The Republican vote ‘wranglers’ had a difficult time reaching the requisite number of votes to pass their new plan but finally got it done, at least in the House. The Senate could be a very different ‘kettle of fish’. The Democrats jeered them from the sidelines the entire time. What is wrong with this picture? What are we missing?
Republicans had made the promise of overhauling ObamaCare their biggest mission if they were given the majority they required and they were given that and the Oval office by us voters. They got both the majority and the presidency all right, but there may well be a bigger question: what did the Dems get?
Obamacare is ailing…no actually it is failing; that is not a good thing for any health care plan, it is potentially catastrophic for a government-run plan given the implications that would carry. Republicans were granted what they asked of the voters. Now they have the failing ObamaCare program on their hands with obstinate and obstructive Democrats laying traps for them every step of the way. We recently talked of Iowa and the fact that it’s residents will be fortunate to have even one insurer available to them. What happens if there is simply no health care insurance coverage in Iowa? That would be a huge deal! Each state has its own issues; some, such as Iowa, have more than others. We know that other health insurance carriers across the country have balked over their continued roles in the world of government-run health care.
We also know that Obamacare monthly premiums were very likely to have been increased nearly across the board for Iowans and as much as double-digits in many cases. The insurers simply decided to leave that state because they knew they couldn’t increase their rates by enough to survive another year. I have used the term ‘death spiral’ before and that is what has been happening. (In a death spiral, premiums cannot be raised sufficiently to overcome the loss ratio since people simply refuse to pay the higher costs.) Couple the death spiral with a government post-enrollment position of renigging on its promises to make insurers financially whole, for having agreed to underwrite significant ‘walking claims waiting to happen’ given guaranteed issue. This is a no win situation.
This backdrop helps us better understand the issues of wrangling Republican votes in Congress. They promised to fix ObamaCare. It seems quite likely that, even then, Obamacare was like Humpty Dumpty; it was in such bad shape that it very possibly would’ve failed all by itself. It was broken and couldn’t be put back together again. Why would the Republicans knowingly walk into this mess? Had they gotten themselves outmaneuvered by the Democrats into the position of being the saviors of ObamaCare?
Probably some of everything had a role. These decisions were made early in the process. Republicans had chewed on the ObamaCare bone for a long time already so it would’ve seemed that they would suffer at the polls if they backed away from that theme. I suspect that is primarily what happened. They were outmaneuvered by the Democrats and the Obama Administration. The Administration had to have had the real facts but intentionally kept that secret hoping the Republicans would continue down the road they had carved out for themselves…and hoping that Hillary would find herself in the Oval office and able to complete the unspoken deal with the America people. Yes, the deal would’ve been true total nationalized health care a la the Veterans Administration since that would be the only solution to make ObamaCare even better than it already was. National government-run healthcare. Period, paragraph; end of story.
If nothing else comes from this exercise, we must learn that national politics can be, and often is, a true ‘blood sport’…and we must come to understand that Democrats have been playing this card for a long, long time while the Republicans failed to heed the warning signs until it was too late on that fateful early morning when every Democrat voted in favor of ObamaCare because they were told to do so.
Democrats started this ball rolling down the hill, and now it seems that Republicans will be saddled with a solution which is going to be costly in terms of political support. That is what we were watching as the Speaker of the House tried to wrangle the votes to pass the bill. Unless this reality can be properly conveyed to the voters, this will be another Democrat victory that will damage the Republican brand yet again.
We conservatives have only one real choice for a political home and that is, currently at least, the Republican party. I will not live long enough to see a time when being a Democrat meant one was likely a true conservative. I hope that I will live long enough to see a real conservative Republican party and not just something that appears to be conservative when seen from the outside by casual viewers.
I fear that we conservatives since we can only vote Republican, have been co-opted by the Democrats and the albatross called ObamaCare. It is largely this that caused the angst over Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s potential for an embarrassing defeat on the floor of the House. Democrats are crafty, and yes sometimes even dishonest (just listen to some of the speeches filled with twisted facts and outright lies) and we conservatives are honest and think everyone we meet must be honest with rare exception.
Frankly, it is very difficult to be conservative and to see the liberals’ traps laid out for us when the political leaders on our side of the aisle seem too quick to seize opportunities that are actually traps engineered by our opponents. We have to help others realize that there really are bad people in government. It is not that they simply hold different opinions than do we, it is that they are willing to use anything and everything necessary to sucker us into another trap.
Come the next political battle, we need to remember that they’ll use every trick in their playbook to win and they do this knowing full well that conservatives blanch at such tactics, and that the chances they’ll be shot down by conservatives are somewhere between slim and virtually none.
We walk around with targets on our backs and they have the slingshots and rocks to take us out if we’ll but drop our guard. Be vigilant conservatives and try to get to the point where you understand that if we do not use some of the same tactics they employ, we’ll likely continue to get our lunch taken away from us on the playground that is Washington, D.C. The bullies love being bullies. They need bloody noses every once in a while as reminders that we, too, can fight back even though we seldom demonstrate that to be true.