I have contended for a long time that we are going to be stuck with some form of Obamacare in America because the Republicans did not move quickly and definitively once in power and because it has taken this long to get a President open to REPEAL any or all of it. Former President Obama would never agree to any repeal because he considered it his signature piece of legislation and after it began to be called by his name his narcissistic nature could not abide its removal. He is the most important person on the planet, at least in his mind, after all, he is a legend in his own mind.
Now that the Republicans have published their plan, which will be modified, amended, and altered, we have a glimpse of what they are suggesting in their REPEAL and REPLACE package. Some of it is good and some of it is anything but good and has the distinct odor and appearance of what we had under the ACA. I see a major roadblock for the Republican Plan regarding one aspect that I heartily endorse. Those on the Left will never agree to it, and sadly there appear to be some Republicans that are not buying in, making it a very long and difficult journey to attainment. FREE MARKET MEDICINE is anathema to Big Government Liberals and Progressives. I will not attempt to articulate all the reasons for their opposition but one is that it strips the government of CONTROL and that is the true objective of Obamacare and many other pieces of legislation that come through the halls of Congress.
I long for unfettered competition in the health insurance industry as we see in other areas of the economy. I believe that competition, supply, and demand will dictate the market prices and usually, that means a reduction in price and an increase in quality. If we truly adopt Free Market Medicine that would mean that the federal and state governments must stay out of health care and allow the individual and their doctors to determine what care is desired and depending on the plan purchased insured. Totally Free Market Healthcare would also touch Medicare and Medicaid and that is an area that the public would never stand for much tampering, so we will never have truly Free Market Healthcare. I am not arguing for or against the repeal of Medicaid or Medicare only that if we are to have Free Market Medicine and competition in the health insurance industry we are going to have to consider all aspects of healthcare. But, with regard to non-Medicare or Medicaid insurance, we need desperately to return to unfettered competition in the industry and allow citizens to purchase their insurance across state lines. We also need bequeathable Health Savings Accounts that are not ‘use ‘em or lose ‘em’ on an annual basis but one that continues and can be inherited by the heirs.
The one thing that the Proposed AHA includes is the removal of the unconstitutional individual mandate. No American should be forced to pay a fine, tax, or penalty for not having insurance coverage. The fact that some choose not to purchase insurance may and in many cases, does cost you and me, it should be a personal choice not a mandate from government. Personal responsibility and accountability are missing ingredients in much of what is happening today and people are following the lead of elected officials who insist that we “Do as they say, but not as they do.” That doesn’t work in the home and won’t work in society. The new plan does remove the job-killing employer mandate that caused employers to hold off on hiring or lay off worker forcing them into part-time status because of the exorbitant fines and fees for not providing coverage for their workers. It also removes the over the counter tax on medications that many didn’t realize they were paying. Obamacare prevented us from using FLEXIBLE SPENDING ACCOUNTS to pay for over the counter medications on a pre-tax basis, the new plan removes that restriction. It also repeals the Obamacare cap on contributions to FSA’s, a cap that was especially adverse for parents with special needs children.
There is also the repeal of the high medical bill tax, a tax that most were unaware of. Before Obamacare, if your medical bills exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income you got a medical deduction. Obamacare raised that to 10% thus a 2.5% tax. It also repeals the HSA tax. You knew about that one, right? Obamacare increased the tax on early withdrawals from HSA’s from 10% to 20%. Also gone is the ridiculous medical device tax of Obamacare. Those are only a few of the many taxes, penalties, and restrictions of Obamacare that are being targeted. Is the Republican Plan perfect? YOU KNOW THE ANSWER. Is it better than Obamacare? YOU KNOW THE ANSWER. Is it what we truly need? YOU KNOW THE ANSWER.
Two things this bill does that all Conservatives should be able to endorse is that it defunds Planned Parenthood and it reforms Medicaid. The immediate and obvious benefit of those two items is that we, the tax-payers, are no longer forced to provide millions to the largest abortion mill and purveyor of infant body parts. House Speaker Paul Ryan announced in his press conference regarding Medicaid: “It has Medicaid per capita block grant, the biggest entitlement reform anybody has seen for decades. It nearly doubles the amount of money people can contribute to health savings accounts, that is a fundamental part and a crucial part of conservative healthcare policy.” Of course, Speaker Ryan is going to attempt to sell his bill and it is up to us to investigate and determine if this is acceptable, workable, and desirable. If it is we need to inform our elected officials of our support or acceptance and if it is not, we need to insist they vote accordingly.
If I thought that we could get rid of Obamacare and not have the residue of it permanently, I would say reject this and insist on REPEAL, but I do not believe we will ever be rid of it. I do not believe that the public will allow us to totally move away from some form of government healthcare legislation. We can detest the tax credits and equate them to the present subsidies and while I totally agree we need to READ IT and KNOW what is in it before it is passed we are faced with the dilemma of 100% of nothing or getting rid of the worst aspects of Obamacare. No, this is not an endorsement of the new plan, only an attempt to urge everyone to think, consider what we are being offered as compared to what we now have and do our due diligence. I am disturbed by some things and excited about others in the Republican proposal. I will continue to vet, examine, investigate, pray, and consider what is before us and I urge you to do the same.
God, bless you and God bless America is my desire and prayer!