Repealing Obamacare is Complicated - Who Knew?

Republicans voted to repeal Obamacare fifty-two times. Now that they control both houses of Congress and the White House, it should be a done deal right? 

Not so fast.

President Trump said on Monday that “Nobody knew that healthcare could be so complicated.” After a meeting with conservative governors at the White House, Trump said, “I have to tell you, it’s an unbelievably complex subject.”

I have been on record stating that I have my doubts Obamacare will ever be fully repealed. President Trump’s comment above could very well be the set up for the reason the law is not repealed. 

Then there are the Republicans

A bill was leaked last week that has growing opposition. Representatives Mark Walker, Mark Sanford, and Dave Brat all said substantial changes had to be made before they could support the bill in this form. Brat said the majority of the Freedom Caucus would vote against the current bill. 

What’s the problem?

It seems to me that the Republicans are trying to “out-progressive” the progressives.

Remember, I said I don’t think it will be fully repealed? Which do you hear, repeal and replace, or just repeal? Replace with what? Constitutional conservatives understand there is NO place in the Constitution which gives the federal government the authority to manage and control our healthcare.

Mark Meadows, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus said there are refundable tax credits included in the draft bill. “Those tax credits,” the North Carolina Congressman said, “are nothing short of an ‘entitlement program.'"

And thus we see the old idea we all inherently know and understand. Once a government program begins, it never ends. Twenty years ago it was not uncommon to hear talk among “conservatives” that Social Security and Medicare were "unconstitutional" and worked to phase them out. Remember, George W. Bush offered a plan to work towards a privatization of Social Security, and we were nearly destroyed over it.

The official number of additional people insured by Obamacare is 20 million

Not so fast.

First, you have to figure in the people who were told they could keep their plan, but in the end, could not and were forced to go into the system because their plan was canceled. The real net number is 14 million, and 11.8 million of that were “gifted” Medicaid.

So, to put things in perspective, the federal government took over one-sixth of the economy, added incredible expense to most Americans healthcare (in spite of the lie that each family would save $2,500 annually) and tax increases, all to insure a little over 2 million people.

Research by the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) and even Jonathan Gruber of MIT estimated most of these people now on Medicaid qualified before Obamacare.

Putting people on a government healthcare program is not actually a wonderful lifesaving opportunity. Need I remind you of the care our vets get under the government run VA program? Many studies have shown those who are uninsured have better outcomes than Medicaid recipients. A University of Virginia study found looking at eight different surgical procedures, that Medicaid patients were more likely to die or suffer complications than those privately insured or even uninsured, and this study was completed before millions were added to an already overburdened system.

I think it important here to dispel the myth of the uninsured. A few years ago my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. I happened to have very good insurance, however, every step of the way, it was made clear there was help if we had no or poor insurance. We never even had to pay our deductible. I would also refer you to a recent article by fellow writer Julie Custer's article, "Who's Dying in the Streets of America?" The idea that without insurance you are sunk is about 180 degrees out of phase. It is closer to reality that you are sunk the more the federal government is to your care.

We were told people should not have to rely on hospital emergency rooms for their care. However, there is no evidence that ER use has declined since Obamacare. Typically, due to the workload and other factors, there is a higher incidence of errors associated with ER visits. My wife worked in EMS for over 20 years and told me many use the ambulance and ER as a personal taxi and physician. Rather than make an appointment for an issue that has been bothering them since Tuesday, they will call an ambulance on Friday evening. Perhaps this is because an increasing number of doctors are no longer accepting Medicaid? Seventy percent of the counties across the nation, according to new research have only one or two providers from which to choose.

Because of the expansion of Medicaid, the fact is many disabled people who are truly in need find themselves waiting for care. The bleeding hearts who sing the sad songs every time we talk of repealing Obamacare need to be educated to the facts. Of course, we understand that the “we care” song is the sales pitch. The reality is control and redistribution of wealth. “Any health-care funding plan that is just, equitable, civilized and humane must, must, redistribute wealth from the richer among us to the poorer and less fortunate. Excellent healthcare is by definition redistributional.” -Donald Berwick, MD administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Repeal. Period. Anything further should be limited to removing government from control. Let each state do what is in the best interest of the state and its citizens. No one will tell you our healthcare before Obamacare was perfect. However, it is my view that most of our problems were due to government policy and intervention. Adding more policy and intervention is a recipe for disaster. I’ll leave you with a quote from one of my favorite economists.

“It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it.” -Thomas Sowell


Photo Credit: "Tea Party tax day protest 2010", © 2010 Fibonacci BlueFlickr | CC-BY

Written by Michael Murphy The Voice of Reason

The Voice of Reason

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