While Democrats are celebrating House Republicans pulling the American Health Care Act from the floor of the House for a vote, there are a certain number of congressmen who should be thanked for their unwillingness to compromise on unconstitutional things in the bill. That group of representatives are known as the House Freedom Caucus.
Commentators like Elizabeth Peek at Fox News ripped the House Freedom Caucus for their principled stand against RINOCare. She wrote:
It is hard to overestimate the damage the Freedom Caucus has done to the fledgling presidency of Donald Trump, and to the country. By blocking the American Health Care Act of 2017, the conservative group has guaranteed that Americans will struggle forward under the burden of Obamacare. In the next few months insurers will announce their premium hikes for the coming year; chances are, given the continuing withdrawal of major companies from the marketplaces and the ongoing failure of the bill to attract enough young and healthy participants, the new rates will not be pretty. Last year premiums went up 25%; it’s likely the increases will be higher this year.
Republicans will own those higher rates. Their failure to repeal the financial underpinnings of Obamacare and start replacing that failing program with an approach that encourages competition and that embodies numerous other common sense reforms will mean that families hit by ever-higher costs will blame the GOP. Voters elected Donald Trump and a GOP Congress to get this job done – the number one promise of every Republican campaign since 2010.
Now the Republican Party inherits the Sisyphean task of managing Obamacare’s inevitable decline. They are no longer critics; they are now the producers of the show. It is unlikely that House Speaker Paul Ryan or Trump will have the political will and patience to return to the drawing board and attempt to craft a brand new bill. They have made other commitments to voters, and so Obamacare, as a defeated Paul Ryan admitted after withdrawing the AHCA, is the law of the land. Live with it.
Now, whose fault is that really Ms. Peek? While not one Republican voted for the Affordable Care Act, tons of them, including your precious Speaker Paul Ryan, voted to fund the unconstitutional legislation over and over. Republicans don’t “own” Obamacare, but they have owned its implementation long before Ryan pulled the legislation on Friday (Since at least 2013 to be exact). In that respect, they are to blame partially for some of the consequences coming out of Obamacare.
However, as Arthur Schaper at Townhall brilliantly wrote:
…please stop blaming the House Freedom Caucus as a bunch of stuck-up ideological Pharisees. We need more in their ranks who will demand the best for the Constitution and the American people. Yes, the “compromise critics” will roll out arguments like “The Framers were not ideologues” or “In Washington, you never get everything that you want.” 225 years later, though, the Democratic Party has embraced socialism as a foundational philosophy. They have never wavered or apologized for this false, destructive world view. Republicans want to accommodate with this anti-Constitutional world view? Not going to happen.
From this cause, a new Congressional hero stands out in Washington DC. His name is Thomas Massie, and was crystal clear about his views on RyanCare. Well, he did change his vote, but from “No” to “Hell No!” He came to the defense of our President and his country, too, acknowledging that stopping this rotten stop-gap replacement bill would save face for President Trump—and the country.
Let’s face it, no matter how many majorities or minority results that Republicans yield from election to election, the power rests with us, and more Americans are flexing their muscle. Also, pundits should acknowledge that the House bill was going to be dead on arrival in the US Senate. Republicans opposed this legislation, which continued too many subsidies, practically slammed the same mandate on individual consumers, and maintained the worst of Obamacare in place.
Schaper also rightly pointed out that RINOCare really offered Americans nothing of what they thought they would be getting.
- Lower insurance premiums
- More access to quality health care
- Less interference
- No untenable waiting times
No matter how much the White House and establishment Republicans said so, the bill did not repeal Obamacare, something that a simple bill would do all together, which is what the American people actually want.
A couple of good things come out of this. First, it’s quite possible, some congressmen will get together and remove Ryan from his seat of power and put someone like Rep. Thomas Massie in his place. We should make him own his words, “We’re going to be Living with Obamacare for the Foreseeable Future.”
Second, it appears that there may just be a round two at repealing Obamacare. Following the bill being pulled, President Donald Trump tweeted, “ObamaCare will explode and we will all get together and piece together a great healthcare plan for THE PEOPLE. Do not worry!”
ObamaCare will explode and we will all get together and piece together a great healthcare plan for THE PEOPLE. Do not worry!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 25, 2017
I’m concerned because anyone looking at this bill knew it was dead on arrival in the Senate if it ever got out of the House. I’m concerned because Trump has already told us he would push for universal healthcare. I’m concerned because congressmen and the White House both told us this bill was a repeal of Obamacare when it was nothing of the sort.
So, my fellow Americans, keep your eyes open and let’s start contacting our representatives and demanding they get back on a simple bill to repeal every single word of the Affordable Care Act, which was their promise to us, and replace it with… nothing. Then we can begin to look at solutions that actually provide the very things we want and need in the health insurance market.