Trump threatens Republicans who vote against "Obamacare-lite"



President Trump, who promised to totally repeal Obamacare, is threatening Republicans with political retribution if they do not support the House bill which would leave the worst elements of Obamacare intact.

The House bill does a few good things--it eliminates the individual mandate to buy insurance, and relieves employers of the costly burden of providing insurance for their workers. But, mostly, the worst parts of Obamacare are allowed to stay in effect.

1) The expansion of Medicaid. Currently being paid for by the federal government, this massive financial burden continues with the new bill.

2) Redistribution of income. The Obamacare subsidies are replaced with phony "tax credits" which for many people will give back more than they pay in taxes to the federal government. They are the same Obamacare subsidies by a different name and under a slightly different formula, but the enormous redistributive subsidies remain.

3) Expensive regulations remain that keep premiums high.

  1. a) Every insurer must cover pre-existing conditions, meaning people who have not paid into the system who wait to get insurance until they get sick will be subsidies by other policy holders. This one provision raises the costs of premiums for everyone substantially.
  2. b) A cost cap on insurance policies is prohibited. That means if one catastrophically ill person (who didn't get insurance beforehand) needs $5 million dollars in treatment, everyone has to pay for it with higher premiums.
  3. c) "Children" under the age of 26 are required to be covered by all policies; you have to pay for this even if you don't have children. Similarly, if you are a man, you must pay for a policy that covers the costs of mammograms and child birth, and so on.
By keeping the Medicaid expansion in place for years (probably longer), and keeping expensive regulations in place that raise premiums, the worst of Obamacare is retained.

And President Trump is threatening any Republican who votes against it.

President Trump on Tuesday turned up the pressure on recalcitrant Republicans to support a sweeping bill to overhaul the health care system, threatening wavering lawmakers in his party with political payback if they failed to get behind a measure that has become an early test of his negotiating power.

“I’m going to come after you,” Mr. Trump told Representative Mark Meadows, Republican of North Carolina, a prime holdout and the chairman of the conservative Freedom Caucus.

Trump is threatening primary challenges to those who do not pass this "son of Obamacare" monstrosity.

Apologists claim that this is the best Republicans can do, that they cannot repeal the Obamacare regulations because of Senate rules requiring 60 votes for repeal. But that is a canard; the utimate arbiter of the Senate rules is the President of the Senate, and guess who that is? Vice President Mike Pence. Mark Levin pointed this out to Pence in an radio interview, but, in Mark's words, Pence didn't sound very enthusiastic about the idea.

Not even this excuse, of course, prevents the Congress from terminating the budget busting Medicaid expansion. The fact is, as Mark Levin has repeatedly said, there are a number of Republicans who simply want to keep Obamacare in place.

The irony is that while liberals are complaining that fewer people will be insured under the "Obamacare-lite" plan, a new study shows that, comparatively speaking, more people would be covered if Obamacare were repealed entirely. This is not surprising given that if Obamacare were totally repealed premiums would go way down as insurance companies could fashion basic catastrophic health plans that don't have all the expensive requirements of Obamacare but would still serve the needs of many people.

Even worse, this bill has been watered down to remove protections that would keep illegal aliens from getting Obamacare. This from a Republican Congress.

It is sad that President Trump has put his full weight behind keeping the worst of Obamacare in place, without ever fighting to repeal all of it. In fact he is fighting on the opposite side, going against people who want to repeal it in its entirety. It is even sadder to see President Trump obviously going back on his campaign promise to repeal Obamacare. Disappointing, but not surprising.

Donald Trump is no Hillary Clinton, but he is also no conservative. Perhaps Levin is right that Trump is a "National Populist Agrarian".

[originally in AT]



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