Republicans Offer Another Unconstitutional Plan to Replace Obamacare

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Published on: February 7, 2015

Regardless of what any Supreme Court Justice rules and regardless of what any Democrat and Obama state, The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, is unconstitutional, as it is outside the enumerated powers of the federal government. Many Congressional and Senate Republicans have slammed this unconstitutional piece of legislation, and the House has voted unsuccessfully four times to repeal it. State legislatures have failed in their duty to nullify this monstrosity, leaving the people at the mercy of federally controlled and mandated health care insurance that ultimately will result in rationing of care.

While many Republicans in Congress have advocated for the repeal of Obamacare, other Republicans push for the “repeal and replace” option when it comes to Obamacare. Just recently, Congressional Republicans have unveiled their proposal called the “Patient Care, Affordability, Responsibility and Empowerment Act” that would take the place of Obamacare. Another piece of unconstitutional legislation, the Patient CARE Act “offers a package of health policy initiatives that either discard, tweak or overhaul major provisions of the Affordable Care Act.”

According to McClatchydc.com:

The CARE Act is designed to be the GOP’s go-to health care plan if the U.S. Supreme Court rules in the upcoming King vs. Burwell case that federal tax credits – which help pay for marketplace health coverage – cannot go to residents in 37 states that use the HealthCare.gov website.

So, Republicans want to repeal Obamacare because they want to replace it with their own version of government-controlled insurance and healthcare, not because it is outside the constitutional authority of the government. Exactly what are the Republicans proposing in their government-run insurance program that would make it better than Obamacare?

“The CARE Act would eliminate the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, which requires most Americans to have health insurance or face a cash penalty.”

The proposal by Republicans would prohibit insurance companies from imposing lifetime limits on consumers. According to the summary by Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina, the power of regulating health insurance would be returned to the states, and the proposal would limit the amount older individuals pay to no more than a five to one ratio (5:1) as a baseline. States, before the implementation of Obamacare, used this ratio rating to determine premium costs. However, the states could adopt a more restrictive or less restrictive ratio rating than the federal baseline, meaning that states could pass legislation to opt out of the provision on the plans it regulates.

Dependent coverage to age 26 would remain unchanged from the Obamacare mandate. Again, states can legislate an opt-out for this provision, as well. The CARE Act offers guaranteed renewability, meaning individuals would be able to renew coverage without insurers refusing renewal because of the health status of the individual. Insurance companies would also be prohibited from imposing “unfair coverage terminations of health care.” Insurers would be allowed to terminate coverage in the cases of fraud, misrepresentation, or failure to pay premiums.

Burr’s proposal indicated that “no one can be denied coverage based on a pre-existing condition” when moving from one health care plan to another, as long as the individual was continuously enrolled in a health care plan – which is similar to HIPAA passed in the 90s. Those without previous coverage would have a “one-time open enrollment period” to obtain coverage, regardless of health status or pre-existing condition.

The Republican proposal includes a “targeted tax credit to certain individuals that could solely be used for the purpose of helping to buy health care.” This would apply to individuals who work for small businesses employing 100 or fewer employees and to individuals who are not employed by small or large businesses and do not have offers of health insurance coverage. The CARE Act proposal also guts the “mandated coverage” essentials under Obamacare and allows individuals to choose the health care plan that best meets their needs.

According to Burr’s written explanation of the CARE Act, “states would be given new tools and authorities to help their citizens and manage their costs.” Under this plan, the states would be allowed to default enroll individuals who have health care tax credits but fail to make a health care plan choice. However, individuals may change plans or choose to opt-out of coverage entirely if unhappy with the state’s assignment of a default plan.

Other options in the CARE Act allow states to leverage high-risk pools using federal funding to make sure patients with costly conditions have access to health care coverage, small businesses may pool together to negotiate small business plans and states could utilize an interstate compact in order to allow purchase of insurance plans across state lines. It would also revamp Medicaid and reform medical malpractice to eliminate “junk” lawsuits.

