Congress Rushing Through Massive New Healthcare Entitlement Before August Recess

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Debt

In a classic Washingtonian political maneuver, both parties are prepared to introduce a massive new Veterans Affairs health care entitlement and force members to vote up or down on the entire package before they hustle off to their awaiting flights home for the August recess. While containing one or two good proposals, the Sanders-Miller conference agreement will create a new entitlement, possibly as big as Medicare Part D, without addressing the fundamental problems with the VA that are short-changing our veterans. Most of the funds will be designated as “emergency spending,” which will exempt it from the requirement for offsets.

Much like most crisis-driven pieces of legislation, this bill sounds good on the surface. It would authorize $5 billion for hiring of additional staff and almost $2 billion for construction of 27 new facilities. The bill would also spend $10 billion granting veterans the option to seek care at private facilities, for those who are 40 miles away from a VA system or for those who have waited in line without getting an appointment for 30 days. $5 billion of the spending would be offset with other cuts to the VA while the rest of the tab would be exempt as emergency spending.

Here are some of the core concerns with the bill:

Read more at Breitbart:

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Thoughts for Memorial Day

Monday, May 26th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Foreign Policy

Those of us who live a civilian life can never fully appreciate the degree of sacrifice borne by those who wear the uniform, especially those who serve in dangerous theaters.  We certainly can never fully relate to those families whose loved ones have given the ultimate sacrifice for this great nation.

But as we remember those fallen heroes this Memorial Day, we must commit to doing everything in our power to advocate for policies that ensure that fewer people make that ultimate sacrifice.  We must also commit to alleviating the dysfunction that awaits those veterans who suffer injuries and sickness as a result of their service.

Obviously, there is no magic policy to ensuring that casualties are kept to a minimum in the heat of battle.  But both sides of the political divide need to join in the following commitment.  We may disagree on foreign policy, but we should never send our troops into a war setting without a clearly defined objective and overwhelming force – with the first priority always focused on protecting the lives of our soldiers.

Our pattern of sending the troops into a meat-grinder with no objective and egregious rules of engagement is unacceptable.  If our mission is just and the cause prudent, we should not worry about collateral damage and gratuitously risk the lives of our soldiers in order to prevent that damage.  If, on the other hand, we are so concerned about killing civilians in a war theater, then we shouldn’t go to war.  We should internalize the motto of George Patton: “The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other guy die for his.”

Equally as important as minimizing casualties is the need to ensure that our veterans our taken care of after serving in dangerous corners of the world.  It’s easy to blame the VA healthcare scandal on the incompetence and malfeasance of this administration.  However, the problems within the VA go far beyond a couple of bad apples within the bureaucracy.  They are endemic of any government-run healthcare system.

Instead of trying to tweak a failed system, we need to look at opening up the VA system to competition from the private sector.  The federal government must definitely take care of our veterans, but locking them into a government-run bureaucracy is not doing them any favors.  The VA is a superlative example of the failures of government-run healthcare, and our wounded warriors deserve better.

We need a system that fully pays for disabled veterans to purchase private health insurance and other healthcare services while subsidizing other veterans in varying degrees based on time and scope of service.  Liberal demagogues taint a voucher system as throwing veterans out in the cold, but it is actually their failed policies that are underserving them.  Besides, why should our veterans be confined to a limited array of healthcare providers and have to drive hours to a VA facility when they need care?  We would always have military hospitals for those who are severely wounded in action or have sustained wounds unique to a war theater, but the general population of veterans would be better served in a private healthcare system.

We are supporting candidates who have moved beyond the platitudes and are willing to boldly advocate private reforms for the VA.  Two candidates in particular, Col. Rob Maness and Dr. Bob Johnson, have served in the military with distinction and are willing to speak the truth about the failed VA system.  You can read more about Maness’s run for Senate in Louisiana here and Dr. Johnson’s run for Congress in GA-1 here.

