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Palin: President Trump “Will Step In and Fix” Ryan’s ObamaCare Replacement

Palin: President Trump “Will Step In and Fix” Ryan’s ObamaCare Replacement

“How will we create a smaller, smarter government with a proposal like this that basically allows for the continuation of a growth of government?”

https://youtu.be/Mvlm3LKSlpU

“Repeal and replace” has been the GOP mantra since the Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare, was signed into law in 2010. Riding the wave of horror and outrage that inspired millions of Americans to rise up and rally, attend town halls, and become involved in the election process, the GOP has enjoyed enormous gains not only at the federal but at the state and local level across the nation.  They all understand how important this moment is to the Republican party, and they all comprehend that they have one chance to get this right.

What is not clear is how much they get about the need for substantive changes to those parts of ObamaCare they can tackle with only a simple majority in the Senate.  As the prof noted, they are somewhat restricted in what they can do unilaterally; without a supermajority in the Senate, there are parts of ObamaCare that cannot be “fixed” via budget reconciliation.

Major changes related to the power of the minority party in the Senate would have to take place, including the removal of the filibuster, a move that former Senate majority leader Harry Reid would almost certainly have taken had he felt the need to do so and one with which current Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell struggles (though I have little doubt that he, too, would take this rather extreme step and worry about the long-term consequences later).

What the GOP can do, however, without any input or support from Democrats is to tinker with the budgetary items of ObamaCare and those things Reid shoved through via reconciliation as budgetary matters.

What Speaker of the House Paul Ryan offered up this week is the House GOP proposal for the “repeal and replacement” of much of ObamaCare.  The problems with it are many, however, and each of the problems goes straight to the heart of the initial concerns of the Tea Party who rose up to challenge the government takeover of one-sixth of our nation’s economy, our health care/insurance system:  the federal government is still far too involved in health care, the taxes and penalties added are at least as onerous as those in ObamaCare (we’ll know more next week when the CBO report is released), and the central control of everything from what policies you can buy to how much coverage you must have are all in place.  They’ve simply applied lipstick to the pig.

Sarah Palin has provided the most concise “con” side to the replacement bill now making its way through the House:

“[R]emember this is government-controlled health care, the system that requires enrollment in an unaffordable, unsustainable, unwanted, unconstitutional continuation of government-run medicine, and even in this new quasi-reformed proposal, there is still an aspect of socialism. That’s the whole premise here.”

. . . .  Palin expressed serious concern with the fact that Ryan’s healthcare bill does not eliminate Obamacare’s individual mandate. It just shifts the mandate—which requires all Americans to purchase a health insurance plan even if they do not want one. Under Obamacare, those who do not comply, pay a tax to the federal government. Under Ryan’s plan, those who not comply, pay a fee to the insurance companies.

“This 30 percent additional fee will be collected by some in the private sector, which will mean politicians are allowed again to pick the winners and losers, and it makes you wonder who’s lobbying hardest for aspects of this new bill because obviously there are special interests involved. Otherwise, certain private sector segments of our economy wouldn’t be rewarded as they will be with this fee, instead of going to the IRS going to private companies,” Palin said. “It would be really helpful if every single one of these politicians would do like the NASCAR drivers do—and it’s been said before—but let them wear their sponsors plastered all over their three-piece suits when they show up so we know what side they’re on and who they’re actually doing their bidding for.”

Palin was among the first prominent Republicans to endorse Trump and remains a staunch supporter of the president.

Watch:

Palin goes on to discuss the massive role that central planning will still play in our health care/insurance system should this bill move forward.

. . . .  “But we can’t lose sight of the entire premise between the whole pro-Obamacare and the pro-RINO-care arguments,” she continued. “It’s so wrong because it’s still so unconstitutional. It’s still taxation without representation. It still picks winners and losers because some corporations get to opt out of the requirements that hit everyone else. It still infringes on states’ rights, and it still weaponizes the IRS against Americans who just simply seek freedom and choices and sensibility in their families’ health care. The IRS will be taxing aspects of this without representation because we have no choice. We’re shackled to politicians’ whims and special interests’ bullying interests, which does violate the Constitution, and it actually allows government to have a lien on our health.”

