Obamacare

Freedom Caucus Trashes Principle to Avoid Being Tarred as Trump Obstructionists on Obamacare Revamp (UPDATED)

A deeply unpopular bill, passed via untenable process, gets near-unanimous support from legislators who used to rail against such things.

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On Wednesday, in the run-up to today's historic vote in the House of Representatives to overhaul Obamacare, Office of Budget and Management Director Mick Mulvaney—a fiscal conservative and co-founder of the House Freedom Caucus—confidently predicted to radio talker Hugh Hewitt that the GOP would have more than enough votes to send a bill to the U.S. Senate.

"Everybody I talk to says yes," Mulvaney said. "All the folks I talked to who are no are yes. I think they're going to get everybody but one in the Freedom Caucus, and they might get that one."

You may have assumed that "that one" was the cantankerously independent and out-front libertarian Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), but no: It was Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.). Amash voted yes. (I'm waiting to hear back from Amash's office for an explainer; HuffPost reporter Matt Fuller wrote that "leadership made him vote yes," whatever that means.) (UPDATE: See Amash's tweet at the bottom of the post.)

Peter Suderman detailed earlier today how this latest, most rushed version of the American Health Care Act laughably contradicted the tut-tutting process objections to Obamacare repeated for years by the likes of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.). You'd expect that level of cheerful hypocrisy from the likes of such oily dealmakers as Ryan; but wasn't the more libertarian and principled Freedom Caucus supposed to be different?

Ha ha, no. Start with Mulvaney, whose most visible role with the Trump administration so far seems to be as an executive-branch enforcer on the Freedom Caucus, rather than as someone who does anything noticeable about budgetary gimmicks he has long opposed, such as reliance on Overseas Contingency Operations. Back in 2010, when Mulvaney was first campaigning for Congress, he declared that repealing Obamacare would be his "job one," telling The Gaffney Ledger "I do think we should debate health care," but that during the passage of Obamacare, "we did not do it as a country." So a few hours of gum-flapping on C-SPAN now qualifies as adequate debate?

Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows (R-S.C.), who was dubbed by CNN back in September 2013 as "the architect of the government shutdown," held as one of his primary objections to Obamacare back then that Washington politicians were exempt from the law. "The only thing we asked…was that Congress and the President live under the same rules that you live under," Meadows told a gathering in South Carolina not long after the bruising 17-day standoff. "The Senate said they wouldn't pass it, and the President said that if it did get through the Senate that he would veto it. Well, guys, that's hypocrisy…and it's not right."

Hmmm, let's fire up Google News from today. Here's a headline! "Republican Bill Still Exempts Republicans in Congress From Repeal of Obamacare Protections."

(Reminder: Republicans in 2013 held only the House; now they run the Senate and the White House, too.) UPDATE: Just prior to the final AHCA, the House passed an amendment that indeed got rid of this exemption, so score one for Meadows.

Why are Freedom Caucus members, who only yesterday were opposing the lousy budget agreement to increase federal expenditures, chucking their principles aside for a flawed bill they probably haven't read? Here's how Meadows puts it:

"What I'm saying is the vast majority of the people I serve will be better off," he said. "When you look at any change in legislation obviously to make an assumption that everyone is going to be better is not an accurate statement.…My job as a legislator is to make sure to improve the situation."

That's one explanation. Allow me to take a speculative if informed stab at an additional one.

After the first Ryancare failed to even make it to a vote, President Trump tweeted that "The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don't get on the team, & fast. We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!" A few days later his director of social media took aim at Justin Amash, calling him "a big liability," and urging Republicans to "defeat him in a primary." Don't kid yourself: The bully pulpit worked, with Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) resigning from the Freedom Caucus almost immediately, and work beginning shortly thereafter on legislative negotiations featuring the obstructionists front and center.

