Tag Archives: American Health Care Act

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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