Such a small percentage of American citizens have volunteered to serve in the military, particularly on dangerous missions. The least we can do is ensure that they do not become victims of politically correct warfare or government-run healthcare. Read More

The K Street Revolving Door Continues Turning

Monday, May 12th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Obamacare

A few weeks ago, we noted that House GOP leadership has carefully picked which partial Obamacare bills come to the floor.  Notably, only those aspects of repeal that are fully supported by the health care lobbyists on K Street ever see the light of day for a floor vote.  The example from last month was a bailout of Cigna’s calamity with expatriate health insurance plans for American executives serving overseas.

The health care industry spent a lot of money campaigning for Obamacare, but now they don’t want to deal with the consequences of the law, at least not those aspects that affect their bottom line in the near-term.  It’s no surprise that Senator Marco Rubio’s “risk corridors” bill, which would eliminate the slush fund to bail out insurance companies from revenue losses due to the Obamacare mandates, never received a vote in the House.  It is vehemently opposed by the health industry lobbyists.

To illustrate just how strongly Republicans are controlled by K Street look no further than today’s news that Brendan Buck has accepted a position as the top spokesman for the health insurance industry.  Buck, a longtime spokesman for Speaker John Boehner, will become vice president of communications at America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP).

As the Washington Post notes, AHIP is a supporter of Obamacare and a big force behind opposing the elimination of the “risk corridor” bailout.

Over the next few months, we will begin to see a number of stories about how repealing Obamacare is a thing of the past.  Just today, The Hill observes how “the GOP goes quiet on Obamacare,” as there is no more pending legislation going through committee or coming up for a floor vote.

Indeed it has become clear that the battle over defunding Obamacare last fall was not just a disagreement in strategy.  If we fail to get rid of leadership and elect more fresh conservative blood, passing amnesty will supplant repeal of Obamacare as the cause célèbre of the Republican Party.

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House Republicans Push Another Corporate Bailout Disguised as Partial-Repeal of Obamacare

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Obamacare

When observing the actions of political class Republicans it’s important to remember what makes them tick.  It’s not that they are liberal or moderate; it’s that their ideology is power.  When conservative policies will benefit them politically and assuage their donors and lobbyists, they will jump on board the constitutional bandwagon.  But as soon as there is a schism between their puppet-masters on K Street on conservative policy, they are completely off the reservation.  Nowhere is this more evident than with Obamacare.

While other issues such as corporate welfare, amnesty, and Common Core are blatantly embraced by the corporate interests, Obamacare is more complicated.  On paper, big business opposes many parts of Obamacare.  But that is the point.  They oppose the parts of the bill that directly affect their bottom line (at least with the shortsighted focus on the near term), but have no problem with the rest of the bill that distorts the market and raises costs on individuals. Indeed, much of the insurance industry was in on Obamacare from day one.

Hence, that is why none of us are surprised that GOP leadership has quietly given up on Obamacare.  This is not just about strategy, it’s about core beliefs.  Look no further than the Chamber of Commerce’s official position that they desire to fix Obamacare.

Accordingly, this is why Republicans and even some Democrats have enthusiastically embraced repeal of the medical device tax.  Undoubtedly, it is a pernicious job-killing tax, but it is unanimously opposed by the business community.  Juxtapose that to repeal of the risk corridors (the insurance company bailout for those who participate in Obamacare but inevitably incur losses from the mandates), championed by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), and you won’t find too many followers.

Today, we will witness the latest example of leadership’s tendentious treatment of big business in the Obamacare debate.  The House will quietly vote on a bill sponsored by Democrat Rep. John Carney (D-DE) and Republican Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) (H.R. 4414), which would exempt all expatriate health insurance plans from Obamacare.  Expatriate plans are robust high-end forms of insurance for executives, primarily in big corporations, working overseas and in need of global access to healthcare.  The bill is co-sponsored by a random mix of moderate Republicans and Democrats.

