We all know that the House Republicans are struggling to come up with the votes to defang Obamacare. Because of the filibuster rule in the Senate, they cannot come up with the votes for an outright repeal. However, the budget reconciliation process does allow them to defund the damnable thing. The problem? Now that there votes sudden mean something some “moderate” Republicans have gotten cold feet.
When an a political issue drags on for a long time, the history of the matter soon becomes clouded in mists of confusion. When the cover of darkness is not available, ambitious men and women will make do with what they have.
19 This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.20 For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.21 But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”
Depending upon who we believe, the House has voted over 50 time or only 6 times on Obamacare.
Over 50 times? Only 6 times? Does it make a difference? The point is that when President Obama was there to veto anything they passed, House Republicans had no trouble finding the votes they needed to either repeal or defund Obamacare. Now that we have President Trump, someone who wants to sign a bill, Republicans no longer have the votes. Apparently, the “moderates” were never serious about getting rid of Obamacare. Did they lie?
Have you forgotten where you Congressman said he stood on the issue of repeal? Then here are some websites that track votes.
The last website has the most detailed information. Apparently, healthreformvotes.org is one of those well-funded Democrat Liberal feed-for-“free” at the government trough groups. Here (click on “here”) for example is the information they have on my congressman, Rep. Robert Wittman. It starts like this.
healthreformvotes.org likes my senators, unfortunately.
Frankly, even though I disagree with their stance, I appreciate the information healthreformvotes.org. Regardless of which side you are on, we need to hold even “moderate” liars accountable. Any politician who will lie to us will steal from us.
Anyway, please check on the votes of your congressman. If he or she is a “moderate” Republican and now suddenly unwilling to vote to get rid of Obamacare, you may wish to remind him or her of those previous votes and politely request an explanation.
Obamacare is one of those disasters half of us would just like to go away. The other half either has selfish financial interests or Utopian pipe dreams tied up in such Socialist legislation. Think I am being unfair to the other half? From the beginning we knew Obamacare would not work. Obamacare is economically unsound. So from the beginning we knew what the Democrats wanted was a single payer, government-run healthcare monopoly. Don’t we know how, if Hillary Clinton had been elected, Obamacare would have been fixed? Don’t we already know Obamacare needs to be fixed?
The reconciliation process, created by the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 (Pub. L. 93–344, 88 Stat. 297, 2 U.S.C. §§ 601–688), establishes the mechanism by which Congress can move controversial legislation without it being subject to a filibuster in the Senate. But to use the authority, Congress must take certain prescribed steps and avoid potential pitfalls. (continued here)
Pitfalls! So it is that Congress cannot include matters extraneous to budget reconciliation in a budget reconciliation bill.
Specifically, section 313(b)(1) of the Congressional Budget Act defines “extraneous” matters as those that:
do not produce a change in outlays or revenues;
produce changes in outlays or revenue which are merely incidental to the non-budgetary components of the provision;
are outside the jurisdiction of the committee that submitted the title or provision for inclusion in the reconciliation measure;
increase outlays or decrease revenue if the provision’s title, as a whole, fails to achieve the Senate reporting committee’s reconciliation instructions;
increase net outlays or decrease revenue during a fiscal year after the years covered by the reconciliation bill unless the provision’s title, as a whole, remains budget neutral; or
contain recommendations regarding the OASDI (social security) trust funds.
Thus, when Congress tried to repeal Obamacare in 2015 they ran into problems in the Senate.
In October 2015, the House passed H.R. 3762: Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom, which repealed significant portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including:
the Automatic Enrollment Requirement,
the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF, also referred to as the “Obamacare slush fund”),
both the Individual and Employer Mandates,
the Medical Device Tax, and
the health insurance “Cadillac Tax,”.
The bill also prohibited federal funds for Planned Parenthood, its affiliates, subsidiaries, successors, and clinics for one year. Instead, the bill designated an additional $235 million for the Community Health Center Fund.
