July 23, 2017
September 2015 seems like an eon ago – and politically it is. Back then Donald Trump was the outsider candidate who didn’t have a prayer of winning the Republican nomination for President, never mind beating Hillary Clinton and winning the White House.
Trump confounded all the naysayers, and truth be told he did it with one very simple campaign theme, “We are led by very, very stupid people.”
Repeal ObamacareThe Washington establishment was outraged when Donald Trump called them “stupid,” but voters across the heartland were energized and reassured that someone running for president was willing to say what they had been thinking for a good long time.
What’s more, Trump’s remark was an equal opportunity trashing of the Washington elite.
He didn’t limit the universe of stupid people to just Democrats, establishment Republicans were very clearly included.
Fast forward to Inauguration Day 2017 – Trump was sworn-in, and as our friend Cathy put it, “We were filled with such optimism on Inauguration Day. Little did we expect the treachery lurking in the Swamp before it could be drained.”
The Swamp, the establishment, the DC status quo decided that if Trump and his conservative – populist legions couldn’t be defeated at the polls, they could certainly be outsmarted in the back halls and smoke-filled rooms of Capitol Hill.
However, their mistake was in confusing venality and viciousness with intelligence, because time and again since the Inauguration they have revealed themselves to be, well, not very smart.
The latest example of DC establishment Republican stupidity has been the implosion of the effort to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Everyone in America knows Obamacare is failing.
Many, if not most, people understand that getting rid of Obamacare’s onerous and uneconomic mandates and regulations will lower the cost of health insurance.
Many wise political observers and strategists believe that if Republicans can achieve that policy goal – lowering health insurance costs – it will be a realigning moment in American politics and place them in a strong position to consolidate or even expand their hold on Congress and the state houses.
What’s more, you don’t have to be too smart to understand that if you promise to do something over and over, and then don’t produce, people aren’t going to take too kindly to it.
But the “very, very stupid people” on Capitol Hill haven’t gotten the message.
In the past few weeks three viable options to repeal and replace Obamacare – none of them perfect – have been floated in the Senate.
All of them have blown-up due to the unwillingness of the Senate’s establishment Republicans to make good on their oft repeated promise to repeal and replace Obamacare.
But now they have been backed into a corner with the reemergence of H.R. 3762, the 2015/2016 Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act.
H.R. 3762 wasn’t perfect, but it did repeal most of the burdensome provisions of Obamacare:
Repealed the individual and employer mandate tax penalties.
Repealed all Obamacare taxes.
Provided a two-year transition from Medicaid expansion and exchange tax subsidies.
Repealed the expansion of eligibility for Medicaid, two years after enactment of the bill.
Repealed the health exchange subsidies, including the premium tax credit and cost-sharing subsidies to help people buy insurance, two years after enactment of the bill.
Retained Obamacare insurance regulations, including guaranteed issuance of coverage for people with pre-existing conditions and Essential Health Benefits (EHBs).
Blocked funding for Planned Parenthood for one year while providing additional funds to community health centers for women’s health care.
Repealed the prevention and public health fund.
Repealed the small business tax credit for employers with fewer than 25 employees and annual wages under $50,000 for the purchase of health insurance.
Including the macroeconomic impact of the bill, CBO estimated the legislation would have reduced spending at the time by $1.349 trillion and reduced taxes $833 billion.
In total, the bill would have reduced the deficit by $516 billion, according to CBO’s estimate at the time.
The bill would have reduced health care coverage by 32 million people, according to CBO’s January 2017 estimate. However, that estimate is based on the same faulty baseline and assumptions that have brought into question the validity of CBO’s latest health care projections.
And, most importantly, H.R. 3762 passed the Senate by a vote of 52-47 and passed the House by a vote of 240-181, meaning all of the current establishment Republican complainers and holdouts, except Maine’s alleged Republican Senator Susan Collins, already voted for it.
So, who’s smart now; the establishment Republican Senators who have backed themselves into a corner on H.R. 3762, or President Trump, who nailed them back in September 2015?
President Trump was right back in September of 2015, “We are led by very, very stupid people.”
However, stupid doesn’t have to be a permanent condition – it can be cured, or at least ameliorated, by recognition of facts and reality.
And the reality establishment Republicans must face it this: Government by show vote is over. If the Capitol Hill Republican establishment can’t pass a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare that they already passed in 2015, then it is time for conservatives to recognize this is no longer a family disagreement, take the gloves off and declare war on those who renege on their 2015 vote.
Reprinted with permission by ConservativeHQ.com