“People need to know it’s the foundation, it’s the premise,” Palin said. “I don’t know why we’re still even giving an inch on aspects of socialized medicine via this new RINO-care proposal. Is that okay with conservatives, with Republicans in office? They say they want the patient first. They say they want freedom. They say they want a free market to drive the insurance system that we have in America. But no, government is still in control. Government actually has a lien on our health because they lord over us penalties if we want to opt out of a big government mandate.”

Palin and the politicians she mentions are not the only people on the right who are confused by the big-spending, big-government “replacement” that Ryan is peddling.

Because whatever success ObamaCare can claim is almost exclusively grounded in the expansion of Medicaid and as such amounts to little more than the expansion of an entitlement, the concessions to that end in the GOP replacement are worrying.

The National Review reports:

[T]he ACA has increased insurance coverage by expanding Medicaid. In 2007, 18.1 percent of non-elderly Americans had public insurance. By 2010, that share was 22 percent, and rather than declining as the economy recovered, it continued to climb all the way to 25.3 percent in 2015.

The hue and cry on the left is that the Medicaid expansion will be removed by the GOP and leave millions without health insurance.  However, the GOP replacement does not do that at all.  Instead, it simply block grants that money to the states, and it does so without the eventual weaning of states from the federal dollars.

Indeed, the GOP version actually includes states that refused the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion in the new block grant of the expanded Medicaid, using— explicitly—2016 ObamaCare numbers for the grant amounts and expanding the payouts to all states.

The Washington Examiner explains:

The bill would keep Obamacare largely intact between now and 2020, and presumes that Republicans would have the political will to let spending cuts go into effect during a presidential election year.

Assuming they do, after 2020, it still makes allowances for enhanced Obamacare-level spending to cover individuals who signed up for expanded Medicaid by that time. And it replaces Obamacare’s subsidies to purchase insurance with a new federal subsidy scheme.

In addition, the bill introduces new spending that wasn’t even in Obamacare. For instance, it proposes $10 billion in “safety net funding” for states that did not expand Medicaid and $100 billion in spending aimed at stabilizing insurance markets. It used to be that Republicans believed that market forces were the best way to stabilize markets, not a massive injection of federal funds.

Because of all of this, it’s not clear to me that GOP leaders understand that we didn’t reject ObamaCare because it originated with Democrats or because Obama was in the White House.  Had these been the reasons, then sure, simply moving some numbers from one column to another and renaming things while keeping the core of the massive (unfunded) spending and central planning would be just dandy.

We did not, however, reject ObamaCare for partisan reasons or because we are racists; we rejected it because it was yet another powergrab that includes enormously expensive big government intrusion into our lives.  Because none of that has substantively changed in this new replacement offering, it’s difficult to see how Ryan’s effort gains the widespread support it would need to be successful.

President Trump has been tweeting his support of the GOP replacement for ObamaCare and has even threatened to back primary challengers of the bill because “repeal and replace” is a big part of the promise he made to the American people.  He has already established a clear track record of not only taking his promises seriously but of fulfilling them, impressive in a president who’s been in office for such a short time.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/840572799202783233

With all of the pressing concerns he must have, President Trump may not, however, be aware of the problems in the Ryan replacement bill, and to that end, Palin explains that she is certain he will step in and fix it.

“He will step in and fix it,” Palin said. “I have great faith that President Trump is one who will fulfill campaign promises. He already has a track record of doing so well in these first months, I’m just really proud to have been part of the constituency that wanted him in there and worked hard to get him in there. So, yeah, I’m sure that President Trump is going to do the right thing and listen to all sides, of course, but understand, especially, that as a businessman, he’s going to understand whether this makes sense in his vision of how to grow businesses and how to get government off our back and back on our side.