Carney and Nunes sent a letter to their colleagues noting that these plans are offered by Cigna, Metlife, Aetna, and United Health.  This is not surprising because Cigna provides health insurance to large companies with many top executives working overseas.  Perforce, all of the special interests groups who oppose full repeal or defunding of Obamacare have swooped in on this bill.  The American Benefits Council and the Chamber of Commerce quickly circled the wagons around this bill, which had not undergone any committee hearings or markups and was randomly passed under suspension.

While there is some debate among conservatives about partial repeal bills, even those conservatives who support a partial repeal strategy should only support game-changing bills that both bring relief to the consumer and help disrupt the viability of the entire law.  For example, in the case of the 1099 tax-reporting provision, it benefited all businesses and alleviated them from an onerous burden.  The 1099 provision required companies to report all vendors from which they purchased $600 worth of goods or services within a year on their annual tax report.  Moreover, instead of bailing out Democrats from the political wrath of a deleterious provision, we extracted concessions from them by limiting the individual subsidies for purchasing insurance.

The expatriate reform, on the other hand, is a parsimonious tweak (yet full repeal for one special interest) that serves no purpose but ameliorating the law, making some Democrats look good, and playing into the insidious and selfish strategy of big business and the insurance companies.  Moreover, Republicans have not attached any other concession to this bill like they did with the 1099 repeal.

In the case of Cigna, they spent million promoting Obamacare; now they are looking for a bailout specifically for their corporate clients.  There’s no reason we should help them out.  It’s no surprise that Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), a conservative House member and lifelong physician, allegedly accused leadership of being in the pockets of big insurance companies.

The Wall Street Journal continues to lambast conservatives for opposing partial-repeal measures, but they are too shortsighted to see how these bills are geared towards bringing relief to Obamacare lobbyists, not consumers and taxpayers at large.

Those who think that the intra-party battle of 2014 is merely about strategy are not paying attention.  Establishment Republicans have never stood for limited constitutional government and free markets except for when it overlaps with corporate interests.  Don’t be fooled by the ubiquitous public opposition to Obamacare within the party.  If conservatives fail to win this year’s primaries, a GOP majority will not be committed to repealing Obamacare.

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Illegal Immigration, Misplaced Compassion, and Healthcare Reform

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Immigration, Obamacare

When listening to open borders agitators like former Florida governor Jeb Bush, one would come away with the impression that we owe it to the world to accept anyone who comes here illegally and pay for their living expenses.  They speak of lofty ideals loosely connected to love and compassion, but they never consider the lack of love and compassion that our open borders policy imposes on the American consumer and taxpayer.  There is no better example than the bankrupting of our hospitals at the hands of Jeb’s “lovely” invaders.

My wife and I were entreated to the chaos of emergency room care last night after our two-year-old son slipped while climbing onto a high kitchen counter and banged his head on the floor.  He had a massive lump on his forehead and we were concerned about internal bleeding.  When we drove to the closest hospital, the waiting room was full of illegals.  Most of them were adults who, let’s just say, did not look like they were about to keel over.  Opting not to wait all night simply for a decision whether to put our son through a CT scan, we drove for a half hour in the rain to a hospital that was less likely to be full of those who use ERs for regular care.

Thank God our son recovered and there was no internal bleeding, but in a different situation that extra time could have been critical.  Also, if you ever wonder why you get hosed with outrageous bills simply for stepping foot in a hospital, look no farther than the “undocumented” costs of illegal aliens.

This is what the defenders of illegal immigration never comprehend or care to ponder.  We can open our borders to any number of impoverished individuals from the world’s population of 7 billion.  But that comes at a cost to American citizens and legal residents who are within the jurisdiction and responsibility of the country.

The problems with illegal immigrants and emergency hospital care also provide us with an opportunity to examine true free market healthcare reform.  Any GOP healthcare proposal must be predicated not on “replacing” Obamacare, but on fixing even some of the anti-market federal policies that existed before passage of the monstrosity.