The truth is that Donald Trump generally inspires more positive passion in GOP-held congressional districts than the local congresscritters themselves. When the more popular guy soaking up all the national political oxygen singles out the hometown rep as a stick-in-the-mud, the incentives change. The Freedom Caucus is already among the least popular blocs in the House. When the president called members' bluff, essentially saying "OK, you didn't like Paul Ryan's plan, so how about making one of your own?", they had strong motivation to at least pin the eventual reform's failure on some other scapegoat.

In these calculations, I suspect Vox's Ezra Klein is correct: "Republicans don't want the AHCA to pass. But none of them want to be the cause of its failure." If this indeed was the goal, you can see why ramming this through is a necessity, rather than an obstacle: Let the damn Senate deal with the bill's unpopularity and poison pills; we've already proven we can play ball with the president!

As for those libertarian-leaners who prefer to fly solo rather than join caucuses that by definition take part in politically motivated compromises?

So now the hot potato moves to the Senate, where the Republican majority is slimmer (52-48), the number of GOPers who didn't endorse Donald Trump is in the double digits, and where the early reporting suggests they won't even take up the House bill. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) is already against the House AHCA, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said the Freedom Caucus changes only made the bill "less bad," and pretty soon today's earth-shaking exertions will look more and more like disposable theater.

Read Peter Suderman on the policy of the just-passed bill. As for the politics, it seems to me a truism remains: Congressional Republicans are terrified of their own base, and prefer above all else not to govern.

UPDATE: Amash tweets:

NEXT: Should President Trump Keep His Promise to Cancel the Paris Agreement on Climate Change?

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  1. Kidney stones are nothing to joke about, Congressman.

    1. ‘Fist’ – as an ex-Obamacare ‘customer’, now on medicare, I can assure you the PPACA is no joke either. Just like the kidney stone passing the replacement is going to be uncomfortable to say the least.

      1. … and no we did not qualify for a subsidy as we were over the 400% of poverty by a few hundred dollars so had to pay the full $1250 per month for my wife and I in 2014. That premium in 2017 is $1000 per month higher and the policy we had then is not available so the coverage is worse.

        1. …. and whilst I am at it; the ‘no increased premiums for pre-existing conditions’ was also an Obama lie which went unreported. If you are a smoker the insurance companies were allowed to charge a higher premium – effectively 10% in our case.

          But of course smoking is socially unacceptable and thus does not qualify as a pre-existing condition!!

          1. Nor should it. Why should anyone else pay for your increased medical expenses because of your decision to smoke?

            Of course, no one should be forced to pay for anyone else’s choices or situation. That’s the purpose of underwriting — everyone insures against their own risks, as best they can be determined.

            Is there anyone in the Freedom Caucus who didn’t claim Roberts was wrong to say it was Constitutional to force individuals to buy a private product? Now they’re all OK with the Individual Mandate.

            1. …or maybe not. I keep running into statements that the individual mandate is done away with. I’m having a hard time with the claim that everyone will be able to get ACA-compliant medical insurance (covering free birth control, drug treatment, and a whole Christmas tree of benefits) at an affordable price with no regard for pre-existing conditions and without the primary source of funding that Obamacare used (overcharging the healthy)… and this is all going to be scored as having a cost savings over Obamacare that can be applied to taxes. And none of the commentary on this… not just MSM, but even here at Reason… is even talking about how insane this claim is.

              1. With no mandate it doesn’t matter if the compliant policies suck.

                We just need a market for polices that don’t suck.

  2. The bill, known as the American Health Care Act, would remove the Obamacare rule requiring most Americans to have health coverage of some kind.

    something in CNBC’s write up that you and suderman didn’t mention. something of interest to a libertarian.

    1. Link for your quote, please. CNBC must be getting this wrong, as, without the Individual Mandate to force some to subsidize others, the whose scheme collapses into a governmental subsidy scheme, and they’re not talking about spending enough money to pull that off.

      1. …er, see above. Not mentioning this is the least of the sin. Not mentioning that this blows up the cost of the ACA scheme is the real problem.