While some would be tempted to jump on the bandwagon because this repeals Obamacare’s individual mandate, the Republican plan still seeks to control and regulate health care at the federal level, which remains unconstitutional, as it is outside the enumerated powers, even though the released Burr plan appears to empower the states. Democrats crammed Obamacare down the throats of Americans, passed it without reading it behind closed doors, and irreparably damaged the health care insurance industry along with the health care delivery system. States refused to nullify this unconstitutional legislation so does anyone actually believe that states will pass legislation allowing an opt-out?

How do Republicans propose to correct or attempt to reverse the damage already caused by Obamacare? What costs are involved in “revamping” the health care insurance industry from Obamacare to the CARE Act? That has not been mentioned and the insurance companies nor the states are going to eat that cost. Narrowing networks, prevalent in Obamacare, would have to be expanded and the health care delivery system is facing a shortage of physicians thanks to Obamacare. Hospitals have also closed due to ACA regulations.

Nothing has been mentioned about the change in recommendations regarding mammograms, colonoscopies, etc., that have been issued under the current health care insurance monstrosity nor has any mention of the reversal of rationing of health care been addressed. This “proposal” ignores the Independent Advisory Payment Board that received so much attention when it was implemented with Obamacare.

Republicans are seeking to promote another unconstitutional piece of legislation to replace the unconstitutional Obamacare and selling “their” plan to the public using the bare bones the public might support without full disclosure, just as the Democrats did when they passed the ACA. As was seen in the past with Obamacare, the people cannot rely on the states to do their duty.

Some members of Congress, like Burr, keep touting that our health care system “was broken before Obamacare.” But, no one will outline exactly what they deem was “broken.” It seems members of the House and Senate equate “health care insurance” with the “health care system,” which is apples and oranges. Health care insurance does not guarantee access to services nor does it guarantee payment for services. If access to health care was a problem before Obamacare and has been made worse by it, access surely will not improve with facilities already closed, and more closing, and lack of medical professionals to care for individuals – insurance or not.

Bottom line, government has no business in health care insurance, nor does it have any business in the health care of individuals. Even though the Tenth Amendment states that “powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people,” state governments have no business in health care, or health care insurance, either. The American people should have learned what happens when government gets their slimy little paws into the business of the American people when the federal government usurped the education of our children, pilfered our pockets through income tax, overtook the states’ rights with the Environmental Protection Agency, eradicated many of our freedoms through the Department of Homeland Security, and instituted a host of other unconstitutional departments that make pseudo-laws known as regulations.

Many citizens knew the US would end up with some form of “government” controlled health care and health care insurance system, regardless of which party won the presidency or controlled the House and Senate. Republicans and Democrats are different sides of the same coin, or as someone stated on Facebook, “different cheeks of the same butt.” The Democrats just happen to inflict the damage first. With the American public so unhappy with Obamacare, Republicans are trying to “strike while the iron is hot,” in order to saddle Americans with “their” brand of government controlled health care insurance system. After all, these Republicans believe that is what Americans voted for in November.

Obamacare needs to be repealed…period, without a replacement and certainly no type of reform. However, that will not be forthcoming, as Democrats who stated Obamacare was a mistake will not go against the party line to repeal it, nor will they support Republican efforts to replace it. And, Republicans, who railed against Obamacare as well, seek to “replace” it with something else, under the guise of repeal, but still maintain health care insurance under government control. Our former health care system and insurance industry is gone – it’s not coming back, thanks to the socialist House and Senate. What Americans face now is either the monstrosity that is Obamacare or a Republican replacement. To be honest, the replacement proposed by Republicans is going nowhere at this point in time. Obamacare is more than likely to remain in effect with additional “tweaks” through more unconstitutional legislation.

The message being sent by Democrats and Republicans alike is “get used to government control of the health care insurance and health care industries – it’s here to stay.”

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