There is a right way to bring in Trumpcare to replace the disastrous Obamacare. What we are now watching unfold in Washington isn’t the right way.
First, we’ll acknowledge that Trumpcare, like Obamacare, is completely unconstitutional. The federal government has absolutely no jurisdiction over anyone’s healthcare. It certainly has no power to compel We the People to purchase a product. The Supreme Court called the fees and penalties a tax. All tax laws for raising revenue and new taxes, according to that pesky Constitution, MUST originate in the House of Representatives. Obamacare was birthed in the Senate. So Obamacare is unconstitutional three times over.
That said, the Republicans have campaigned since 2009 on repealing and replacing Obamacare. For eight long years, the American people have voted in Republicans on the promise of repealing this horrendous law. Any federal replacement is still unconstitutional, but that’s not enough to stop Trumpcare from becoming law either. But, that is an argument for another article.
We gave the Republicans the House of Representatives in 2010. We heard they couldn’t get it done then because they only controlled one house. Then we gave them the Senate. We heard the Republicans, even with control of both houses of Congress, would never be able to override Obama’s veto. Here it is 2017 and the Republicans have the House, the Senate and we have Trump in the White House.
Trump and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan have finally rolled out their version of the next massive comprehensive and unconstitutional healthcare bill, Trumpcare. There are pros and cons to Trumpcare.
Trumpcare is under attack by both the right and the left. Democrats say it will raise the cost of healthcare on the poor and middle class. “This bill is a giveaway to the wealthy and insurance companies at the expense of American families, and Senate Democrats will work hard to see that it is defeated,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said in a statement.
Conservatives say the bill does not fulfill the promise they made to their constituents to totally get rid of Obama’s Affordable Care Act. “It’s Obamacare in a different format,” Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, a member of the hardline House Freedom Caucus.
Trump has even gone so far as to threaten members of his own party if they don’t support his healthcare bill. During a meeting with House Republicans, the president told them “I honestly think many of you will lose your seats in 2018 if you don’t get this done.”
As of right now, despite the best efforts of Speaker Ryan and the president to sell it, the future of Trumpcare is still in doubt. But there is another way to get this done.
Trumpcare, like Obamacare before it is a massive comprehensive bill. It attempts to address a huge policy issue in one bite. They don’t have to do it this way.
Instead, for Republicans to keep their promise to gut Obamacare and offer better options and solutions, they should do it piecemeal. Leave Obamacare in place, for now.
We had a saying in the Amry, “how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”
If Republicans want to get rid of the individual mandate. Do it. Pass a single item bill that repeals the individual mandate. That’s it. This bill will do nothing more. Then have, again turning to my Army days, have some ‘tactical patience’ for it to take effect. That doesn’t mean the Republicans don’t keep fighting.
The GOP has campaigned for years to allow insurance companies to compete across state lines. Do it. Pass a single item bill that opens the doors allowing insurance companies to compete against each other across state lines.
The Republicans likewise have campaigned to repeal all the myriad of taxes, penalties and fees associated with Obamacare. Do it. Pass a single item bill repealing each of the taxes of Obamcare. Some of the individual bills that could rain onto Trump’s desk could include:
– Repeal the tanning tax
– Repeal the tax on prescription medications
– Repeal the Health Insurance Tax
– Repeal the Net Investment Income Tax
– Prohibit tax credits for abortion coverage
– Repeal tax on employee insurance premiums and benefits
– Repeal tax on over-the-counter medications
– Repeal tax increase on Health Savings Accounts
– Repeal of limits on Flexible Savings Account contributions
– Repeal of medical device tax
– Repeal the increase in the threshold of the medical income tax deduction. The threshold would return to 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income from the current 10 percent.
– Repeal of the Medicare tax increase
– Section 15 deals with the refundable tax credits for insurance premiums. Section 7529 allows advance payment of the credit. This is a problematic section.
– Increase the HSA contribution limit to equal the amount of the policy’s deductible and out-of-pocket limits
– Permit catch-up contributions to HSAs
– Treat medical expenses within 60 days of the establishment of an HSA as occurring on the first day the account was opened. This would allow HSA funds to be used for a condition that occurred shortly before opening the account.
– Stop all funding to Planned Parenthood and other publicly funded abortion providers.
Repealing Obamacare this way, without repealing Obamcare in one fell swoop, would allow the necessary adjustments in the marketplace and among the insured without just slamming the brakes on the system, regardless how terribly flawed that system is, and the accompanying flotsam and jetsam that will result. Also, it will force the Democrats to fight for every single tax. They’ll have to stand and defend every single aspect of Obamacare as stand alone bills. Then we’ll see if they have the intestinal fortitude for the prolonged fight of being the minority party. The Democrats will have to defend all of these taxes, job and business killing bills to the voters back home.
Given that ten Democrat senators are up for reelection are from states who voted for Trump, fighting now for higher taxes and bigger government is probably not a good plan to keep your job.
When the effects of these bills are felt, repealing Obamacare will be almost be a moot point. It will basically be dead by then anyway.
If Trump and the Republicans really wanted to get rid of Obamacare, they could. They are just going about it all wrong.