For a little while now, I have been giving most of the Republican senators the benefit of the doubt (huge doubt) as they convened and tried to work out a good solution for repealing and replacing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act although I feared a lot of high payout deal-making, which always stinks to high heaven.
I think that now I am totally with both Sean Hannity and President Donald Trump in my frustration about the Senate Republicans’ deep, and apparently irreconcilable differences in how this repeal is supposed to work.
In my opinion, one of the biggest problems I see is some Republicans, that could really fit the description of Republicans in Name Only, are trying to “bring home the bacon” in their states. The repeal and replacement of Obamacare should not be something that senators are supposed to be paid off to accomplish. This is something desperately needed by the American people – those people who wanted this change so badly that they could not stomach four more years of the “same ‘ol, same ‘ol” top-down government control, so they voted for Trump instead of Clinton. Of course that is not the only reason they voted for Trump, but it was certainly high up on many Americans’ priority list.
One of the RINO “villains” in this repeal and replacement drama is Senator Lisa Murkowski. According to a July 13 article on Business Insider (1), the most recent version of the Senate repeal and replacement bill contains a provision that holdout Murkowski can take home to her home state of Alaska. Of course, right now there are several different versions of a Senate bill running around that are basically unsatisfactory in one way or another, and the main effort now may be just a clean repeal.
What is that provision?
The provision provides a pot of money to the state stability fund that would be given to states to help them offset high insurance premiums and encourage people to sign up for coverage. I’m sorry, but this sounds like warmed-over Obamacare to me because Obamacare was all about pushing people to sign up for insurance coverage.
Now here’s a novel idea, why not create a truly free market in both health care and health insurance? There are many ways to do this, and yet somehow this senator feels that her state must be paid off to make any move to repeal and replace Obamacare. In fact, the whole idea of repealing and replacing Obamacare is to allow people more choices in the way they personally manage their health care – it is not about delivering goodies to certain states to bribe a senator from that state to “come along.” I thought that one of Trump’s principles around his election was to “drain the swamp” in Washington. I would characterize any unusual amount of money Murkowski might get set aside for Alaska as pretty swampy.
Business Insider quotes the provision pertaining to Alaska as follows:
“The Administrator shall determine an appropriate procedure for dividing and distributing funds under this subsection that includes reserving an amount equal to 1 percent of the amount appropriated under paragraph (1) for a calendar year for providing and distributing funds to health insurers in States where the cost of insurance premiums are at least 75 percent higher than the national average.”
It just so happens, according to a report (cited by Business Insider) from the Department of Health and Human Services, that Alaska is the only state that qualifies for that provision.
The Business Insider article states the following: “Based on the amount of money set aside through the state stability fund, Alaska would likely end up with hundreds of millions of dollars annually toward its health insurance markets.”
So this is something offered to the state of Alaska by way of Senator Murkowski to basically bribe her to go along with repealing and replacing Obamacare. FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! Murkowski is supposedly a Republican senator, but with spend-crazy Republicans like her, who needs Democrats to run this country into the ground financially? Does she have any conscience whatsoever?
If I could have a crack at talking to her, I would tell her to talk to people who really understand what is going on in the health care sector of our economy (I could refer her to a few) and the fact that the high cost of health insurance premiums is the symptom behind the country’s “health care” woes, not the main problem (although insurance companies are complicit in the scam). I have written about this before, but more about this in a future post.
Murkowski is just creating continued dependence on the government by the people of Alaska and insurance companies that do business in Alaska. Instead, she should be getting an education concerning the true drivers of high health care costs and working to solve those problems, which would drive down health care costs, and in turn, the cost of health insurance.
In an editorial in USA Today (2), Senator Rand Paul wrote that the previous Senate bill (one that was roundly rejected by all sides in the Republican party for a variety of reasons) kept a majority of the Obamacare taxes and spending. It also contained a $200 BILLION bailout for insurance companies. Clearly, a good chunk of this would be going to Murkowski’s home state.
Not only that, Murkowski has a few other very “leftist-oriented” demands. She has also opposed cuts to Medicaid and freezing the funding for Planned Parenthood, even with the knowledge of those horrific videos in which abortionists talked casually about selling the body parts of unborn babies while eating and drinking. I question why Murkowski hangs with the Republican party; I don’t see an ounce of conservatism in her. She really needs to be more honest and just switch to being a Democrat (or at least go unaffiliated) because she is clearly a traitor to any true conservative principles. Of course, she’s not the only one I could say that about.
I, like my husband, am growing more and more frustrated with the Republican party. My husband finally ended his membership in the party and is now registered to vote as an independent. I am headed there, yet I have held out hope for a while that I could positively contribute to the Republican party by choosing people in primaries and caucuses who truly reflect its principles. However, that hope is growing dimmer and dimmer in the face of Republican antics like Murkowski’s.
Sources for further reading:
*As I have said before, I am just getting warmed up on the the subject of repealing and replacing Obamacare as well as encouraging a much freer market in medical and surgical care that could really decrease costs for everyone and make that care much more accessible. If you are curious to know what I have to say next about all this, I encourage you to sign up for my email list, which is at the top right hand side of this post.
Photo courtesy of canstockphoto.com.