It’s been some time since I have written anything. Like most of you, I’ve been busy with life. I felt compelled to write something after the whole health care debacle that occurred last week in the House because it stirred something inside of me. So on with it.
Since the founding of our nation, the great debate has been and is the role government should play in the lives of its citizens. This debate drove the architects of our Constitution to find a balance that would give the federal government just enough powers to secure and protect the liberties of its citizens while granting most governing powers to the states and the people. Alexander Hamilton actually believed we should have a king, while Patrick Henry was extremely wary of government in any form. By the time the convention ended in September, 1787, the founders gave us a Constitution that greatly limited the government’s power to infringe on individual liberty and just enough power to secure and protect those liberties. It is truly a remarkable document.
Today this debate is still alive and well; the only difference is only a handful of elected representatives and senators champion the cause for limited government. Both political parties believe the role of government in our lives should expand. The only difference is one party is being honest about where they stand, while the other is just pretending to support the limited government notion.
This brings us to last week’s debacle in House and the Republicans failure to repeal and now “replace” the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). The truth is most Republicans no longer believe in the concept of limited government. They never had any intentions are getting rid of Obamacare. They simply want to tweak it in a way that benefits their special interests and solidifies their hold on power. Yes that’s right, after all the rhetoric about how bad the Affordable Care Act was and how it must be repealed, the truth is they lied to us. Think about it, if they really wanted Obamacare gone, why did they choose to keep it funded after they took control of the House in 2011? Forget about all their show votes to repeal it, knowing full well it would never get through the Senate; they had the power to stop it by defunding it. It would have been easy to do. Instead they used it to scare and convince the people that the only way to get rid of Obamacare would be to take back control of the Senate; a feat accomplished in 2014.
In 2014 they had both the House and the Senate and the mantra for the Republicans changed from outright repealing the Affordable Care Act to repeal and replace. What? Replace? After all those years of telling me how bad government controlled health care is you now want to replace it with your own brand? That doesn’t sound very limited government. So we went from the outright repeal of Obamacare because it was such a bad law, to repeal and replace. Once again the Republicans cast a their show votes to repeal, again knowing full well that President Obama would veto the bill and also knowing they did not have the votes to override a veto. So again the thing they could have done (defund) to end Obamacare was passed over in favor of an all show no-go vote. Now the Republicans declared the only way they could repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act was to maintain control of the House and Senate and win the Presidency.
That happened in 2016. The stage was set. They got everything they wanted. Now the only thing left was to follow through with their evolving promises and repeal and now replace Obamacare. So Paul Ryan presented his version of the Affordable Care Act and called the American Health Care Act. The American Health Care Act does absolutely nothing to repeal the parts of Obamacare that are driving up insurance costs and leaves many provisions intact. Also instead of paying a tax to the government to ensure you have health insurance, you will now be forced to pay a higher premium to the insurance companies if you fail to maintain continuous coverage. What a joke. The new mantra for the Republicans is “It’s complicated.” Really? Complicated?
Try this one on for size. If you really are the party of limited government (which you are not), then turn the health insurance industry back over to the free market system. Repeal Obamacare, bust up the health insurance monopolies in each state and allow health insurance companies to compete for our business on a national level; much like auto and home owners insurance companies. Break down the barriers that keep health insurance companies from crossing state lines and promote health savings accounts. Let the invisible hand of the free market decide the winners and losers and not the government. One last thing, tort reform is a must.
Here’s the deal, we were fooled not once, not twice, but three times by Republicans. They never had any intentions of getting the government out of the health care business. They simply wanted to tweak the Affordable Care Act and call it something different and they used us and our fear of skyrocketing premiums to solidify their hold on power.
I will say this, at least with the Democrats we know what we’re getting. They don’t hide fact that they believe government is the answer to all our problems. They gave us quite possibly the worst law ever in the Affordable Care Act. The Republicans on the other hand have lied to us over and over again, making us believe they are something they are not. There are very few limited government Republicans in Washington and the sooner we come to terms with this simple truth the faster we will be able to kick these bums out of office.
For those who are still believers in limited government and the limited role it should play in our lives, be selfish with your vote the next go around. There are still politicians out there who believe in limited government. Make sure you can identify them, and then support them. I tip my hat to the Freedom Caucus. They knew this was a bad deal and they stood by their principles. It’s time for the Paul Ryans in the House to go and only we the people have the power to make this happen.