How will we create a smaller, smarter government with a proposal like this that basically allows for the continuation of a growth of government? That’s what any aspect of Obamacare or RINO-care does. So asking President Trump specifically about how running a business, not a Wall Street business, but mom-and-pop main street business, how does RINO-care help their business get to grow and drive and survive in this economy?”

It’s hard to see Trump answering those questions with “more government control and meddling” and “different onerous hoops to jump through, different government mandates, and different taxes and penalties.”  Like Palin, I sincerely hope that Trump will step in and get this thing revised to eliminate the fundamental problems that made the original ObamaCare so unpalatable to the American people.

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Comments

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | March 12, 2017 at 4:52 pm

Remember President Trump,
“Keep your friends close, and your enemies even closer.”

This crap is EXACTLY what I’ve said to expect from Mr. Establishment.

Watch and see…

    Walker Evans in reply to Ragspierre. | March 12, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    Since this piece of smoke-and-mirrors legislation is almost exclusively Paul Ryan’s baby, I presume he is the one you’re referring to as Mr. Establishment. I’m expecting President Trump to demand a myriad of changes before he’ll sign it.

      Aboluntionist in reply to Walker Evans. | March 12, 2017 at 5:56 pm

      According to Trump himself, “This piece of smoke-and-mirrors legislation” is not exclusively Paul Ryan’s baby. In a speech by Trump, published on Breitbart yesterday, Trump said the RayanCare bill was written in compliance with Trump’s guidelines and both Pence and Trump are out stumping for this bill. Many conservatives are singularly opposed to the bill as Obamacare 2.0, but as of yet, Trump seems to be sticking with Ryan on passing this “piece-of-Smoke-and-mirrors”.

      Milhouse in reply to Walker Evans. | March 14, 2017 at 12:27 am

      Rubbish. This is not Ryan’s bill, it’s Trump’s, and he bears full responsibility for it.

    Mac45 in reply to Ragspierre. | March 13, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    One has to understand Trump’s objectives to understand his support for this horrible bill.

    The focus of the Trump agenda is to stimulate the manufacturing portion of the US economy, thereby increasing employment and earnings, which will then stimulate increased purchasing of consumer goods which will stimulate industry. And this is to be done while keeping money in the US.

    What Trump is not, is a social warrior. He cares little about social programs which do not directly impact employment. And the Congressional Establishment knows this. That is why the employer and individual mandate was repealed in the AHCA bill. The individual penalty for not having insurance is backloaded into the insurance premium surcharge for those without insurance for over 62 days, two months.

    Also, the healthcare/insurance industry is not going to collapse in the next 12 months. So, no “quick fix” is really necessary. And, as the only real way to fix the healthcare situation is to reduce costs of services, which will reduce costs to consumers, which will reduce costs to insurance providers, which will reduce premium to consumers, this would require removing the government from the healthcare industry to the greatest extent possible. As a sizable portion of the current population requires healthcare insurance and some degree of subsidization to afford that healthcare insurance, some segment of the population will lose their insurance coverage.

    At this point in his Presidency, Trump neither needs, nor wants, the political blowback which would occur from widespread cuts in the number of insured in the country. To fall into that trap would be political suicide for this administration.

    Now, the healthcare affordability problem will continue to grow. At some point, it will reach the point where it is essentially unaffordable by a majority of people. And then, there will be no choice but to take draconian action to correct it. There is essentially only two things which will correct this problem. The first is the essential nationalization of the healthcare/insurance industry complete with government provided health insurance and price and access controls. The second is the removal of government from the healthcare industry almost entirely. Whatever happens it is not going to be pretty.

