MILLER: Setback of Trumpcare: it ain’t over

By Dick Mlller

WE.CONNECT.DOTS:  Liberals, moderates, progressives and just-plain people who need Obamacare health insurance count last week’s Congressional rejection of Trumpcare as a victory.

There are reasons not to celebrate.

Obamacare will implode soon.  President Trump has plenty of time to make that happen.

President Obama rejected outright implementation of universal healthcare, opting instead for a version that would provide access and decent costs to nearly everyone.  He had hopes of making Obamacare bi-partisan, but Republicans did not provide a single vote.

Continued affordability depends on government’s will and power to tax the rich and assess charges on people who refused to buy health insurance and others who are part of groups enjoying “Cadillac-style” coverage.  These funds subsidize those who cannot pay their full cost of coverage.

With Obamacare, government enforcement keeps well-financed insurance pools in existence.  Men and older women must pay for maternity coverage.  Childless members pay for others’ kiddy health costs.  Sane policyholders contribute to support others needing mental health services.  Healthy members must contribute, through their premiums, to pay for unfortunate policy holders with pre-existing conditions.

Without the government enforcing these rules, the various insurance pools would not be able to pay all the claims without raising premiums.

Health insurance is the same as vehicle insurance.  States require everyone to have insurance on every vehicle on the road, regardless of your past driving record or likelihood of having an accident tomorrow.

President Trump, irresponsible Republicans and too many Democrats by their silence insure the demise of Obamacare.  Federal government is now in control of those committed to destroying Obamacare.  Premiums are going up because a reluctant government slows collection of taxes and fines needed to keep the insurance pools afloat.

Health care is another subject where the GOP outsmarts the Democrats.

Seven years after the inauguration of Obamacare, defects are obvious.

Obamacare creators intended to remain as flexible on financing.  Some taxes or fines may have been set lower to secure passage votes.  After 2010, because of GOP success at the polls, Dems could no longer make Obamacare adjustments.

Organized labor was a solid supporter of Obamacare, until they found out about the “Cadillac tax.”  This assessment would go into effect as a charge to employers who provided luxury-style health benefits to their workers.

This resulted in employers having less money for pay raises or other benefits.

President Obama discovered two years into his presidency what President Trump is now beginning to realize.  Members of Congress do not have the will to govern.  They prefer to be in the minority or — failing that — buried in the majority where they cannot be held responsible.

The financial bailout from the Great Recession and adopting the Affordable Care Act were the last major achievements requiring Congressional majorities.  Since then, gridlock rules the day.  Government moved slower through executive orders and new applications of existing laws and regulations.

The legislature and the White House are under control of the same political party.  First time since the initial two years of the Obama administration.

The difference is Trump has inherited control of a party in the midst of a vicious civil war.  The faction made up of a coalition of big business and rule under a Christian God (known as the Freedom Caucus) is the side Trump has chosen to work with.

Trump attempted to get his majority votes in the waning hours by cultivating them.  He made little or no efforts to appease moderate Republicans, mostly upset by the damage his health care law would have done to Medicaid.

Bottom Line: Trump may not be back with another Trumpcare law, but he does need the continued demise of Obamacare to deliver on other promises, especially tax reform.

Removing Obamacare fines and taxes allows Trump to take credit for a trillion dollars in tax cuts over the next decade.

A huge block of voters believed Republicans for six years.  Obamacare was worse than the Bubonic Plague.  Remember death panels?  Talk ended when there were none.

Today the promise is cheaper and better health care, without forcing larger pools.  Don’t join if you don’t want health care insurance.  If you do join, why should you pay for maternity care, sir?

The Democrats seldom challenged GOP assertions, less Obamacare being accused of having controversial shortcomings.  These deficiencies could not be fixed with win-win solutions.

Even media did not ask the proper follow-up questions.

Until Trump took office, no one asked how.

The best kept secret in Washington is that Republicans, by and large, do not believe health care is a right.  Health care in the United States still is mostly free market, with little oversight by the government.

Neither Democrats nor media challenge the GOP on this stance.  Democrats want their campaign checks from healthcare providers and insurance companies.  The media needs their revenue from advertising.

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Updated: March 27, 2017 — 7:07 am
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