Sure. But what are the facts?
1. Welfare is a government program by which every tax payer’s contributions are pooled to pay for the living and other expenses of those who are unable to provide for themselves because of a variety of reasons. In effect, the risk and the burden are spread over the entire population of tax payers.
2. And of course the problem with all welfare programs is that they never end; No, they become “entitlements” with an ever-growing bureaucracy and an ever-growing client base and therefore another large special-interest voting block. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Part D, 0bamacare, pre-existing conditions,… corporate “welfare,” too-big-to-fail bail-outs, cronyism,… Where does it all end?
3. Insurance is a private program into which people are voluntarily paying “premiums” in the effort to spread the risk and the burden over the pool of fellow policy holders. The people selling the policies are running a business, which means they have to carefully balance the expected payouts against the income from the premiums, and therefore after studying the statistics they establish rates according to their perception of the risk presented by particular sub-populations of policy buyers. People with low risk pay less, people with higher risk pay more.
4. A business has only two choices; balance your books or go out of business. They have every incentive to manage their risks, their overhead, and other costs of doing business. What they can’t do, in a free market, is hike their prices (or in this case, insurance premiums) without fear of competition.
5. It is the single greatest sin of 0bamacare that it drove insurers out of the market and thereby reduced or eliminated competition, and removed restraints on premium hikes, whether or not they were also forced to accept high cost clients.
6. Government also has two choices: raise taxes, or borrow; and as we’ve seen in the 0bama years, borrow recklessly. For political reasons the third choice, to cut the welfare program, is never implemented if even considered, and thus the program becomes yet another “entitlement” supported by yet another huge and growing bureaucracy.
The Republicans have the White House and majorities in both the House and the Senate. Therefore they do NOT need any help from Democrats, or give the slightest consideration to anything the Democrats want. The only thing Republicans need to do is:
1. Remember why the people elected Trump to be President.
2. Remember why the people voted to elect and re-elect Republicans to Congress, state legislatures and state governorships in overwhelming record numbers during the 0bama years.
3. Remember to fulfill the campaign promises that they made to the people.
Just to be clear, if not quite comprehensive, those promises include:
1. Repeal & Replace 0bamacare with a free market solution.
2. Reduce taxes and reform the tax code.
3. Build The Wall, stop illegal immigration, reduce legal immigration.
4. Implement serious regulatory relief.
5. Defund the EPA, the Department of Education, Planned Parenthood,…
6. Undo 0bama’s imperial presidency by repealing his executive orders.
7. Drain The Swamp — stop selling out to the deep-state Demo-can/Republi-crat establishment.
These are far more important than any inane ruminations about:
1. Whether Trumps is ideological or a true conservative;
2. Whether Trumps is either stupid, ignorant or unprincipled;
3. Whether Trumps is surrounded by advisors who are either Democrats, liberals, secret agents of the establishment, or just inexperienced, stupid, ignorant or unprincipled;
4. Whether the Freedom Caucus or The Tuesday Group or congressional committees are leaderless — and therefore running off in all sorts of self-serving directions.
5. Whether the Senate is locked into the requirement for 60 votes to pass any bill. Of course they are not. It’s only a rather recent Senate rule, not part of the Constitution or any law, and as such, changed by a simple majority vote. But even under that rule, budget and related bills are subject to “budget reconciliation;” that is, a simple majority to pass a bill. What’s more budget-related than a continuing budget resolution and 0bamacare?
And therefore, as always, the fault lies with the leadership.
1. Paul Ryan is obviously contemptuous of Trump and subversive against this President and the people who elected him.
2. Trump as President had no trouble threatening members of The Freedom Caucus if they don’t fall in line and go along with the previous attempts to repeal and replace 0bamacare.
3. Trump crowed about bipartisanship when the budget extension gave the Democrats everything they wanted, and almost none of what he wanted.
4. What if Trump learned a lesson from President Reagan, and used his unparalleled access to the media to rally the people and browbeat Congress into following his lead on the issues that got him elected? One post-election rally in four months is nice and it gets attention, but obviously it’s not enough. Reagan was on TV time after time, asking people to call their congressmen and senators to do the right thing. The people responded and Reaganomics gave us a generation-long period of growth and prosperity.
5. What if Trump, either publicly or privately or both, told each and every one of the Republicans in Congress, especially the RINOs and NeverTrumpers, that either they fall in line to do the people’s will, or he Trump will recruit, support and campaign for candidates challenging them in their primaries? He had a chance to do that against Paul Ryan but he backed off in the last minute. Yet, as we know all too well in Nevada, Republicans who were either cool or openly opposed to Trump were abandoned by the Republican base in numbers sufficient enough to let Democrats win narrowly in congressional and legislative races. There is a lesson in that; and the lesson is that we the people want our agenda to be implemented, that we the people will not support people who are lukewarm on that agenda, that Trump did and does have coattails, and that he should not be afraid to use it.
6. The Democrats act on their belief that everything is politics and are engaged in a permanent campaign in and out of election season. We may hate it, we may wish to go back to our normal lives at least part of the time, but we have no choice. We have no choice but to be engaged and to fight back at every step. The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.
So let’s be absolutely clear about this.
1. There is NOTHING in the Constitution that allows the federal government to be involved in any of this sort of thing. At best, it is the States that are free to experiment with these violations of the most fundamental of our founding principles, rooted in individual freedom and free enterprise.
2. The Republican bill to repeal and replace 0bamacare is a good step, but only a step in the right direction. It too will need to be replaced, and replaced very soon, before the new welfare program for pre-existing conditions is expanded to include everyone and every conceivable medical condition, because who among us, even a new-born baby, is without pre-existing conditions and consequent special needs? We are living creatures, we all have pre-existing conditions of one sort or another. The term has to be defined, and the history of definitions makes it clear that they are both arbitrary and ever-expanding.
3. The Republican bill to repeal and replace 0bamacare, like all New Deal social welfare programs, eventually must be put on sound economic basis by being privatized, before their relentless expansion ends up bankrupting the government and destroying the country. Social Security can be phased out in the manner of the Chilean model by making large and regular contributions into a privately owned and managed retirement account. Likewise for your health insurance and health care costs. There is no reason why your retirement fund should be run by the government, and there is no reason why health insurance should be tied to your employment. There is no economic reason why a private program cannot be phased in for future generations.
4. If there is any doubt or concern that people would NOT fund their own health care and retirement, then certainly the same mechanism that is used today to withhold income and payroll taxes from one’s paycheck can be applied to make those contributions, along with adequate measures and prohibitions against spending from those accounts on other than their specifically designated purposes.
5. If the States are doing all this, then there should not be any constitutional issues.
6. There is only a political reason to keep this welfare system (for working people!), and that political reason is some people’s and some politician’s adherence to the class-envy / class warfare philosophy of marxism. Sorry, that’s “so yesterday.” The Communist Manifesto was published in 1848; this is 2017. It’s high time for some genuinely new thinking, not the long-discredited same old crap that has destroyed Soviet Russia, communist Cuba, socialist Venezuela,… That list is as long as the number of countries that have been unlucky enough to be hauled down that path not voluntarily but by a violent dictatorship. We DON’T have to follow — certainly not voluntarily in the name of some misguided and misunderstood sense of compassion or social justice!