One of those policies is the mandate on hospitals to treat everyone who comes to an ER – including illegal immigrants – irrespective of whether they are suffering from a real emergency.  In 1986, Congress passed The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) as part of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Recon­ciliation Act (COBRA), which was ostensibly the first act in universal healthcare mandates.

If we ever plan to curb skyrocketing hospital costs and improve access to emergency care, we must address this massive unfunded federal mandate of EMTALA.  Among the provisions of Rep. Paul Broun’s Patient Option Act, which is one of the best healthcare reform proposals, are some good reforms of emergency and indigent care.  Under Broun’s proposal, hospitals would be allowed to turn away people from ERs if they do not have an immediate need for emergency care.  This would solve the problem of illegal immigrants using ERs for primary care.

Juxtaposed to this provision is a tax credit for physicians who provide indigent care as a form of charity.  While conservatives usually advocate deductions over credits for the cost of healthcare, that is for individuals who purchase health insurance.  But for healthcare providers, especially for most doctors who already pay a tremendous amount in taxes, they should be incentivized to treat those without the means to pay for the care with a credit.

Taken as a whole, these two provisions would transfer the cost of indigent care from a federally-mandated tax on physicians and consumers to a voluntary tax incentive for physicians and those who donate to free-service clinics.

If the politicians are concerned about being compassionate to Americans and clamping down on illegal immigration, they should start with free market healthcare reform.

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Will Paul Ryan Fight for his Budget?

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Debt, Economy, Taxes

Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) released his budget proposal for FY 2015 yesterday, and as expected, it is quite similar to the budget blueprints from previous years.  Let me first say that this budget would be superior to the status quo a million times over.  Medicaid and Food Stamps would be block granted to the states and Medicare would be subject to at least some optional free market reforms at the end of the budget frame.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would be eliminated.  And most importantly, it defunds the Obamacare programs.

If Republicans would only fight for this budget during the debt ceiling fisticuffs, many conservatives would be more than satisfied.

But that is the point.  Given the fact that Republican have no intention to fight for even some major components of this budget when the deadline looms in September, why put out a half-baked proposal?  If this is just designed to be a messaging document that is tossed in the trash at the end of the fiscal year, why not place our ideal proposal on paper?

Ultimately, Ryan accepts the entire fiscal cliff ($618 billion) and Obamacare tax increases (roughly $1 trillion), working off the [optimistic] CBO 10-year revenue projections of $40.6 trillion.  Yet, even with the optimistic revenue projections and tax increases, the budget still runs deficits because not enough government programs are phased out or reformed, especially in the Department of Education and some of the other bloated bureaucracies.

As you can see, this year’s budget proposal is essentially the same as the FY 2014 document.  It’s just that entitlement spending will grow every year, engendering a $1.2 trillion increase in this year’s budget.  Even in the near term, this budget actually spends more, increasing spending in 2015 to $3.664 trillion ($166 billion more than what as projected in last year’s budget).

FY 2015

Outlays $42,636

Revenue $40,630

FY 2014

Outlays: $41.466 trillion

Revenues: $40.241 trillion

Hence, although the budget comes close to balancing in 10 years from now, much of that is achieved by accepting the current tax baseline.  Republicans should be able to show how the budget balances within a conservative framework of the tax code.  Granted that this budget would easily balance if we implement Medicare premium support before 2014, but that is the point.  If we plan to leave traditional fee-for-service Medicare in place and make premium support optional, why not begin the free market option earlier?

Moreover, there is a difference between balancing a budget and limiting government.  Balancing a budget is all about accounting.  You can coalesce enough small cuts across many programs and come up with a big number, without ever eliminating many of the 2228 federal government assistance programs.  I’m not sure how many of them would be abolished under this budget, although as mentioned earlier, solid reforms are imposed on Medicaid and Food Stamps.