    Personally, I do not agree with the Trump administration on this bill. It not only does nothing to mitigate the damage being done by the ACA, it actual exacerbates it by maintaining federal funding of the expanded Medicaid literally forever. It would be far better not to pass this legislation and come up with a comprehensive plan to reduce government involvement in the industry over the next two years.

It appears that Speaker Ryan has his fingers in his ears while singing ‘I can’t hear you’ and the GOP senate doesn’t have the 50 votes needed for repeal. The filibuster is just an excuse.

I’m pretty sure that all Trump needs for his purposes is a sign a bill that claims to repeal and replace.

    Walker Evans in reply to MSO. | March 12, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    So far President Trump has been doing all he can to keep his campaign promises. I would surprise me to the point of shock if he were to sign off on Ryan’s Obamacare Phase 2.

    To repeal budgetary items in the Senate now only requires a simple majority (the Senate has 100 seats, so 51 votes are needed). That was Harry Reid’s change.

    To repeal the rest, two-thirds are required (60 votes). Sixty votes in one party is a supermajority, and the GOP does not have that. The GOP currently holds 52 Senate seats.

    This simple overview excludes considerations of progressive/”centrist” GOP senators and red/purple state Democrat senators, and it doesn’t address cloture votes, etc., but you get the picture.

    In short, the filibuster is not an excuse, it’s a long-standing Senate rule. Whether or not it’s wise to eliminate it is another discussion.

      Eliminating the filibuster is no longer optional; if the GOP won’t do it, then they don’t want to pass the legislation they promised. The filibuster has already been violated; it is no longer a ‘long standing rule’.

        Milhouse in reply to MSO. | March 14, 2017 at 12:30 am

        That is not true. The filibuster on legislation stands just as strong as ever, and the Rs used it to good effect when the Ds had the majority. Reid could have got rid of it, but he chose not to, and allowed the Rs to use it, because he didn’t want to lose it when the shoe was on the other foot.

      VaGentleman in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | March 12, 2017 at 8:38 pm

      Fuzzy,
      minor correction: 2/3 = 67 votes.

      I believe you are correct that 60 are needed to repeal.

As I understand it, that 30% fee is ONLY for those who choose to not buy health insurance until AFTER they have a medical condition that requires treatment. And it is only for the duration of that year. In other words, if you choose to NOT buy insurance, you are quite welcome to do so. If you then get sick and decide to buy insurance at that time, the penalty goes to partially offset the loss the insurance company would otherwise suffer. Just exactly WHAT is wrong with that, if the insurance is not going to be able to exclude pre-existing conditions???

    Are you asking me what is wrong with the federal government mandating I pay a fee based on when I purchase a product that the federal government mandates I purchase? Or are you asking me what is wrong with the government using taxpayer dollars to subsidize the trillion dollar “private” health insurance industry with my “shared responsibility” payment?

    Either way, if you don’t know the answer to those questions, I can’t help you.

      Mark Matis in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | March 12, 2017 at 6:12 pm

      The federal government is NOT mandating that you purchase that product. If you don’t understand that, then I can’t help you either.

      I did read the “plan” and am on record as opposing it.

      However, it does not mandate purchasing insurance. You are free to go uninsured without penalty. You will have to pay more if you purchase it later, for a period of time (1 year IIRC).

      The way you have written it is incorrect Fuzzy.

        Mark Matis in reply to Barry. | March 13, 2017 at 8:03 am

        She has no interest in hearing that. And her cuck followers aren’t interested in hearing that, either.

          Barry in reply to Mark Matis. | March 13, 2017 at 1:39 pm

          I don’t think so Mark. I think she either made a mistake in the way it was written or has read one of the many false reports on the Ryan plan and believes it correct.

          Mark Matis in reply to Mark Matis. | March 13, 2017 at 2:07 pm

          You may be correct, but that’s not how her post from “March 12, 2017 at 6:01 pm” reads. But then I just may not be sufficiently educated to understand her meaning.