When the bill reached the Senate in January 2016, the Senate parliamentarian reviewed the House-passed bill to see if provisions of the bill met the extraneous matter requirements of the Byrd Rule. She determined that repeal of the individual mandate and employer mandate, were extraneous policies, and not primarily budgetary in nature. As a result, they were dropped from the bill and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) offered an amended version of the reconciliation bill that retained the policy of the individual and employer mandates, but eliminated the penalty for non-compliance.
Final passage from the conference committee occurred January 6, 2016 and was vetoed by President Obama two days later. (from here)
So even if the House passes the bill before it, the Senate may weaken it. Unfortunately, we have little reason to believe the Senate dislikes big government.
So let consider a solution for this problem. Let’s begin by properly defining the problem. How did Obamacare happen? Democrats, politicians who do not respect the Constitution or our nation’s traditions, got control of the presidency, the House, a 60-vote majority in the Senate, and a practical majority on the Supreme Court. Therefore, to repeal Obamcare, we need control of the presidency, the House, a 60-vote majority in the Senate, and a practical majority on the Supreme Court. Unfortunately, we are not quite there. So, the solution is getting there, getting enough Conservative politicians to pass Conservative legislation.
Why do the American people elect politicians who do not respect the Constitution or our nation’s traditions? That is both a problem of the heart and the heart of the problem. To the extent we can do something about it, it is an education problem. Before the Democrats created budget-busting boondoggles like Social Security, Medicare, and now Obamacare, they took over the education of our nation’s children. So it is we have public funding of schools starting in kindergarten and ending with the completion of doctoral programs. Inevitably, people educated in socialist institutions by people who make their living off socialist institutions have difficulty seeing what is wrong with Socialism. Inevitably, when the absence of instruction suggests such things don’t matter, children raised in secularized institutions have a difficult time relating to God and God-given rights. Therefore, if we don’t want everything run by our government, we must privatize our education system.
Are you familiar with school choice? Even if you are, you may find it useful to visit What is School Choice? This is an article provided by Focus on the Family, which some would call a right-wing Christian organization. Here is how that article begins.
School choice is a nationwide movement that empowers parents by enabling them to make the best possible choice for their children’s education. In short, it puts power in the hands of parents to decide which type of education best fits the needs of their particular child – whether that is a public, private or religious institution, or educating their child at home.
School choice also protects parents’ constitutional rights to direct their children’s upbringing in accordance with the values, principles and religious convictions they hold dear. (continued here)
Think about it. Has the notion of the People running the own lives — educating their own children as they see fit — become as scary to our government as it was to the British Crown in 1776?
So what do we do with President Donald Trump’s and Speaker Paul Ryan’s bill, the American Health Care Act? I suggest we help Trump and Ryan pass the bill. It is not perfect, but we need to keep our allies strong. Trump and Ryan need the win, and half a loaf is better than none. At this point, half a loaf is all we can expect.
Why must we keep Trump and Ryan strong? Although we must fight our school choice battles predominantly at the state level, we must keep strong advocates for school choice in charge of the Federal Government. Otherwise, Democrats will win the fight to federalize the education of our nation’s children with programs like Common Core. See the following.
Is Common Core is a commie plot? Who knows? The point is that the Constitution does not authorize a Federally run educational bureaucracy. Even if the Constitution did authorize Federal spending on education, do we actually need massive numbers of bureaucrats to educate our children? What possible good could they do?
“We’re at war” by insanitybytes22 is one of those interesting posts that gets us thinking. Since thinking can be a rather random process, the comment thread soon rambled over to Obamacare. Since Obamacare is topical to this election, I decided to steal some material from my comment and turn it into a pro Ted Cruz post.
As an issue, Cruz addresses the topic of Obamacare on this page: Jobs and Opportunity. Why? The health care sector is a large part of our economy. When government steps in and makes our health care decisions for us, government kills jobs and limits our opportunities.