        1. ACA was already blowing up. The trick is that the GOP managed to capture the blame.

  3. I heard if they didn’t pass the bill this time around, no more cocktail party invites from all the best liberal establishment members around Georgetown.

  4. Please watch your language when recording tonight, Matthew.

  5. “A deeply unpopular bill, passed via untenable process, gets near-unanimous support from legislators who used to rail against such things.”

    I have the strangest feeling of d?j? vu.

  6. [Blacks out Amash’s head with a sharpie on Liberty Boyz Band poster on bedroom wall]

  7. You’re fucked if you’re poor and you’re especially fucked if you’re sick and middle class. $10 an hour jobs are hard, depressing work but somebody has to do it and your life was a little better with insurance, but no, these Republicans had to feed the greed of millionaires.

    1. If you’re poor it’s going to be easier to afford coverage when it doesn’t have to extend free mental health and substance abuse treatment to drug addicts and homeless schizophrenics.

      1. Get real. Insurance is still gonna cost 30% of someone’s pay at the bottom and it will cover nothing.

        The homeless are still going to get rounded up and either put in jail or the ER at taxpayer expense. 1/3 of all ER visits are made by those who are homeless or who are on the edge of it – in large part because the US doesn’t provide primary care. The only people who want to kick the homeless in the teeth are those who run no risk of being homeless themselves and who are currently benefiting from the cronyism of homeownership. The risk of being homeless extends to virtually 100% of the working poor.

        1. The only people who want to kick the homeless in the teeth are those who run no risk of being homeless themselves and who are currently benefiting from the cronyism of homeownership.

          It’s true that I run no risk of being homeless, because I live within my means and have sufficient savings to cover rent for quite a while if I lost my job. but I’m not actually a homeowner. I rent.

          However the statement that “The risk of being homeless extends to virtually 100% of the working poor.” is laughably absurd.

          It’s pretty easy to avoid homelessness simply be making a budget and figuring out what you can afford, and then living within your means. I did it easily while I was grad student living on a $700/month stipend.

          if you can’t make $700 a month, you’re probably either retarded or a mental case.

          1. Admittedly, you also have to refrain from things like selling drugs out of your rented apartment, not showing up for work, showing up high or drunk, spending all your money on booze and difficult, challenging life skills like that.

          2. The median monthly rent in the US is $960/month.
            The median monthly household income of the bottom quintile in the US is $1100/month
            The median monthly household income of the second lowest quintile in the US is $2700/month

            That’s close to 40% of the population that is a short recession away from homelessness and that has no possibility of ‘saving’ anything.

            1. You can’t compare the bottom quintile income to the median rent. You need to compare it to the bottom quintile rent.

          3. $700 a month will not get you even a closet in the DC area.

          4. For comparison, I’m a cashier at a major retailer right now (a job I’m neither happy with nor proud of but it’s what I gotta do for now) and I’m making something in the area of 1200-1300/mo after taxes. (Click this suspicious URL to learn more!)

        2. “the US doesn’t provide primary care” Please cite for me the article and section of the U.S. Constitution that granted authority to the federal government to provide any kind of medical insurance or medical care.

    2. Are you lumping the middle class in with the ‘poor’ who make $10 an hour? I think you’re confusing the ‘poor’ with the children of those in the middle class.

      The ‘poor’ would be that guy digging around in the dumpster behind a KFC looking for dinner. Idiot.

      1. I agree he’s an idiot: KFC is horrible.

  8. Vote for it and you are voting for a shitty bill, do not vote for it and you are efffectively voting for the shitty status quo that is Obamacare. Lawmaking can be a business where there are no good options.

    1. No, not voting for it is NOT voting for Obamacare. Not voting for it is voting for letting Obamacare continue to crash until a better option is offered by Ryan. Effective lawmaking is all about knowing when to put on the screws. Freedom Caucus: Fail. Again.