Even as it relates to cutting raw dollars and cents, spending would increase, on average, 3.5 percent a year until 2024.  In other words, the federal government will still grow faster than the private economy.

Overall, this would be a great start if Republicans planned to fight for this document throughout the appropriations season.  They should announce upfront that they have no plans to pass a CR or omnibus bill this year and force Democrats to go to conference on each of the 12 appropriations bills through regular order.  That way, we can fight Obamacare in the HHS bill without fear of the Democrats holding the rest of government hostage.  Yet, that demand has not been made.  And sadly, we know from past experience that Ryan will be the first one to ditch his own budget when the going gets tough in September.

One other important point: if Ryan gets his way on amnesty, all of the supposed savings from welfare reform will be rendered null and void.

Cross-posted at RedState.com

House Leadership Makes Another End-Run Around Conservatives

Friday, March 28th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Economy

Once again, House GOP leaders have shown why it is important for us to elect enough stalwarts to replace the entire leadership team.

Every Republican complains about spending.  One establishment Republican is even running an ad promising to “castrate” D.C. spending.   Yet few of them are committed to blocking a new spending increase, much less roll back existing programs.  Today, House leaders brought a bill to the floor that will increase spending.  They didn’t have enough votes to pass it, so they decided to ram it through by voice vote.

Every year, due to the lack of free-market healthcare for seniors, Congress must supplement payments to doctors who treat Medicare patients.  Government intervention into the healthcare market has precipitated such inflationary pressure in the healthcare sector that the government reimbursement rate, known as the SGR formula, is insufficient to cover the costs of Medicare payments.  In order to rectify the situation, instead of passing free-market Medicare reform, Congress passes a temporary fix (doc fix) every year to reimburse doctors for the underpayments, which are roughly 24 percent of their payments.

After failing to adopt the annual temporary “doc fix” last December, the House passed a bill two weeks ago that will permanently boost payments and pay for the increased spending by tying it to a long-term delay of the individual mandate in Obamacare.  H.R. 4015, the SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act, passed the House with 12 Democrats joining every Republican in the chamber.  This bill actually used a legitimate offset to end this charade of temporary fixes until we can finally impose free market structural reforms on the single-payer Medicare system.

After Senate Democrats balked at the proposal, Republicans decided to give in and pass a temporary extension.  They used a hodgepodge of tenuous offsets spread out mainly over the next 5-10 years to compensate for an immediate expense that will undoubtedly reoccur every year under the 10-year budget frame.  When they sensed that they lacked the votes to pass the bill, House leaders made an end-run around Congress:

The bipartisan power move to hold a voice vote allowed members to avoid a tough roll call, which would have forced them either to vote for a bill they do not support or allow doctors who treat Medicare patients to take a pay cut, incensing powerful outside interests.

The tactic flies in the face of Speaker John A. Boehner’s pledge to be a transparent and rule-abiding Congress, members and aides said. […]

The move incensed members of both parties, who said that democracy was in effect subverted to avoid putting members in a politically tough situation.

“It erodes our confidence in our own system, and there will be discussion about this, I’m quite sure about that,” said Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa.

“I don’t like it, I don’t like the idea that they’re going to do surprise votes for voice vote which turns out to be the equivalent of unanimous consent, because if anybody had called a vote on this thing, I think they knew it wasn’t going to pass,” King continued. “A lot of members, for a long time, are going to have to post somebody here to sit on edge waiting to call for a recorded vote because of this maneuver, this tactic here today.” [Roll Call]

This is part of a disturbing pattern of leadership using over-hyped deadlines as leverage to pass bad legislation.  In this case, the doc fix deadline was set at April 1.

Remember, this pattern will not change with Republicans in charge of the Senate, unless we change leadership in both chambers.  They have shown that when they are up against a Washington deadline – be it a debt ceiling, budget bill, or any number of program reauthorizations – they will press the panic button and give into Democrat demands.