          Barry in reply to Mark Matis. | March 13, 2017 at 4:01 pm

          Fuzzy didn’t say it in her post, only in the comment above. Palin sorta goes there with the individual mandate comparison. But there is no comparison. There is no individual mandate in this plan. Period. Not there.

          Mark Matis in reply to Mark Matis. | March 13, 2017 at 6:06 pm

          Are we both looking at the same post from “March 12, 2017 at 6:01 pm”???

          Barry in reply to Mark Matis. | March 13, 2017 at 7:15 pm

          Sorry Mark, I thought you were talking about the article posted, not the comment. The “6:01” was the key. Yes, that is what I responded to, that comment, so you are correct. In the article itself fuzzy doesn’t say that, but quoted Palin does, sorta. That might be where Fuzzy gets it…

        On reflection, you are right, Barry. I didn’t word my comment very well.

        The problem that I have is that the Ryan plan does require the same minimum 10-point coverage as ObamaCare (from the summary I linked in the actual post: “ACA requirement to cover 10 essential health benefit categories is not changed”). Here’s a link to the 10 “essential” health benefit categories: https://www.healthcare.gov/coverage/what-marketplace-plans-cover/

        Soooooo, if you want to buy an insurance policy that qualifies for the new tax credit scale, it must include that baseline coverage. ObamaCare “marketplaces” are left in-tact, but yes, you can, under Ryan’s plan, buy catastrophic plans, etc. that were eliminated by ObamaCare. You just can’t get tax credits for them if you qualify in the first place (i.e. are higher up on the new age scale), and if you change them to more comprehensive plans, they have to include those 10 “essential” benefits to qualify for tax credits.

        Under ObamaCare, you weren’t forced to buy health insurance, but if you chose not to, you had to pay a penalty (or tax). This is standard Obama logic, “sure, you can build a new coal plant, but it will bankrupt you.”

        Under RINO-Care, you aren’t forced to buy health insurance, either, but if you choose not to, you have to pay a penalty (no one is saying this is a tax because it goes not go to the feds but to private insurers. This “public-private” partnership is fundamentally flawed on a number of levels, but that is another discussion.). How is this substantively different than Obama’s “incentive”?

        Also, the penalty under RINO-Care may actually be higher than that under ObamaCare (at 30% of a given policy, it’s going to be far more for many Americans than the blanket amount that increased each year under ObamaCare).

        All that said, you are correct that I should not have said that you are required to have health insurance in the first place. You are only required to have a policy that covers the 10 Obamacare “essential” coverage points if you purchase “full” coverage (as defined by the government) and qualify (based on age) for tax credits, and if you choose not to do so, there is no penalty. If you fail to purchase full, government-approved coverage within a given time-frame, you have to pay a penalty, set by the government, to the insurance company.

        Under both plans, you can remain uncovered. Under the RINO-care plan, you are only screwed when you find yourself in a negative health situation that requires fuller coverage than none or a catastrophic plan. So you don’t pay the “shared responsibility” fine/fee/tax/penalty until you need health care for which you need insurance.

        At rock bottom and as a constitutional, free market conservative, I don’t really care as much about the numbers as I do about the fact that the full weight of federal law is behind all this. Frankly, if the feds said I had to pay one penny for not buying a product they want me to buy, I would reject it. On principle.

        The federal government has no business at all in what health insurance I buy, what it covers, and etc. There is no way to make this central control palatable to me, and forking out a government-mandated 30% to the insurance company isn’t any different than having to fork out the government-mandated “shared responsibility” payment. In the former case, the government is forcing me (without holding a gun to my head) to buy a product of which they approve and penalizing me for not doing so; in the latter case, the government is forcing me (again, without a gun to my head) to buy a product of which they approve and penalizing me for not doing so in a timely manner. To whom I pay that penalty matters not at all if it is government-mandated.

