AHCA – A Heckuva Con, Amirite?

ahca
Cool! A new name!

Tea Party Conservatives were elected in a wave in 2010, 2012 and 2014, powered almost solely by grassroots opposition to Obamacare. The primary objections to Obamacare  were not that it didn’t do enough, or that it would not lower costs (although the latter proved to be true). Back then we understood the bigger picture.

The individual mandate, in and of itself, was not the only problem with Obamacare either. It just so happened to be an obvious point of vulnerability in the law, and one that created ripe ground for constitutional challenge. It was a no-brainer. There was no way this massive expansion of federal power was constitutional. But then Chief Justice Roberts happened…

John-Roberts-LF-Chief-Justice-John-Roberts
I can make this work…

The core opposition to Obamacare was supposed to have been (and always was, for some) that it was unconstitutional, that the federal government has no role in commandeering the private insurance industry for the greater good or in providing a guarantee of health care coverage for all Americans.

Throughout Obama’s two terms as president, we were told by the smart and learned folks that we just don’t understand the political realities, that a full repeal cannot be done, at least not in the political climate then existing. In 2015, however, the GOP passed a full Obamacare repeal bill that they knew would be vetoed. They were caged and rabid dogs, supposedly itching to get free and take a chunk of the Obamacare flesh…

The 2016 presidential election was taken over by a new wave of anger. Anger that the conservatives and republicans elected over the past six years had not done enough to fight back against what was seen as a radical progressive agenda. “What good are the intellectuals, with their principles, if they don’t FIGHT?” Failure to repeal Obamacare was the signature example of the ‘failures of conservatism.’

But now that the cage doors are wide open and the rabid dogs are out, we learn that those dogs are not ferocious at all…

dogs car
“We can’t repeal without REPLACING FIRST! What about the chiiiiiildren!!”

The new healthcare bill is a monumental con. It is laughable that anyone on the left can even oppose this bill; a sign of a hopelessly mind-numbing, principle-free partisan political climate so intent on hating Trump that it is blind to see this bill enshrines federal control over the entire healthcare system forever. The left should see this as a huge victory. Sure, it reconfigures some of the Medicaid expansion and trims some of the taxes that went with Obamacare, but the framework stays intact.

Obamacare is being groomed; perfected by statists who never really wanted the federal government out of healthcare, they just wanted their own people running it. Obama delivered government healthcare, and the GOP seems prepared to permanently ratify it in principle.

The inevitable result of government interference in health care is a single payer system covering everything from a case of the sniffles to gender reassignment surgery. Between defense and healthcare, the government will own half of the economy. Who is John Galt?

spicer
“But there will be a Phase 2, and a Phase 3! It’s a phased approach, ya see!”

Republicans control all three branches of government. At no point in the forseeable future will a full repeal be as realistically accomplish-able as it is right now, and that is why we are not going to see it happen. There is no will.

The worst thing this law does is accept the very basic premise that was so wrong with Obamacare: That health care coverage is a right to be guaranteed by the government. The moral high grounders have successfully sold the idea that if we are compassionate, and if we love poor people and old people, we have no choice but to support a government monopoly on 25% of the economy.

Certainly we must insert the government as an arbiter of fairness, because this ‘free market’ (dominated and overwhelmed by Medicaid and Medicare for many years) has failed the poor and the weak. The ‘free market’ has caused unimaginable pain and suffering despite no evidence of people ‘dying in the street’, except for in the one US health care system where people actually suffer while waiting for care: The VA. (A single. payer. system.) 

 

This bill may fail, but even if it does, something very similar will pass after a few rounds of play-fighting and ceremonial concessions.

In the meantime though, let’s appreciate the enormity of what is occurring right before our eyes. The GOP has now changed the debate from whether the government should manage health care to how it should be done. And we’re falling for it! The angry pitchforks have been converted and are true believers in government health care, all in the name of hating Obamacare. 

Well done. Heckuva con.