      1. You may never get a better alternative, because Ryan needs the votes of GOP moderates and they are balking at being seen as taking away the popular aspects of the ACA.

  9. I actually think the bill is better than nothing.

    What it amounts to is IF states get a waiver, THEN they might be able to get an exemption from the pre-existing condition mandate, to allow insurers to charge people with pre-existing conditions more for ONE YEAR, IF they let their coverage lapse. And the liberal media is freaking out over that. OMG … people mgiht have to pay higher premiums FOR A WHOLE YEAR!!!!

    But the bigger pro is the ability to get a waiver from the essential benefits list. This will allow people to carry core coverage that really matters, instead of cross subsidizing a laundry list of stuff like substance abuse treatment, mental health care, and pediatric dental care. It allows people to escape from being used as milch cows to subsidize coverage for a wish list of things that progressives like.

    1. What it amounts to is IF states get a waiver, THEN they might be able to get an exemption from the pre-existing condition mandate, to allow insurers to charge people with pre-existing conditions more for ONE YEAR, IF they let their coverage lapse.

      If they get an exemption, insurers can charge whatever they want more for pre-existing conditions.

      It allows people to escape from being used as milch cows to subsidize coverage for a wish list of things that progressives like.

      It is awesome that paying for just what you need is going to become very popular in the red states. And you’ll get what you pay for.

      1. And you won’t get what you didn’t pay for and don’t need.

        It’s interesting that leftists think that’s a problem.

      2. it’s so horrible that people can let their insurance lapse while they have cancer and then not get coverage again at the same price. For a year, until they qualify for the same price again.

        So. Mean.

      3. It is awesome that paying for just what you need is going to become very popular in the red states. And you’ll get what you pay for.

        Excellent! How much are you going to earn during your entire lifetime? I’m 52, and even if I decide to work until I’m 70- my lifetime earnings will top out at under $3 million.

        Why would I even want to pay for an unlimited amount of health insurance coverage? I don’t buy new Ferrari insurance for my 9 yr old Civic- and it saves me a lot of money. Likewise, I’m fucking 52 years old- I definitely do not need maternity or pediatric dental coverage. Also, the PPACA guarantees insurance companies at least a 15% margin on my “free” annual “pre-paid” colonoscopy. Really?! You know the insurers love that! How many 50+ Americans actually use that benefit? Maybe 25-30%?

    2. I find it amusing as hell that Dental was never included in any of the bills as far as I’m aware. Dental Assocations appear to be virtually the only kind of ‘Doctor’ that can still give the government the middle finger at the moment.

      It’s extra amusing once you realize that frequent dental visits dramatically lower your risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke. Odd, then, that it’s conspicuously absent in everything I’ve read thus far on so-called ‘Nationalized Health Care’ then.

      1. frequent dental visits dramatically lower your risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke.

        Um, no. People who eat a lot of sugar have lots of risk for cadiovasular disease and stroke. they also have tooth problems. The tooth problems do not CAUSE the cardiovasular/stroke risk.

        if you’re a diabetic sugar junkie who goes to the dentist a lot, it’s not gonna cure your diabetes either.

        1. ABC News story, but it was the easiest link I could talking about the studies I’m thinking of.

          “One thought is that poor dental hygiene leads to an overgrowth of oral bacteria. These organisms, fairly benign in the mouth, can get into the bloodstream through the gums and, once there, they can clump on blood vessel walls and grow into plaques that clog arteries and lead to heart attacks and strokes. Moreover, because these bacteria are foreign to the body, once they infiltrate the bloodstream, blood vessels think they are being attacked and try to kill them, just as they would an infection. This results in inflammation and swelling that narrows blood vessels and prevents adequate blood flow to vital organs like the brain and heart.”

          Now, they aren’t sure but there is a link. Ask your Dentist, I imagine they have a pretty good idea.