        When we called for repeal and replace, we did not mean “hey, this whole government control thing is awesomeness on wheels, I just wanna be forced to pay private companies instead of being forced to pay the feds.” To me, the bottom line is whether or not the federal government is responsible for providing citizens with health insurance. My answer is: no, it is not.

        What is clear, however, is that ObamaCare moved the goal posts so substantially that even right-leaning people now see health care (actually insurance, not access or care) as under the federal purview. This is incredibly distressing to me, but I don’t see a way around it. Americans have come to believe that the government should not only help pay for their health insurance but should be actively involved in their health insurance choices, including the continuation of ObamaCare “marketplaces” in RINO-care. Tax credits are just subsidies, and both reflect the growing belief that our wages are not our own, that the government decides what we keep and what we are “refunded” or “credited” based on what decisions we make and how we are penalized or rewarded for those choices (the penalties and rewards, of course, dictate our “choices” to the point that, for many Americans, they aren’t actual choices at all).

        I’ve gone off on a tangent (yet again), but Barry is right that I misspoke in my comment, but at the same time, the coercive power of government-mandated penalties also plays a role here and can be read as a requirement to buy government-approved health insurance to avoid later penalties.

Awesome article, Fuzzy. Thanks…and I mention that I love Sarah Palin?

buckeyeminuteman | March 12, 2017 at 8:16 pm

Don’t hold your breathe. Tea Partiers are the only ones who can fix this as the GOP has shown how inept they are.

“Because whatever success ObamaCare can claim is almost exclusively grounded in the expansion of Medicaid and as such amounts to little more than the expansion of an entitlement …”

This is a falsehood. I personally know people who are not eligible for Medicaid, and who have obtained Obamacare policies with excellent coverage at extremely reasonable premiums. Of course I also know people who are paying much more than they used to for policies with poorer coverage.

One of the main obstacles to crafting good health insurance legislation is the lack of accurate, comprehensive data about the policies current held by Americans. Neither the Democrats, nor the Republicans, nor FS have it. I don’t blame them, because it doesn’t exist.

This is insane.

    Barry in reply to gibbie. | March 13, 2017 at 12:56 am

    “who have obtained Obamacare policies with excellent coverage at extremely reasonable premiums. ”

    Define “excellent” and “reasonable”.

      gibbie in reply to Barry. | March 13, 2017 at 9:00 am

      Someone I know, about 36 years old, has an Obamacare policy through Florida Blue. They pay $50.52 per month after their $326 per month subsidy. They have no deductible and low copays ($1 for primary doctor, $10 for specialist). This insurance is accepted by a wide variety of physicians.

      My main point is that there is that comprehensive data regarding the policies currently held by Americans does not exist. If you don’t have the data, you don’t know what the problem is. If you don’t know what the problem is, you can’t solve it.

        Mac45 in reply to gibbie. | March 13, 2017 at 12:30 pm

        The problem is that people require government subsidies to afford healthcare insurance and they need healthcare insurance to afford healthcare. See the problem? As long as there is a third party payer guaranteeing partial or total payment of healthcare charges, healhcare charges will continue to increase. And, as healthcare charges increase so to do insurance premiums. It is a vicious circle and had been created and stimulated by government healthcare insurance programs.

          gibbie in reply to Mac45. | March 13, 2017 at 1:38 pm

          Sadly, there’s a long list of major problems. Here are a few:

          Expensive new technology
          Expense of litigation
          Expense of different paperwork for multiple insurers
          Perverse incentives (e.g. having to quit a low paying job to get on Medicaid)
          Regulatory capture
          Entitlement mentality
          Human nature

          Things work best when we stick to KISS, but I don’t think we know what “Simple” is in this case.

          Perhaps we are getting to the point where we _deserve_ national health care. Just don’t let our politicians exempt themselves.

        Barry in reply to gibbie. | March 13, 2017 at 1:44 pm

        OK gibbie. Then “reasonable” requires a subsidy, correct?

