Do the Republicans have a fricking political death wish?
This past week, the Republicans have put forth their initial proposed replacement (not repeal) of the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) titled the American Health Care Act, or AHCA. The critics have called the AHCA a number of names including ObamaCare Lite and ObamaCare 2.0. Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY) stated:
“It’s a stinking pile of garbage. …It’s not a Republican, conservative bill. …One thing that I’ve maintained is that this bill was written with the help of the insurance companies, just like Obamacare. That’s why it looks so similar.“
From the articles that I’ve read so far, the AHCA is a tweak to the existing law, keeping the popular parts, dumping the unpopular parts (mostly), but keeping the government firmly in charge. And by the way, it appears that you would be required to buy insurance by law.
A far cry from the “repeal and replace” campaign promises of the Republican Party. One begins to wonder why, and that brings back something that I wrote over a decade ago:
In case any of you didn’t know, a typical politician’s primary job is not to serve the people who elected him. His primary job is to get himself (or herself) elected or re-elected. Second is to reward all those contributors that gave $$ to help him get elected. Third is to get as many perks & benefits as he can while he is in office. Last on the list is the common person like you & I.
And here we go again – that vicious circle where We The People vote professional politicians into office based on their promises only to get screwed again. To continue with the same post:
What happens is that anything that the politician has promised, said they would do, or otherwise look into during the campaign is promptly forgotten, and we, as the stupid idiots that we are, forget right along with them. That is, until the next time re-election comes up… Then it’s the “other party’s” fault for putting up roadblocks, vetoes, filibusters, yadda, yadda, yadda as to why they couldn’t fulfill their promises.
Does this dance routine sound familiar? But the voters have woken up, and if the Republicans continue the politics as usual routine, they could find themselves in the same condition as the Democratic Party, and We The People might just find ourselves with a vengeful Democratic Congress back in power.
Here’s the problem – government entitlements like ObamaCare are rarely (never) repealed in their entirety. There are certain groups that depend on the entitlements, and they are usually 1) very vocal about their support, 2) the Media makes it their “human interest story” about the government abusing their power (!) by taking away their civil rights (!!) to such a program, and 3) the Media putting the politicians trying to curb the entitlement through the 9th circle of Hell for even thinking to reduce government entitlements.
I’ve read somewhere that politicians, as a whole, are some of the most risk adverse people on the planet. And it’s true – they will go to almost any length to avoid controversy that they cannot control or benefit from. This is exactly what is happening here. They want to keep the entitlements for the minority while trying to appease the majority with legal smoke and mirrors – a difficult balancing act that isn’t going to go too far with an awake electorate.
Arthur Schaper at Townhall.com has an interesting take on what should be done:
…repeal the whole damn Obamacare monstrosity, and let the free market make us healthy…
Don’t just repeal Obamacare, but repeal all the stupid rules pushed by government and corporate interests to enrich themselves while impoverishing everyone else. And about more policy-oriented discussions …
Let’s repeal the nasty notion that health care is a “right” which the government must provide. It’s not working in Canada, the United Kingdom, or Sweden. Bernie Sanders is a spoiled regressive from Vermont. He should try getting health care in Canada, where he can pull a number of hope that he wins a locale’s once-a-month lottery to see a family doctor. The animals get better care than human beings.
Don’t just repeal the Obamacare monster. Remove all the decades-old layers of government regulation. During World War II, FDR imposed age controls, so employers offered health insurance to compete for jobs. Now Americans expect third parties (including the government) to bear the burden)
Arbitrary caps on medical students, guild-system quotas on medical professionals, and arbitrary licensure laws are not helping. The government that wants to keep us healthy is making us sicker.
When Medicare arrived, more people ended up spending other people’s money for less healthcare.
Get rid of it.
The tort-lawyer lobby is kicking taxpayers’ butts. Time to discourage punitive damage awards? Restore the Common Law provisions which forced lawsuit losers to pay back the winning party’s attorney’s fees?
Sounds like a winner to me. Hope the Republicans are listening…