          1. According to my dentist, recent studied debunk the claim that oral plaque leads to arterial plaque.

    3. And sex reassignment coverage, and exotic drugs to treat AIDS and the like.

  10. “Trashes principles” presumes there were some to begin with. Of course, reason.com Republicans pretending to be libertarians knew this, so the mock astonishment is fooling only reason.com Republicans pretending to be libertarians.

    217 Republicans voted for this
    193 Democrats did not
    20 Republicans did not
    1 Republican was too chicken

    So, this is a math quiz: how many RINOs are there in Congress?

    1. None. All 238 of them are what Republicans ARE, not “Republicans in Name Only”.

      1. Exactly right.

  11. Thomas Massie voted no. Looks like he wins the coveted title belt for “most libertarian Republican in Congress”.

    1. What, no love for Justin Amash?

      1. Not really since it’s reported that he voted for it.

      2. Read the OP:

        Amash is a “team player”.

  12. Remember, Republicans being open to compromise is a good thing according to your own Mr. Soave.

  13. Not sure a better bill was going to come along, and removing the mandate is huge, from a Libertarian perspective.

    We can debate when and if compromise is necessary/good, but describing this as trashing principle elides that conversation.

    1. once people aren’t dragooned into buying super shitty obama brand health insurance, people can decide if an insurance death spiral is worth covering preexisting conditions, birth control, and all the $30,000 drug rehab treatments that sprung to life under obamacare. suderweigel and welch sure seem mad about it.

  14. Well, I’m not surprised. I’ll say that this is a turd sandwich of a bill that will inevitably pave the way for Democrats to take back over and pass Medicare for all. That much is quite definitely going to happen (unless the Republicans manage to do it first, which I doubt). Maybe not next time around, but soon. The trajectory is clear to anyone who’s paying attention. Don’t be surprised if they lump in Social Security in there somewhere too and call it a ‘living wage’. (I hope I’m wrong on both points, and I’m nowhere near as sure on SS angle.)

    That being said, I tend to agree with lots of people here in that getting rid of the mandate was a win. It’s sad that this is where we’re at, but at least they gave us a reach around?

    1. Regardless of what happens, GOP now owns every govt program even if they don’t really understand that.

      The only thing that’s clear to me is that the GOP is as comfortable governing as Catholic priests are comfortable surrounded by naked adult women. In the end, they’ll both choose to diddle the kiddies instead.

      1. Honestly I’m not sure it even matters. I have a suspicion that the left would never have held the Democrats responsible for any of the innate failings of the ACA. If California has taught me anything, it’s that it is possible for a minority party without any power at all to somehow also be to blame for anything bad that happens.

        The fact that Republicans apparently have no idea how media works, and are actively terrified of the left, is not helpful to their agenda.

        What they really need to do is get somebody who isn’t an actual retard to run the RNC but sadly none of the guys who would be great at the job want anything to do with them anymore.

        1. Dems certainly didn’t hold their reps accountable for their ‘bailout the bankers’ TARP vote – so I suspect you’re right. That said – the Dems are the opposition now. The GOP is responsible for actually governing. And I bet that ‘blame Obama’ will work as long as ‘blame Bush’ did – one election cycle and then people will get pissed at the incumbent incompetents and vote for the new round of incumbents.

        2. The fact that Republicans apparently have no idea how media works

          This vote is pretty much because they know exactly how media works. You have to be a team player if you want those cushy appearance fees on Fox News and talk radio after you get voted out of office.

  15. It’s entirely possible that the FC felt bullied by Trump.

    But AHCA wasn’t particularly popular even among the Breitbart crowd. Their editorials and the commenting crowd sided with the FC. It got 17% of the public’s support. Trump had no momentum on this issue to direct his passionate followers to stage some sort of coup against uncooperative holdouts. Remember how easily Paul Ryan beat up on his Trump approved challenger? WI eventually went to Trump when team play was called for.

