So. What comes next on repealing ObamaCare?
The TrumpCare bill (AHCA) was a disaster. It was not a vote to repeal ObamaCare, but rather a vote to keep it, and tweak it. That’s not what Republicans promised to do, and it’s not good enough. We should not mourn its passing, but celebrate it. The defeat of the bill was glorious, and the members of the Freedom Caucus who opposed it are heroes.
The reason fans of the free market are angry is not because TrumpCare failed — but because of the statements by Paul Ryan and Donald Trump that they are done with trying to repeal ObamaCare. Those statements are wrong and dangerous. As Ted Cruz once said:
First principle: Honor our promise. When you spend six years promising, “If only we get elected, we’ll repeal Obamacare,” you cannot renege on that promise. Failure is not an option. Breaking our word would be catastrophe. The voters would, quite rightly, never again trust Republicans to deliver on anything.
The response to the defeat of TrumpCare is not to pick up the ball and go home. It must be to draft a bill that actually does what Republicans promised, and drives down costs through market-based mechanisms.
What should such a bill look like? As it turns out, Ted Cruz had a proposal that outlined an answer to that question. I blogged that op-ed before, but with the defeat of the AHCA, Cruz’s op-ed has renewed relevance, as a blueprint that could bring Republicans together and actually repeal ObamaCare. I think it’s worth giving his proposal another detailed look.
First, Cruz suggests something I have been pushing throughout this process: starting with the 2015 repeal bill.
First, begin with the 2015 repeal language. . . . Virtually every Republican in Congress voted for that language, and the parliamentarian has already ruled it as permissible. We should begin with that previously approved repeal language as the baseline.
Bingo. The recent debate over AHCA has shown that the previous votes to repeal ObamaCare may have been fraudulent show votes. But here’s the thing: if you’re a moderate, it’s easier to justify a vote against AHCA than it would be to justify changing your vote on the exact same language you voted for before.
A duplicate of the 2015 bill, we learned yesterday from Andrea Ruth, exists — today, in this Congress. It is languishing in committee. It needs to be pushed to the floor and voted on.
But the 2015 bill is not enough. So Cruz next focuses on areas that should provide broad consensus for Republicans. They include excellent ideas like “allow[ing] consumers to purchase insurance across state lines,” ensuring the ability to buy “low-cost catastrophic insurance on a nationwide market,” and the use of health savings accounts. These would all have the effect of increasing competition and lowering costs. But it’s what Cruz says next that I consider critical:
Third, we should change the tax laws to make health insurance portable, so that if you lose you[r] job you don’t lose your health insurance. You don’t lose your car insurance or life insurance or house insurance if you lose your job; you shouldn’t lose your health insurance either. And that would go a long way to[wards] addressing the problem of pre-existing conditions, since much of that problem stems from people losing their jobs and then not being able to get new coverage on the individual market.
Fourth, we should protect continuous coverage. If you have coverage, and you get sick or injured, your health insurance company shouldn’t be able to cancel your policy or jack up your premiums. That’s the whole point of health insurance.
These suggestions by Cruz are very important, and I want to discuss them at some length. Here’s where it gets tough, because there’s a bitter pill that, in my view, Americans have to swallow: we have to get rid of the ObamaCare provision that requires companies to insure pre-existing conditions. Now I can already hear a bunch of people yelling: hold up there hoss, that’s never going to work and people don’t want that. Do me a favor: hear me out. There’s a way to address the concerns people have about insurance companies’ refusal to insure against pre-existing conditions without this mandate. The answer lies in Cruz’s suggestions in his op-ed, which contains terms that may seem abstract to some people, such as “guaranteed renewal” and “equal tax treatment for individual plans” and “portability.” But if you stick with me for a moment, I’ll explain the reality behind these abstract terms, and how they can help solve the problem.
They need to vote on 2 bills the same day first repeal, then the replace, the democrats, if repeal is successful, will be more likely to bend to the replacement.
Now is the time for the conservatives to get loud about their plans Real loud mesh weave and work. The Rinos need to toe the line or get retired. Control of 1/6th of the economy isnt an easy power to release and for them its all about the power.
Oh 20 million blah blah blah thats less than 10 % of the population, look at the 90 %. The dems, no matter what, will have the Media go out and find 3 or 4 sob stories to report non stop.
We the People must hold their feet to the fire. This is the Federal Government make it good for all or bugger off.
We want to see the bill before we allow a vote, I know there are cross over Democrats but slipping us a poop pie isnt going to happen.
@kitt: The Conservatives——Freedom Caucus –defeated TrumpCare which had a 17% approval rating Kudos to them.
Where’s Nunez hiding? In Trump’s closet perhaps.
@Richard Wheeler: Absolutely, now some dicks are saying we got to work with the democrats? The ones that were saying impeach before he was sworn in, those sweeties?
It was an awful bill made in secret and crammed at congress with threats. This isnt about Don this is about the american people, enough appeasing the insatiable.
Maybe he is putting together an arrest warrant for Obama and Clinton (JK).
Fortunately, this majority party read the bill before passing it unlike the last majority party which passed the bill first and then read it. That is why we didn’t end up with another turd like Obamacare. It is however a reflection of poor Congressional leadership on the part of the Republicans. After seven years of talking repeal, they should have had all their ducks in a row by now. Let it implode. The dems have 100% ownership. Once it does implode, the demand for repeal will be even greater. Hopefully the powers to be will have learned from this mistake.
@kitt: Thanks Haven’t heard that in 30+ years–great sing along.
Nunez should step aside–has admitted he’s “trying to take the heat off Trump.”
@Richard Wheeler: No way, after seeing the rest willing to commit perjury to hide spying on citizens you want the guy who told the truth to step aside? Rather put in someone who would lie? Not be faithful to an oath really? Perhaps he had to go to Trump first so he wouldnt have to commit “suicide”, or die in a plane crash.
@kitt: “told the truth?” He hasn’t told us or the Intelligence Committee what he “knows”–though he took it on his own to talk to Trump who is being investigated.
CXLED Tues planned hearing–this is ONCE AGAIN–pure politics.
@Richard Wheeler: They got their blood with Flynn, the FBI sits on whistle blowers evidence for 2 years, he confirmed Trump and the Chief Justice of the SCOTUS and other citizens were surveilled for over 2 years. Yes I think its the truth, he went to the White House because there was a facility there for reviewing classified information. Protection of the chain of evidence was the excuse used. It must be a difficult line to walk trying to be transparent and dealing with stuff that not everyone needs to know. I dont want everyone that gets close to real evidence to be told to step down.
There are some very angry losers they had great power for 8 years trillions yes with a T of dollars improperly accounted for in this administration, that kind of cabbage causes suicides, plane and car crashes if traced too close. How easy was it to get 1.7 billion to Iran, 400 million of that on a pallet in the middle of the night?
Do we know that the investigation is on or about Trump do we know if these are the White hats? What is this investigation about?