        I don’t find that as ‘reasonable”. I’m paying for their health insurance with my non subsidized two person plan with no medical conditions that costs 25K per year, deductible north of 6K, no doctor visits unpaid or low cost, and our doctor for 30 years isn’t even in the plan.

          gibbie in reply to Barry. | March 13, 2017 at 2:07 pm

          I’m sorry you don’t find it reasonable, but in some cases it is.

          This person has severe health issues which make standard employment impossible. They make about $10K per year, and would have to stop doing that to even begin to qualify for disability and/or Medicaid. I would consider that unreasonable.

          You can wish this person away, but that would make you a libertarian rather than a conservative. You wouldn’t want that, would you?

          Barry in reply to Barry. | March 13, 2017 at 4:08 pm

          “You can wish this person away, but that would make you a libertarian rather than a conservative. You wouldn’t want that, would you?”

          I would be considered far more libertarian than conservative. Conservatives have done nothing worth spit for 50 years. I do not want to be confused with them. I’m not a libertarian either. Most of them are simply daft. But I do lean to libertarian principles.

          Wish them away? No. Nor do I think the government should put a gun to my head and force me to support them. Consider, I am paying their healthcare insurance, probably more than one of them, while getting poor coverage, worse than your friends in return.

          gibbie in reply to Barry. | March 13, 2017 at 4:37 pm

          “Leaning toward libertarian principles” is a respectable position.

          I think you may be confusing conservatives with RINOs.

          I will be extremely disturbed if the politicians can’t improve on the current system as far as coverage and cost for people like you (and other of my friends). I’m skeptical of the idea that the politicians know what they’re doing.

          If we could get churches to do their job and help the deserving poor to obtain decent health care, I would be happy to get the government out of it. But not until that happens.

        One of my main objections to ObamaCare back in ’09 was that Obama and the Democrats wanted to disrupt the health care of 253.4 Americans to “help” 45 million. That made no sense to me. http://fuzislippers.blogspot.com/2009/08/2534-million-americans-have-health.html

        If the vast vast majority of Americans were happy with their health insurance, premiums, deductibles, access, etc., why disrupt them to address a relatively small portion of the population? Why not instead address the problem/s of those people without health insurance and could not afford it (remember, 9.1 percent made over $75k/year and simply chose not to buy it)? Why a complete overhaul a large segment of our economy and all but eliminate the free market in health care to help a tiny percentage?

        The answer is ideological. On the left: spread the wealth from the middle classes to both special interests and the poor, penalize the “wealthy,” dive into debt for entitlements. On the right: look “compassionate,” spread the wealth from the middle classes to multi-billion dollar special interests, and dive into debt in the name of being “more electable.”

        The majority of the newly covered under ObamaCare are those on Medicaid. This is fact. That you know one person who is better off under ObamaCare is irrelevant; we don’t throw a trillion dollars at a problem to help one anecdotal person. Or ten. Or a hundred.

        One of my pet peeves about Dems (that Republicans are also guilty of on occasion) is the anecdotal “evidence. Some woman writes her Congressman that she has to share her dentures with her sister because they can’t afford two sets, and suddenly the entire population of American taxpayers has to pay. And the payment isn’t just in taxes and penalties, it’s in death panels (the RINO-Care bill does not repeal the IPAB) and denial of health care (i.e. rationing. After all, said Obama, why invest in a costly operation for an elderly woman simply to prolong her life a few months when she can just take a blue pill for the pain until she drops dead?).

        I’ll happily chip in for a second pair of false teeth via my church, GoFundMe page, or whatever. I am not happy to support a bill or law that hurts millions of people in order to help one guy you know in Florida. That’s nuts. Besides, if he makes only or less than 10K, he qualifies for Medicaid in Florida; a single person household must make less than $11.8K a year.

        The more government is involved in anything, the more expensive it gets. This includes, absolutely, health care/insurance.