    The republicans made a pledge to repeal Obamacare. Their entire comeback was mounted on that one issue. They had to realize that not doing anything would make them appear weak and two faced before the eyes of their core base. Some of them probably wanted to defer the drama to the state and say “I kept my promise on my end”. Others wanted to curry favor with the president. More than few probably thought an imperfect solution was better than dragging the process out.

  16. At this point, they may as well pass this shit. I think Welch is being too harsh here. It’s bad, but if they don’t pass something inertia alone may save the ACA. May as well pop the cherry now, then down the road like after 2018 maybe it’ll be easier to make piecemeal improvements.

    What Welch doesn’t mention is that a big reason for the shitty bills is that the GOP doesn’t have an effective senate majority; there are a few ‘moderate’ republicans who tacitly support Obamacare and will oppose any substantial revision of it, so they are implicitly to blame for much (maybe most) of this compromising on principle.

    1. Why not let the ACA “collapse” in a “death spiral” then?

      Oh – because no one really ever believed that bullshit. I forgot.

      1. Because maybe, just maybe, they didn’t want to see the entire American healthcare economy go up in a blaze considering it represents something like 17% of our GDP?

        Wow, you’re pretty edgelord there Palin. Why not just advocate for straight up anarchy while you’re at it?

        And as for Death Spirals, you might want to research what’s happened to every attempt at guaranteed issue insurance ever.

      2. This way there is a small segment of the market that will survive the death spiral.
        The minimum benefits plans that younger, healthier people will opt into. The plans that charge higher premiums for pre-existing conditions for a year.

        Those will survive. So there will still be an individual market left after the ACA death spiral.

        1. The ACA only covers 20 million Americans. Out of 300 million. Insurers admit that it hardly affects their earnings.

          There can’t ever be a death spiral. It just is not important enough.

          Like I said in a previous post – it will just wither away unnoticed.

          1. What are you smoking? The ACA covers ALL Americans. It’s illegal to sell insurance that isn’t ACA-compliant.

    2. The majority isn’t enough? What majority do they need? 90%? 98%?

      No – the big reason for the shitty bills is because the GOP is a bunch of incompetent blowhards – and everyone who votes for them is dumber than a horse’s ass.

      1. 60%, actually.

        But even with that, the GOP would still put up shitty bills, because of incompetence, and also because taking away goodies, real or imagined, is hella risky.

      2. I can’t really disagree with this statement.

    3. Yeah Welch had a good rant and trashed some of the better voices in national politics because they didn’t deliver his preferred plan, the Obamacare death spiral? Justin Amash is not stupid nor is he a Trump toady. All politics is Machiavellian and the end game can be impossible to see if you get all of your information from the NYT. I have no expectation that the healthcare racket can be somehow fixed by the federal government but I’m willing to give these guys the benefit of the doubt for the time being.

  17. If this indeed was the goal, you can see why ramming this through is a necessity, rather than an obstacle

    some wingnut idiot named ‘notJoe’ here will call you a socialist for that line, Matt

  18. Senate won’t vote on House-passed healthcare bill

    http://www.washingtonexaminer……le/2622152

    Seriously, laughing my ass off.

    fucking idiots….

  19. A newsreader on tv was just saying this bill cannot pass the Senate because the GOP can’t get 60 votes. So how did Obamacare get passed? The Dems didn’t have 60 votes then and no GOP senators,that I’m aware of, crossed over.

    1. Dems had 60 votes for about two weeks in December 2010 after Scott Brown was elected but not seated in Mass.

      They had to wheel old Robert Byrd into the chamber for vote # 60 before he croaked.

      1. Um, no. They had 60 votes until Kennedy died, so that ended well before the period you specify.

        1. They had 57 Democrats after the 2009 election, plus 2 Independents who voted/caucused Dem. That ‘s 59. https://www.senate.gov/history/partydiv.htm

          Franken was the 60th vote, seated July. Kennedy’s replacement was seated a month after he died, obviously a Democrat. So they had 60 votes from July 7 til year-end, for the entire year, EXCEPT for the one-month vacant Mass seat. (Late August until late September)

          Scott was not elected until Jan 19, 2010 — AFTER the bill passed the Senate on December 24th.
          The House voted to accept the Senate bill as is, no reconciliation, to avoid a Senate revote they’d lose.