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Democrats Exploiting Veterans to Grow Government

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Obamacare

Unlike many modern-day functions of the federal government, caring for our wounded warriors is a core responsibility.  But as is the case with other government programs, liberals think that doubling down on a woefully inadequate VA system and throwing more money at the problem will improve care for veterans.  And similar to most other big government initiatives, Democrats are now using a highly-respected group of Americans as political human shields to obfuscate the harmful effects of their policies.

After 50 years so-called war on poverty, and after flushing roughly $20 trillion in inflation-adjusted spending on mean-tested programs, the poverty rate has increased from 14.7 percent to 16 percent.  Yet, liberals want to invest even more in the same failed programs in order to create dependency and perpetuation of their own power.  So they dub any opponent of their failed policies as working against “the poor.”

The same applies to their use of children to justify the failure of our endless federal education spending.  As the Cato Institute notes, inflation-adjusted spending for a complete K-12 education has tripled since 1970 while educational scores have remained stagnant.  Yet, Republicans have always been reluctant to push for real reform by devolving authority of education to the states because they don’t want to be “anti-children.”

This week, Democrats plan to take their exploitation show down the road and blow up the VA system – all to help veterans.  They know that as long as they shout “veteran” in a crowded theater, their opponents will run for the hills.  The Comprehensive Veterans Health and Benefits Pay Restoration Act S. 1982, sponsored by Senator Bernie Sanders (Socialist-VT), will expand and overburden the already-fledgling VA system and jeopardize the quality and access of healthcare for wounded veterans.

Under current law, all wounded veterans are fully covered under the VA healthcare system.  All those who leave active duty remain in the system for a few years until they transition into new coverage in civilian life.  But every veteran is potentially eligible for VA services – even those without disabilities – as long as they agree to co-pays.  The VA has a tier system to prioritize service to those who suffered a disability or are most in need of the care.

The Sanders bill would make two major changes: 1) it would expand full VA coverage even to those who have no disability if they get their insurance through an Obamacare exchange.  Thus, the potential addition of millions more in the system would prevent the VA from prioritizing those who are wounded in combat or suffered a disability through their tour of duty.  2) the bill will expand the scope of coverage for veterans to include gym membership, weight loss programs.

Let’s step back for a moment and analyze the repercussions of the bill.  Despite an increased budget from $85 billion to over $138 billion since 2008, the VA is as dysfunctional and woefully inadequate as ever.  According to the Washington Examiner, VA hospitals have, once again, been caught falsifying records in order to cover up the scandalous backlogs in care.  Now, Democrats are proposing to clog the system of poorly treated wounded veterans with millions more of lesser priority.  There is no way they could ever build enough facilities quickly enough to properly care for the exponential increase in responsibility – effective immediately.

CBO estimates that this bill will cost over $23 billion, but it is hard to imagine that placing millions more into single-payer healthcare would not cost hundreds of billions more.

Instead of exacerbating a failing system, we need to streamline the bureaucracy of the VA and structurally reform the programs before we waste more money.  In the long-term, we need to look at opening up the VA system to competition from the private sector.  The federal government must definitely take care of our veterans, but locking them into a government-run bureaucracy is not doing them any favors.  The VA is a superlative example of the failures of government-run healthcare, and our wounded warriors deserve better.

We need a system that fully pays for disabled veterans to purchase private health insurance and other healthcare services while subsidizing other veterans in varying degrees based on time and scope of service.  Liberal demagogues taint a voucher system as throwing veterans out in the cold, but it is actually their failed policies that are underserving them.  Besides, why should our veterans be confined to a limited array of healthcare providers and have to drive hours to a VA facility when they need care?  We would always have military hospitals for those who are severely wounded in action or have sustained wounds unique to a war theater, but the general population of veterans would be better served in a private healthcare system.

A private option for veterans would not only save money and reduce the size of the government, but more importantly, it would deliver better quality and faster care to our wounded warriors.  Together with general free market healthcare reforms, it would reduce the need for veterans to be dependent on government – the antithesis of the Democrat approach.

