This past week has been an eye opener for what a new Republican Congress stands for. How about “for everything” and “for nothing”? Or, maybe “for effective government” and “for ineffective” government? Or, maybe “for sincere government” and “for insincere government”? Hmmm.
This first revelation was striking. Republicans had passed legislation to repeal Obamacare about 80 times during the past 6 years and had campaigned in 2016 for the complete repeal and replacement of Obamacare. Yet when the opportunity was there, Republicans had no replacement plan.
The GOP had many plans, all disingenuous, but there was no one plan Republicans could agree upon. Hint: do you realize GOP candidates lied about their intentions?
The most popular refrain the GOP used was lowering the premium costs which “Americans” are experiencing. To some degree, in some places, this claim seems justified but Republicans were happy to leave this claim unclear. Americans receiving healthcare coverage from their employer, Medicare, or Medicaid, received no staggering premium price increases. These Americans were shielded from the increases some individuals in certain areas experienced.
So why would Republicans make such a claim? Could it be that most all Americans experience some form of uncontrolled healthcare cost increases (as they did yearly before Obamacare) and don’t understand why hospitals, doctors, and drugs cost so much?
Few, if any of our politicians called out for a universal, single payer system to replace Obamacare. Shamefully, Republicans instead called for changes to Obamacare which were designed to reduce cost increases pressure by insuring less people! How do those politicians sleep at night?
But simply reducing coverage was not good enough for some Republicans. The “Freedom Caucus” members sought to change Medicaid from an entitlement for the most needy to a capped block grant which would become the sole responsibility of States in a few years.
The “Freedom Caucus” wants to deconstruct the Federal Government and healthcare seemed an opportune way to begin the process. “Freedom Caucus” members represent a clear and present danger to modernity.
Most Americans have little skin directly in the healthcare game. Next up on Congress’ docket is likely to be “tax reform” where almost all Americans have an opinion.
While there is much good that can be achieved (like eliminating or vastly reducing the number of tax loopholes, exemptions, and deductions), changes which will lower the overall tax revenue or the progressive nature of the tax code, are sinisterly designed to reward the wealthy and to starve the Federal Government and its ability to function.
With tax reform, even more than with healthcare, it will be critical to study what any proposed changes might accomplish before voting upon any bills. The devil will almost certainly be in the details.
This past week revealed a White House and a Congress whose intentions are hidden. On one hand, the Republicans seem unfit to govern and on the other hand, seem not a friend to the average American.
I wonder whether this GOP leadership will have learned anything that might restore faith in their intentions? I really wonder whether the White House or the Freedom Caucus care?