          So, all tribal screeching to the contrary, the GOP bill is just as thin as Obamacare was. Republicans and libertarians went anti-government goober, shitting on the OUTCOME of a free market in healthcare — which was universal treatment, thus defying the will of the people as badly as the Democrats did. Until Ron Paul destroyed the movement, we always proposed returning — at least Medicaid — to private charity. When Obamacare passed, Medicaid had a HIGHER uninsured rate than the private market — because so many doctors refuse reimbursements even well below Medicare.

          Fiscal conservatives have been fucking up health care for decades. CBO’s analysis comes next week or the week after. The GOP passed a bill they hadn’t read (lol), before knowing what it would even do. Possible suicide? Trump owns it.

    2. They did have 60 votes. If the vote was held a month later, Scott Brown would have given the GOP the extra vote against cloture. Alas.

      That’s why they eventually had to use reconciliation to get the final bill. The Ds no longer had a filibuster-proof majority and couldn’t risk bringing a revised bill to a vote.

  20. Folks, even the most cursory research shows immediately that Trump is and always has been fully in favor of so-called “universal” or “single-payer” healthcare. These psychopathic fools have no intention of ever undoing Obamacare ? only making it worse.
    I’m sorry, but if you were dumb enough to think that Trump or the congress would ever, ever, ever unwind the biggest racketeering matrix in human history, you deserve what you get. Keep writin’ those quarterly tax checks! I’m sure if the Republicans can just pick up a few more seats? OH. WAIT.

    http://www.barnhardt.biz/2017/03/25/back-to-work/

  21. The libertarian establishment is throwing another hissy fit — more propaganda for the bubble. After a half-century, the libertarian establishment has FAILED to provide even ONE alternative, as their cult screams, “We don’t need no steenkeeng alternative.” So we fail. Again.

    Our establishment praises saying NO, but ignores achieving ? anything at all. So their heroes say No and achieve nothing. By design.

    Americans are EAGER for change. They elected the ONLY candidate with specific proposals for change. He lied, but …

    In the party, a dying faction of pro-liberty libertarians avoided the wackos to nominate the ONLY seasoned executives. But we soon saw they had NO PLATFORM. Not a single solution The libertarian establishment, with over a hundred million in costly think tanks and foundations has … NOTHING. Never has.

    Cato’s Medicare Vouchers would increase competition … in the wrong market! Insurance is not healthcare! It LOOKS like privatization. But insurance companies would add a costly (and useless) middle man. Social Security is even crazier. Workers can keep and invest their own contributions. Michael Tanner has NO CLUE how to pay for it. That’s up to Congress he says. “Dat’s not my yob.”

    He admits “transition costs will be steep, but a one-time event.” And the bobbleheads nod with glee.
    The ACTUAL transition costs are $375 billion in the FIRST year, declining slowly over 30+ years. But that’s Congress’s job!

    Liberty hustlers.

  22. Medicare for all will eventually come.

    There will be long Canadian style lines for the rationed slots available for Medicare paid procedures.

    For a small cash payment, or private insurance,you will get bumped to the top of the list. This already happens with concierge floors at major hospitals in the US.

    End result will be a reduction in physician salaries which is not a horrible thing. Docs will either hyper specialize to earn premium rates or they won’t bother. Will depend on the final pay schedules.

    I am not completely horrified by this so long as they don’t do something insane like ban private payments.

    1. That’s not what concierge medical practice is, and it does not integrate with Medicare at all. Excepting the wealthy, it works best with HSA-type plans where cash is included in the “coverage” package, cash for the concierge service..

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