Obamacare Repeal 3.0: Rest in Peace

WASHINGTON (Sept. 28, 2017) – Obamacare repeal 3.0 went down in flames Tuesday. For seven years, Republicans talked about repealing the ACA. For seven years, we’ve warned you that it would never happen. Now, even with control of both houses of Congress and the oval office, the GOP won’t get it done. And we’re still saying they never will.
According to Bloomberg, opposition from three Republican Senators derailed the latest attempt to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

Leaders decided the Senate won’t vote before Saturday’s deadline to use a fast-track procedure to keep Democrats from blocking a GOP-only bill. On Monday, Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine added her opposition to that of GOP Senators John McCain of Arizona and Rand Paul of Kentucky, enough to sink the legislation in the 52-48 Senate.”

Calling the Graham-Cassidy bill a “repeal” was a bit of a stretch. OK. It was a complete fabrication. The legislation would not have repealed the inaptly named Affordable Care Act. It tinkered around the edges, but left the core of the unconstitutional healthcare plan in place.

It would have turned Obamacare Medicaid funds into block grants to the states, and repealed the penalties that enforce the individual and employer mandates. Most of the ACA taxes and insurance regulations would have stayed in place. In fact, even the mandates would have technically remained on the books. The penalties would have simply been set at zero.

According to Bloomberg, Health Chairman Lamar Alexander wants to work out a bipartisan plan to “stabilize Obamacare’s health insurance markets.” In other words, the Tennessee Republican wants to work with Democrats to “fix” Obamacare.

It seems pretty obvious the Affordable Care Act isn’t going anywhere. According to the Bloomberg report, Graham and third-ranking Senate Republican John Thune of South Dakota said the next realistic opportunity for Republicans to repeal Obamacare will come in the 2019 fiscal year.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Republicans “haven’t given up on reforming the health-care system.” but “we’re not going to do it this week.”

No Mitch. You’re not.

And notice what McConnell said. “Reforming.” The GOP has no intention of getting out of the federal healthcare business. Even if it does eventually pass something, it will still be just as unconstitutional as Obamacare.

It’s really pretty simple. The federal government has no authority to run a healthcare system.

Zero. Zich. Nadda.

If you want to follow the Constitution and get D.C. out of the healthcare business, you’ve got to quit counting on D.C. to follow the Constitution get itself out of the healthcare business. Go to your state capital and get busy there.

States can collapse this unconstitutional system by simply refusing to provide resources and personnel to implement it. The feds can’t run healthcare alone. They depend on state cooperation. The states don’t have to provide it.

This was the blueprint James Madison gave us to deal with “unwarrantable” federal acts. He didn’t advise begging Congress to fix the problems it caused. He recommended “refusal to cooperate with officers of the union.”

But simply collapsing Obamacare isn’t enough. States need to foster the development of alternate systems. For instance, a number of states have passed bills to facilitate healthcare freedom outside of a federal system.

Direct primary care legislation specifies that medical retainer agreements do not constitute insurance. It frees doctors and patients from the onerous requirements and regulations under the state insurance code.

Direct primary care offers an easy, market-based solution to federally-driven health care woes. According to Michigan Capitol Confidential, by removing a third party payer from the equation, medical retainer agreements help both physicians and patients minimize costs. Jack Spencer writes:

“Under medical retainer agreements, patients make monthly payments to a physician who in return agrees to provide a menu of routine services at no extra charge. Because no insurance company stands between patient and doctor, the hassles and expense of bureaucratic red tape are eliminated, which have resulted in dramatic cost reductions. Routine primary care services (and the bureaucracy required to reimburse them) are estimated to consume 40 cents out of every dollar spent on insurance policies, so lower premiums for a given amount of coverage are another potential benefit.”

This represents the kind of cost control Obamacare promised, but failed to deliver. Last fall, Tom Woods interviewed a Kansas doctor who utilizes the direct primary care model. Dr. Josh Umbehr’s practice demonstrates the cost savings possible when doctor’s are unfettered from the bureaucratic health insurance system.

If your counting on McConnell, or Paul Ryan, or even Rand Paul to fix healthcare, you’re going to continue to be disappointed. Obamacare 4.0 or 5.0 or 6.0 or whatever reiteration finally passes will continue federal control over your healthcare. The Constitution doesn’t authorize this. So, stop playing the game.

 

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