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Rep. Tom MacArthur: “Taxpayer-Financed Pool” Creates “Lower Premiums”

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Published on: May 5, 2017

Congressman Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) voted in favor of the unconstitutional and continued socialistic American Health Care Act (AHCA), aka RINOCare in the House this week.  However, some of the influence of that vote was based emotionally on his own daughter’s fight against a rare condition called Holoprosencephaly.  While he had insurance, it didn’t cover everything, which led him to speak of the enormous costs that could have resulted in lower premiums and more coverage in a taxpayer-financed pool rather than a policy-financed pool.

Ultimately, MacArthur, like many of his Republican colleagues, don’t want to actually repeal Obamacare.  They want to reform it.

Still, he was largely influenced in this regard concerning his daughter Gracie.  NBC reports on the story of his daughter.

Gracie, the first child of MacArthur, 56, and his wife, Debbie, was born with severe health issues. It was during the fourth month of pregnancy that the young couple was told that their baby’s brain would not fully develop. They struggled to find a doctor who didn’t advocate terminating the pregnancy and would care for his wife and their baby through the difficult pregnancy.

Gracie was diagnosed with a rare condition called Holoprosencephaly. After Gracie was born, the doctor walked into the delivery room to discuss the immediate brain surgery that would be performed. MacArthur stopped the neurosurgeon and asked, “Is it a boy or a girl?'”

She wasn’t expected to live, but did. She never walked and could say only a few words and suffered from severe seizures.

Gracie died when she was 11.

I have a daughter named Gracie, too.  I know what it is like to see children sick and helpless, though I don’t know what it is like to experience what Rep. MacArthur experienced with his daughter and her untimely death.  I do sympathize with him and his family and what I write does not diminish that.  I’m sure if I were his friend, I would have helped out in any way I could financially or with time or whatever.

However, as he reflected on the enormous costs for care for his daughter, the New Jersey congressman said,  “I had insurance, but it doesn’t cover everything.”

MacArthur is a pretty wealthy man today, according to the report, but that was not always the case and he incurred $1 million in total costs for Gracie’s care.  Yet, this Republican believes the federal government will provide a better deal than the private sector when it comes to health care.

“If I were in a taxpayer-financed pool, not a policy-financed pool, all those insureds in the group of the insurance plan would have had lower premiums,” he said.

Of course, he is implying that the costs of his daughter’s care drove up the costs of premiums for everyone else.  However, he doesn’t see that problem with Obamacare or federally funded or subsidized health care, which really blows my mind.  Not only must I mention that such plans are unconstitutional, but someone is going to pay for that insurance one way or another.

While the “MacArthur Amendment,” which was added to the House bill that passed this week, allows states to opt out of some of the insurance mandates, the states would also be able to obtain waivers to charge some people more than others for pre-existing conditions.  Frankly, both of those things are valid.  There should not be federally mandated benefits in insurance packages, which leaves the market open to create new products for consumers.  Second, if someone has a pre-existing condition it will cost more because there is more risk.  That does not mean that people can’t be charitable with their money.  They most certainly can be and should be, but it’s not government’s place to provide health insurance or health care.  It’s their job to punish evil doers (Romans 13:1-5) and they don’t seem to be very good at doing that job, but usurping power in areas they have no business in.

Second, MacArthur should know that the worst people to handle money are in government.  Why?  It’s because it’s someone else’s money.  More than that, the enumerated powers of the Constitution do not grant such authority to Congress to legislate, and don’t give me that ridiculous argument about the “General Welfare Clause.”  That has nothing to do with this.  I’m talking about specific powers of Congress.

Still, while MacArthur’s amendment allowed the above items, it also takes taxpayer money from DC and uses it to subsidize those in a high-risk pool in the states.  Can you say Socialism?

While his claim of lower premiums may or may not be true, the reality is that Congress doesn’t have authority in the Constitution to do any of this and using federal funds to subsidize people’s health care is socialism, not an American idea, but a Marxist one.

MacArthur has been quoted as saying:

“I believe in smaller government that lets people keep more of what they earn, gives a hand up to those in need and creates opportunity for all to pursue the American Dream.”

Does federally subsidized health insurance sound like “smaller government”?  Where in the Constitution does it allow for government to “give a hand up to those in need”?  That’s an individual’s responsibility.  Finally, the American Dream is the Christian/Biblical work ethic, honoring God in your work and prospering as a result.  I have no idea what Rep. MacArthur thinks it means.

Emotional stories like Rep. MacArthur’s about his daughter should touch our hearts, no doubt.  They should cause us as individuals to look around us and see how we might be able to help our neighbors around us in bed health or who may need finances or support, but these stories should never be used to usurp the enumerate powers given to Congress, and they should never be used to take money from one person and give it to another, but this is what is being proposed, and yes, Obamacare will still be in place should the AHCA be passed by the Senate.  This bill is not a repeal of the ACA.  It’s just a Republican version of it.

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