Lanterns: To Repeal, or Not To Repeal – That Is The Question

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To Repeal, or Not To Repeal – That Is The Question

A few weeks ago President Trump mentioned dealing with the repeal of Obamacare was complicated. 

In reality, it is in fact complicated. One reason is it was purposely enacted and engrained in a way to make it very difficult to just kill it. Have you ever heard of someone who has been diagnosed with cancer, but after tests, scans, and even a biopsy and surgery, they are told there is nothing that can be done. The tentacles of the tumor are wrapped around the brain, or other vital organs and any effort to remove the cancer will kill the patient.

This is Obamacare, and intentionally so. But that is not the only complication.

A large majority of people who voted for Donald Trump did so for some basic reasons: Build the wall, drain the swamp and repeal Obamacare. In fact, the day before he was sworn in he promised to ask Congress to “immediately deliver a full repeal” on his first day. That quickly morphed into a repeal and replace promise, and then lately a repeat of his 2015 promise to “cover everyone.”

“We’re going to have insurance for everybody,” Trump said. “There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it. That’s not going to happen with us.” People covered under the law “can expect to have great health care. It will be in a much-simplified form. Much less expensive and much better.”

In an interview with Scott Pelley on CBS' 60 Minutes Trump discussed his idea for healthcare.

Scott Pelley: Universal health care?

Donald Trump: I am going to take care of everybody. I don’t care if it costs me votes or not. Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now.

Scott Pelley: The uninsured person is going to be taken care of how?

Donald Trump: They’re going to be taken care of. I would make a deal with existing hospitals to take care of people. And, you know what, if this is probably–

Scott Pelley: Make a deal? Who pays for it?

Donald Trump: –the government’s gonna pay for it. 

Complicated indeed. Might we be better off to ask what is behind door three?

Yesterday the president stated, “Pass the bill or risk losing re-election.” It is unclear exactly what was meant by that statement. Does it mean failure to support this particular bill? Does it mean he will support an opponent? I understand politics means compromise, not everyone can get what they want. But Republicans voted 52 times to repeal Obamacare. Suddenly the only option is to repeal and replace with “Obamacare Lite?” It will take that if the president’s vision is to be realized. The Koch brothers have clearly stated they will NOT support anyone who votes for this bill. The fight is on.

On the electorate side, there are, of course, the progressives who want full single payer socialized medicine, those who are happy with Obamacare, those who want government involvement at a different level, and those who want free market solutions. From my perspective, I think most Trump supporters wanted a full repeal with market solutions. Congressman Thomas Massie from Kentucky said his office had received 279 calls about the pending bill, and only four wanted him to support it.

I would suggest that President Trump has much to lose in his support of this bill.

Supporting the product delivered from the swamp by the swamp monster itself will alienate many Trump supporters. Any politician will have supporters who stick with their guy regardless, but most conservatives and libertarians will find no joy in this capitulation to the Washington machine. If insurance rates do not go down, and in fact, continue to go up, Mr. Trump and the Republicans will own it and receive all the blame.

If they do nothing, they will own it by having the power to change it and failing to do so. The president touched on the problem in his “threat.” Re-election. People are worried about their actions affecting the likelihood of being re-elected.

When a politician puts their finger in the air and uses the polls to determine how they vote, they have made the determination that their oath of office means nothing. They either seek the power of the office or believe they are indispensable-- the only one who can or will do the job. Either choice is bad for the people and the republic.

“When the people find that they can vote themselves money that will herald the end of the republic.” ? Benjamin Franklin
Now, this takes “two to tango,” the people, desirous of the largess of others, and politicians willing to promise delivery. This is America today.

The Republicans have tried to say they are constitutional. They want lower taxes and smaller government to get conservatives to vote for them, and then they hand out goodies to try and match the progressives. They think this is what the people want in the end, and what they need to do to keep being re-elected. Donald Trump was swept into power to put an end to all this, to drain the swamp. If he wades into the swamp with a shovel in hand and ends up hiding in the grass and cuddling up to the alligators, he and the Republican party are history.

This election was the last chance in the minds of many people. If the Republicans once again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, it will be their own funeral.

 

Written by Michael Murphy The Voice of Reason

The Voice of Reason

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