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KS-Senate: Dr. Milton Wolf Proposes Free Market Healthcare Reforms

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014 and is filed under Blog, Obamacare

One of the things we look for in our candidates is the ability to move beyond platitudes and articulate how limited government and free markets helps improve the lives of ordinary Americans.  Career politicians like Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) might intuitively think Obamacare is a bad idea, but he has no ability to articulate free market healthcare policy from a position of strength.  That’s because, at heart, Roberts is more of a politician than a conservative.  Hence, he was easily sucked into the “go-along-to-get-along” mode and endorsed Kathleen Sebelius to be Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources in 2009.

Dr. Milton Wolf, who we were proud to endorse last month, is the panacea to inarticulate and inconsistent Republican politicians like Roberts.  Yesterday, he unveiled his ideas for free market healthcare reform.  Every Republicans should read this straightforward document, as it explains in plain English, from the perspective of a doctor, why even before Obamacare was implemented we languished under a centrally planned, market-distorted system.  He then proceeds to explain how the lack of portability, government distortions of insurance, tendentious tax treatment of employer-based healthcare, and out-of-control tort system have hurt patients and doctors.  Obamacare has only exacerbated all of these “pre-existing conditions.”

We are proud to put our name on smart conservative candidates like Milton Wolf.  His articulate presentation of healthcare reform is exactly what we need in Washington.  We need more than just a vote; we need a loud and unwavering voice to represent our values.  Help us support Milton Wolf in Kansas and send a 21st century conservative to Washington.  http://www.retireroberts.com/

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Jack Kingston has Surrendered on Obamacare

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Obamacare

Democrats are stewing in the misery of Obamacare’s disastrous side effects.  We have a solid point of leverage coming in January to fight Obamacare in the budget.  As we’ve explained, we have stronger leverage this time around than we did in October.  However, that leverage is only predicated upon a united Republican Party committed to getting rid of Obamacare.  Sadly, the recent comments by Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) suggesting that we should help fix the law serve as a vivid illustration of why we failed the battle to defund the law:

“A lot of conservatives say, ‘Nah, let’s just step back and let this thing fall to pieces on its own.’ But I don’t think that’s always the responsible thing to do,” he added.

“I think we need to be looking for things that improve healthcare overall for all of us. And if there is something in ObamaCare, we need to know about it.”

Kingston was speaking prior to a field hearing in Gainesville, Ga., of the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight focused on ObamaCare.

While he had some criticism for the law — he said he believes the demand on Medicaid could overcrowd the system — he also expressed hope that Democrats would bring to the hearing some good feedback they’ve received on ObamaCare.” [The Hill]

Good feedback?  According to the latest polling on Obamacare, Americans disapprove of the law 65-32%.  Nothing in the country ever polls worse than that.  Almost as many people believe in UFOs.

Sure, we should go on offense with healthcare policy and explain how anti-market interventions are hurting the uninsured.  We should make insurance portable by allowing a national market and by eliminating the government-created disadvantage for those who buy insurance on the private market.  We should expand tax-free health savings accounts.  We should have less mandates like community rating and guaranteed issue, not more.  But we should never acquiesce to a permanent structure of government-run healthcare.

Coming to terms with Obamacare is nothing new for Kingston.  At the beginning of the year, he said “I don’t want to go in there saying, ‘By golly, there’s a new sheriff in town.’” “Obamacare has been the law of the land, and it is getting implemented. We have to work in that context.”

The scary thing is that Kingston is the chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on healthcare.  What is ever scarier is that he wants to be the next U.S. Senator from Georgia.  We all know that the Senate has a way of turning those who are conservatives into statists.  See Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) for a vivid example.  If Kingston is starting out his campaign with a mindset of surrender on Obamacare, it is clear he will never move this seat one inch to the right from Senator Saxby Chambliss.  And that is an extremely low bar to cross.

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