Tag Archives: ACA

Mo Brooks is the man

Mo Brooks (R, AL-95) has filed a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The entirety of the bill reads as follows:

Effective as of Dec. 31, 2017, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is repealed, and the provisions of law amended or repealed by such Act are restored or revived as if such Act had not been enacted,

MoBrooks
It’s clear to me that Mo Brooks is my kind of guy. Just a few weeks ago I suggested that a true repeal bill would read, “The ACA is hereby repealed.” See? Great minds really do think alike.

Unsurprisingly, Brooks is a member of the House Freedom Caucus.

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AHCA winners and losers

Paul Ryan, Donald Trump and House Republican Leadership: Losers

Though Ryan and Trump each tried in his own way to place responsibility for the bill on the other, it was a group project and they failed badly, not only from a policy standpoint, but also politically. The roll out of the bill rivaled the roll out of Trump’s first executive order on immigration in its ineptitude. Phases 2 and 3 seemed to have been hastily drawn up to try to stem the flow of criticism, regardless of whether or not that was the case.

ryan and trump

House Republican leaders went along for the ride; Cathy McMorris Rodgers pimped it like a boss. They get extra demerits because instead of spending the last seven years educating the public about the benefits of free market reforms, they engaged in Repeal Theater, building expectations that we’ve now been told were impossibly unrealistic. I’m honestly left with the feeling that they never thought they would be in a position to actually repeal ACA, and were left in a panic when Trump won. If they had any shame, they would all resign, except Paul Ryan, but only because I’ve heard that no one else will take the Speaker’s job.

Planned Parenthood: Winners

The one incontrovertibly good thing the bill did was to defund Planned Parenthood and, unfortunately, that means that the one incontrovertibly bad thing about the bill’s demise is that Planned Parenthood’s funding remains in place.

Congressional Democrats: Winners

2017-03-27 (1)Yes, they were winners, but it’s disgusting the way some of them have taken credit where none is due. Congressional Democrats were powerless to stop the bill from advancing had all Republicans been on board. Which brings me to the big winners….

House Freedom Caucus: Winners

These guys aren’t just winners; they’re heroes. They stood in support of the thousands of campaign promises made to repeal the Affordable Care Act. They fought the battle and emerged as the true victors, despite any gloating from helpless Congressional Democrats.

American People: Draw

The American people are winners in the sense that ACA-Lite is dead and we and can look forward to full repeal and replacement with free market solutions, but losers in that Obamacare is, as Paul Ryan told us, “…The law of the land…for the foreseeable future.”

If we want to win the war, and not just this battle, now is the time for the people to remind Congressional Republicans who and what gave them control of the House, the Senate and the Presidency.

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Where does Congress’ allegiance lay?

constitution and flagUnless you live under a rock, you’ve probably heard that the American Health Care Act, otherwise known as ACA-Lite has died a painful death. Good riddance.

In Donald Trump’s eulogy, he said something that caught my attention.

 This was an interesting period of time. We learned a lot about loyalty and we learned about the vote getting process.”

Then I saw this on Twitter.

2017-03-25 (1)

The two things together got me thinking.

One can only speculate what Trump had in mind when he made his remarks, but my guess is that he felt that the House Freedom Caucus had been disloyal to…himself? The party? Hard to know for sure.

Austin Scott’s meaning, however, is very clear and I’m sure his constituents would be interested to learn that he believes Congressmen owe their loyalty to the President.

Congressmen don’t take an oath to support and defend the President. If they did it would just be creepy in the same way it was creepy in 2009 when these celebrities pledged allegiance to Barack Obama.

In fact, congressmen take an oath to support and defend the Constitution. It goes like this:

I, (name of Member), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

What I don’t see mentioned there is the President or any political party whatsoever. I propose that a congressman’s primary responsibility is to the Constitution of the United States and that is where his loyalty should be directed.

After that? Oh, there is no “after that.” A congressman should never place loyalty to a party or person, even the President of the United States, above his loyalty to the Constitution. There will be times, hopefully many – even most – times, when the interests of the President and a political party align with adherence to the Constitution. That’s great, but when they don’t the Constitution must come first.

And, yes, I mean a congressman owes his allegiance to the Constitution over his responsibility to his constituents.

So Donald Trump can trash the House Freedom Caucus all he wants…2017-03-26

…But in my view, they are the heroes of this story. They honored the Constitution and honored the promises they made to their constituents. I hope Trump really did learn something about the “vote getting process.” I hope he learned that the President isn’t a CEO and that Congress is in no way obligated to do his bidding.

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Dear Paul Ryan

Paul – can I call you Paul? – it’s a good thing you’re such a likeable guy; otherwise, I could really get to loathe you. For the past several years, you’ve been talking about repealing the Affordable Care Act. Silly me, I thought you had a plan. Instead, you introduced ACA-Lite and what a disappointment that turned out to be.

I feel like you were just stringing me along and then jilted me at the altar.

jilted-bride

Being in denial, and what jilted bride isn’t, I watched your infomercial. You know, the one with the whiteboard? I like the way you rolled up your sleeves, to show how you were really getting down to work.

paul ryan infomercial

Let’s just say I remain unconvinced. Maybe the Continuous Health Insurance Coverage Incentive sounds good to you, but it sure sounds an awful lot like the Individual Shared Responsibility Payment. Maybe tax credits really are better than subsidized premiums, but not being all policy-wonkish, I’m not seeing it. It all sounds like spreading the wealth around to me.

And what was that all about when you said, “This is the closest we will ever get to repealing and replacing Obamacare?” I’ve heard something like that before…let me think…Right, I’ve got it. It was at the used car dealership, when the smarmy sales guy told me that if I went to pee, the deal was off the table.

Here’s the thing, Paul. I want to believe that AHCA is an improvement over ACA, but I haven’t found anyone yet who can explain to me why it’s better. And, let me tell you, the CBO report didn’t help you out any, despite their dubious credibility.

smarmy car salesmanYour “Three Phase Plan” isn’t fooling anyone, either. “We have to pass the plan in order to find out…” Oh, wait. That was a different plan. It kind of has the same feel, though. “We have to pass this steaming pile of crap in order to get to the good stuff.” Okay, sure. I suppose Tom Price can be trusted to hold up his end of the deal, but tell me this: If you have to pass Phase 1 through reconciliation because you don’t have the votes, how do you propose to pass the legislation of Phase 3? I don’t see how that works.

So, Paul, to sell me – and probably millions of other conservatives like me – you either need to be able to explain the “benefits” of your plan in language that I can understand or you need to toss the whole thing in the trash and start over. At this point, I prefer the latter.

Love,

Me

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When Will You Fight?

Still, if you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; 

If you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly;

You may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival.

There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than live as slaves. 

~Winston Churchill

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