    You wrote:

    “Because whatever success ObamaCare can claim is almost exclusively grounded in the expansion of Medicaid and as such amounts to little more than the expansion of an entitlement …”

    This is a falsehood. I personally know people who are not eligible for Medicaid, and who have obtained Obamacare policies with excellent coverage at extremely reasonable premiums. Of course I also know people who are paying much more than they used to for policies with poorer coverage.

    One of the main obstacles to crafting good health insurance legislation is the lack of accurate, comprehensive data about the policies current held by Americans. Neither the Democrats, nor the Republicans, nor FS have it. I don’t blame them, because it doesn’t exist.

    This is insane.
    _______________________

    Gibbie, first, your personal experience is not evidence of anything . . . I don’t know a single soul who voted for Obama in 2012, but he still won. According to you, that means he didn’t win? Or something.

    Second, it is indeed a measurable, reported fact that the majority of ObamaCare’s beneficiaries are those covered by the Medicaid expansion. It’s not even debatable. It’s simple fact.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2015/10/21/ninety-seven-percent-of-obamacares-newly-insured-are-from-medicaid-expansion/

    http://www.heritage.org/health-care-reform/report/obamacares-enrollment-increase-mainly-due-medicaid-

    Indeed, much of the ObamaCare “success” was rooted in enrolling people (sometimes automatically and against the person’s will) in Medicaid, many of whom were already eligible for Medicaid before ObamaCare but did not want to enroll out of either pride or thinking that Medicaid was not health insurance. http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2016/11/27/new-gruber-study-raises-major-questions-about-obamacares-medicaid-expansion/

    The data that you believe is not available should be completely irrelevant. It is not now, nor will it ever be, the federal government’s role to ensure that every American has a health insurance policy (the current goal) or that every American’s health care from cradle to grave is guaranteed by central government. That is so contrary to everything that is American in terms of our core values that I am still having trouble understanding how it’s even an issue.

    Thanks for posting this link, Barry. Cruz is right; the GOP can eliminate 0Care without simply tinkering with it and moving this tax or penalty to some other column or renaming it so the dumbest of the dumb don’t get that they’re being lied to on an epic scale.

    Cruz didn’t do well in the primaries in part because he’s got such a complete understanding of rules, laws, and regulations that he gets lost in that intellectual and gov-centric space and occasionally forgets application and communication. This all translates at times into a certain distance or disconnect from voters.

    I’m still convinced, though, that Trump doesn’t yet understand what this bill is or what it does. Once he gets it, he’ll say it won’t fly.

    If he does continue to support this monstrosity, I’ll be surprised and sad. What’s weird, Barry, is that Trump keeps tweeting about “phases” of the bill, like through some magical process of osmosis, the bill will right itself.

    I guess I’m worried that Trump doesn’t quite understand the legislative branch or how it works/what powers it has. Trump can’t just sweep in one day and amend this or that; he has no say once the bill is written and introduced. It’s done, the bill written and stands in the House or falls on its merits (or by whatever outside influences might have an effect.)

    Yet Trump still seems to be treating the process as the art of the deal. Nothing wrong with wheeling and dealing; that’s par for the course, but some attention has to be paid to when it’s appropriate to push a bill that actually undermines key campaign promises.

    I am hugely disappointed that this Ryan offering does nothing to address the real reasons that Americans rejected ObamaCare. It’s namby-pamby, ungrounded, unprincipled, political satire that simply smears some lipstick on a stinky pig.

Trump pays attention to what the American people want. His supporters should not sit back and let him do all of the heavy lifting: they should speak up. The kiddies will do it with their memes (cartoons) and jokes. It is incumbent on the grownups to make the articulate, well-supported case.

And yes, expect opposition from the GOP establishment. That is why the grownups have to speak up. Write to Trump, and copy your congress critters, including the Democrats. Make sure the Republican majority leaders know you have copied the Democrats. Email counts, and snail mail continues to impress.

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