How do I feel about Obamacare? Obamacare is too much government, and I am voting for the candidate who most wants to reduce the size of our government. I hope Ted Cruz will kill Obamacare, but I don’t think he will rid us of Medicare and Medicaid. Just killing Obamacare, limiting the ambulance chasing, and encouraging interstate competition between insurers will be monumental tasks. Getting our government out of the health care business — if it ever happens — will most likely take decades.
What is the Christian position on how we should make our health care system work? I cannot speak for all Christians, but one message that comes from the Bible is that no man is good, not one (Romans 3:9-20). That is why the people who wrote our Constitution designed our government with numerous checks and balances.
Because it forces us to accept the involvement of politicians and bureaucrats in our health care, Obamacare outrageously violates the Constitution. Because Obamacare is blatantly unconstitutional, we know from the get-go the people who crafted the legislation cannot be trusted. The majority of Americans don’t even want Obamacare. So the notion our leaders created Obamacare for the good of the American people is absurd.
Do I have a solution for all our health care woes? Yes. Don’t get born. Don’t get old. Don’t get sick. Don’t have accidents. Failing all that, rob a bank and spend somebody else’s money. Seriously, isn’t that all devious politicians have promised us?
When our government takes money from one person and gives it to the “needy,” that is stealing. Even if it were not, our Constitution does not charter Congress to redistribute the wealth. When the Supreme Court says that it does, they have to use ridiculously convoluted arguments. For example, because the Constitution is supposedly a “living document”, judges have the discretion to amend it. However, there is an obvious problem with that argument. If we say the Constitution is “living document”, that just says the Constitution doesn’t mean what it says.
Therefore, sneakier members of the judiciary try to hide their shameless shenanigans under the guise of common law.
Our constitutional system, without our fully realizing it, has tapped into an ancient source of law, one that antedates the Constitution itself by several centuries. That ancient kind of law is the common law. The common law is a system built not on an authoritative, foundational, quasi-sacred text like the Constitution. Rather, the common law is built out of precedents and traditions that accumulate over time. Those precedents allow room for adaptation and change, but only within certain limits and only in ways that are rooted in the past. Our constitutional system has become a common law system, one in which precedent and past practices are, in their own way, as important as the written Constitution itself. A common law Constitution is a “living” Constitution, but it is also one that can protect fundamental principles against transient public opinion, and it is not one that judges (or anyone else) can simply manipulate to fit their own ideas. (from here).
Yet those sneakier souls ignore plain words of the Constitution which must take precedence over common law. Thus, whether they admit it or not, those sneakier souls are arguing that the Constitution is a “living document”, that judges have the discretion to amend it.
So what is the alternative? If we don’t want government-run health care, how is free market health care suppose to work? It will never work perfectly, but does anything we can devise?
What are the problems with free enterprise health care? When we get sick, it is too late to go shopping for healthcare, and some people will always procrastinate. Some people will always be poor, unable to afford a doctor. And some will always be sickly at birth, so that insurance is impractical. Nevertheless, most of us want insurance, and we can afford it.
What does insurance do for us? When we have a catastrophe, our insurance helps us to pay the bills. In addition, because insurers have market clout and can hire people with the appropriate skills, they can negotiate affordable doctor and hospital fees. Therefore, if we can and we are willing to purchase health care insurance, the main thing we need our government to do is prosecute fraud.
What about those who don’t have insurance? The solution is charity. Charity is something politicians did not invent, and government NEVER provides. Politicians just take money from some people so they can buy the votes of other people.
When we let our leaders redistribute the wealth (or health care), what is Christian about that? Doesn’t redistributing the wealth bankrupt and corrupt our government? Don’t meddlesome government regulations wreak havoc on free market solutions that work quite well for the majority of people? Why is any of that Christian?
