Republicans are about to do something very stupid. Using bribery, threats and cajolery, they intend to pass a catastrophically unpopular bill on a party-line vote.
GOP: Obamacare is unpopular, so let’s pass a new health care bill that’s even MORE unpopular.
Normal Person: Why would you do that?
GOP: No, you don’t understand. Obamacare is totally imploding, so if we pass this bill now, all its problems will be blamed on us!
Republicans would be better off doing nothing. They can survive the ridicule for running against Obamacare through four election cycles and then not repealing it. They cannot survive a bill that does nothing to fix the actual problems with Obamacare.
The only explanation for the GOP doing something so stupid and unpopular is that it’s all about tax cuts.
Why can’t we get it through their heads that we didn’t elect Trump to cut taxes? Forty-five percent of people don’t pay any federal income tax — and they voted for Trump! Taxes on high earners (or “Hillary voters”) are at a historic low.
Here’s a somewhat more important issue I’d like to submit for Republicans’ consideration: PEOPLE CAN’T BUY HEALTH INSURANCE THEY WANT, CAN’T SEE THE DOCTORS THEY WANT AND CAN’T AFFORD THEIR PREMIUMS AND DEDUCTIBLES.
How about allowing people the option of buying insurance that doesn’t cover sex change operations, gambling addictions, psychotherapy, liver transplants for illegal aliens and so on?
Instead of squandering this moment, Trump the businessman should seize it to trumpet the free market. This is a golden opportunity to give a speech explaining why, contrary to everything your professors told you, communism doesn’t work. To paraphrase Talleyrand, what Republicans are doing with Obamacare is worse than a crime; it’s a mistake.
Liberals always promise us wondrous cost-saving government programs, and then, it turns out, none of the laws of physics support their exciting plans. Obamacare is crashing and burning — and Trump hasn’t done a thing to anyone’s health care. He can say, perfectly accurately, he was just standing there when the plane hit the ground.
What sets us apart from the rest of the world is freedom — free people, free markets, free minds. That is how America became the most prosperous nation in the world. There’s no genius that can compete with the genius of the free market.
Sentient adults are perfectly capable of making their own choices about what health insurance to buy, the same way they make choices about what food to buy. The whole key to fixing Obamacare is not to repeal it, but to allow the rest of us to buy insurance on the free market.
Right now, it’s illegal to sell an insurance plan that most people would like to buy. Instead, you have to buy plans that cover millions of things you don’t want and nothing that you do want — all in order to pay for other people’s health care.
It would be as if grocery stores were required to charge you $60 for a head of lettuce in order to fund the federal school lunch program.
It is a blood libel to say we don’t care about the old, sick and dispossessed. Everyone has plenty of food in America, even without $60 heads of lettuce. That’s the free market! As Trump said, we will care for them better than they’ve ever been cared for before. But, first, the welfare cases have to be separated from the free market.
Proposed law: “Notwithstanding any other provision of federal or state law, it shall be lawful to purchase or sell any health insurance product in the United States of America.”
Skip the repeal — so there’s nothing for leftist ruffians to protest — and just give the rest of us the option of escaping Obamacare to buy health insurance the same way we buy everything else. Only a free market can guarantee good products at good prices.
Trump used to understand this! In the very first GOP debate, he said, “What I’d like to see is a private system without the artificial lines around every state. … Get rid of the artificial lines and you will have yourself great plans. And then we have to take care of the people that can’t take care of themselves. And I will do that through a different system.”
The “lines around the states” were the 50 state insurance commissions determining which health plans could legally be sold in each state — mandating, for example, that every plan include coverage for acupuncturists, chiropractors, fertility treatments, speech pathologists and so on.
Instead of throwing off the shackles of these commissions and giving us a nationwide free market in health insurance, Obamacare imposed one enormous federal shackle.
As a result, “health insurance” under Obamacare isn’t insurance at all — it’s the government forcing us to pay for other people’s health care through ghastly insurance premiums, deductibles and co-pays in exchange for highly limited health insurance for ourselves.
Trump ought to be using the flaming wreckage of Obamacare to illustrate what’s wrong with all Soviet five-year plans. It could be as iconic as Reagan’s Berlin Wall speech. Teenagers would vote Republican for the next 70 years — 80 or 90 years, if they could finally buy decent health insurance.