But what about the fact the people of the United States spend too much money on health care? Do government-run solutions reduce the cost of anything? Isn’t more government involvement just going to lead to the rationing of health care? Do we want bureaucrats to decide who doctors can treat and how?
If you or I want to buy an expensive car or house, why should politicians have the right to stop us? We don’t buy health care for the “People.” We each want to buy health care for ourselves, family members, and individuals we care about. It is a cinch that few politicians actually care about the “People.” Therefore, our leaders should just have the same right to health care as the rest of us, to buy health care for themselves, family members, and people they care about.
Think about how odd it is. We elected a black president, and he promised to bring us all together. With his election, we would finally see an end to racism. Instead, the people who were supposed to end racism won’t let it die.
Here is how it has been going down.
Some white guy kills some black guy. In the last couple of big news stories, the supposedly killer white guys have been policemen.
The news media screams the supposedly murderous killing is about RACISM.
This president and his justice department do their absolute best to prove it is about RACISM.
The news media moves on to the next racial expose.
So why is the corporate news media doing this? Why is the Obama administration helping to make national stories out what should be local stories? Why make so much effort to stir up racial animus?
Consider how a magician does his tricks.
Magicians use distraction techniques to draw the audience’s attention away from whichever hand is engaged in sleight of hand. Magicians can accomplish this by encouraging the audience to look elsewhere or by having an assistant do or say something to draw the audience’s attention away. (from here)
Operation Fortitude was the code name for a World War II military deception employed by the Allied nations as part of an overall deception strategy (code named Bodyguard) during the build-up to the 1944 Normandy landings. Fortitude was divided into two sub-plans, North and South, with the aim of misleading the German high command as to the location of the imminent invasion.
Both Fortitude plans involved the creation of fake field armies (based in Edinburgh and the south of England) which threatened Norway(Fortitude North) and Pas de Calais (Fortitude South). The operation was intended to divert Axis attention away from Normandy and, after the invasion on June 6, 1944, to delay reinforcement by convincing the Germans that the landings were purely a diversionary attack. (continued here)
Are we at war with our government? Are our leaders trying to deceive us? If so, what we being distracted from? What are the stories we should be giving our attention?
Here are some examples.
This explains It’s official: America is now No. 2 (www.marketwatch.com). The economy of China, a nation with a ruthless authoritarian government, has overtaken that of the United States. How could we have allowed that to happen?
Perhaps, instead worrying about policemen killing people when they violently resist arrest, we need to worry about our tax and spend crazy leaders. What are they doing to our country, and why are we letting them do it?
We had an economy that no one could surpass. We use to make things. Now we buy our computers from an authoritarian regime that clearly considers us a threat to its interest in conquest.
We use to assimilate new immigrants by insisting they become Americans. When immigrants came here, we expected them to work and learn English. Now we give them welfare and educate their children in their native tongue.
We use to have a president who honorably enforced the law, whether he liked that law or not. Now our president vetoes existing laws, and he calls that prosecutorial discretion.
When we did something stupid and made a situation worse — when we passed a law like Obamacare because people lied to us — we used to have the sense to repeal that bad law. Now we try to cover over the lies of the liars by “fixing” that bad law and pretend it just has a few flaws.
Why is it we act as if politicians always are right? Is the appropriate response to every government failure more government? If we are foolish enough to think such a thing, maybe we need to look at who educated us. Don’t politicians run our schools? Even though Opposition to Common Core spurs jump in homeschooling (www.foxnews.com), doesn’t the Federal Government want still more control?
Where does the Constitution give the Federal Government any authority over our education system? It is not there? Hummmm. Then why is the Federal Government taking more and more control over what we learn?
When we get lost, are we suppose to continue stumbling down the same unknown trail, or are we suppose to retrace our steps? Doesn’t it make sense to get back to a point where we knew our location? That’s the essence of Conservatism. When something doesn’t work, before we attempt to make any more improvements, we go back to what we know works.
Just in case you think our leaders don’t act when we are distracted, check out these stories.