Tuesday, March 7, 2017

LITD is cheering Rand Paul on with regard to health-care policy

The latest Paul Ryan-driven proposal is too problematic to settle for. While it gets rid of Planned Parenthood funding and the out-and-out tax component, it has at least five basic, glaring shortcomings, as enumerated by Ben Shapiro:

1. It Retains Requirements That Insurance Cover People With Pre-Existing Conditions. The key component to Obamacare was always the nonsensical notion that government could force insurance companies to cover those with pre-existing conditions. This turns insurance companies into piggy banks rather than insurance companies – imagine a fire insurance company that allowed you to buy insurance after your house was on fire. That’s not an insurance company anymore. The same is true in health insurance – and the Republicans’ attempt to preserve this popular provision of Obamacare means that Republicans must also do something to ensure that insurance companies don’t go bankrupt. There are only two ways to do that: with a mandate to buy insurance, or with government subsidies.
2. It Creates A Back Door Mandate. The Republican plan gets rid of the overt Obamacare mandate. But it does allow insurance companies to charge an elevated 30% fine for those whose insurance lapses for more than two months at any point in the last 12 months. This means that you’re essentially fined in the future for not buying insurance now. Which has nothing to do with the Constitutional role of government.
3. It Creates Individual Healthcare Subsidies. The problem is that this back door mandate isn’t enough. What about people who are high risk or have pre-existing conditions, but haven’t bought insurance? We have to give them money to buy health insurance. Which is what the bill does: it includes an advanceable, refundable tax credit based on age. This is effectively a subsidy, since the tax credits apply to people who don’t pay much in taxes, just as the Earned Income Tax Credit is actually a giveaway to people who don’t pay taxes.
4. It Subsidizes Medicaid. The Obamacare boondoggle was sold by allowing the federal government to pick up the tab for Medicaid expansion in the states. This bill would allow the feds to cover Obamacare Medicaid expansion for three years – and there’s no way a future Congress will actually cut these subsidies, fearing political backlash. This is like every other long-promised sunsetted spending program: it’s not going anywhere.
5. It Subsidizes High-Risk Pools On The State Level. The bill sends $100 billion to states over the next ten years to help cover those who are high risk and can’t afford insurance. This, of course, won’t be nearly enough – it incentivizes the state to sign people up, then look to the federal government for more cash.

Enter the junior Senator from Kentucky. He came in for some titters over the stunt last week in which he brought a copy machine to the room where this bill was being crafted, but he felt the need to dramatize his point. And now he sees that it's time for more concrete measures, and enlisting like minds among his colleagues to join him in taking them:

He has joined with Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Mike Lee, R-Utah, along with the House Freedom Caucus in insisting on full repeal of Obamacare's spending, mandates and taxes, instead of the partial repeal the GOP is pursuing, which critics say would leave the country with "Obamacare-lite."

The senator and Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., have introduced their own Obamacare replacement plan, which goes further than the one backed by House Republican leaders and does not rely on refundable tax credits to help people buy health insurance. The bill does contain tax credits to bolster expanded health savings accounts.
A commenter underneath this linked James W. Antle article at the Washington Examiner points out a further stroke of brilliance in Paul's proposal:

The pre-exitsting conditions argument for the ACA becomes a Democrat canard when confronted with Rand Paul's solution allowing anyone and everyone join an association to get group health care that allows them to receive group coverage at the corresponding discounts and ability to switch providers as may be negotiated by their group. No one in a good coverage plan has pre-existing conditions issues except those that unfortunately have to get an individual COBRA plan. Totally brilliant solution by Rand Paul. His expertise as a doctor becomes quite clear and must be explloited to the max.
The only thing I want to hear from any Republican who is uncomfortable with the Rand Paul approach is an attempt at refutation on its merits, not some "pragmatism" crud about what it's possible to get 51 votes with. We've have eight years of such excuses. If this is a good plan - and it is superior to the one Ryan is touting - then sell it with conviction and passion.

This is freedom we're talking about.


  1. The only thing the Republican in Chief is saying is that he likes the Housw plan

  2. I am not encouraged by that bit of information. Not at all.

  3. He's right about one thing, it's complicated. I'll just sit and watch you Pubs chase your tails and turn into butta and go hit the pancakes. Where's all the bills you threw at Congress trying to repeal the ACA?

  4. Pancakes for everybody when you Pubs pass a betta bill. Or is your bill going to increase the pain, not lessen it? You always seem to come up with things that screw the little guy. And there's a growing cadre of little guys out there. I know, I know, pure free market will work, just like God works. In mysterious ways.

  5. You know, the desert fathers did not give a rat's ass about Mammon. And all the early Christians were essentially collectivists and it's all over the monastic traditions everywhere. Look around our country and you will see hospital after hospital named after saints.

  6. What, pray tell, is a "little guy?"

  7. There is nothing mysterious at all about the way economic freedom works.

  8. It's quite simple:

    You offer a product or service to particular organizations or people you've determined most likely to be interested in it. (This is your market.)

    When interested parties approach you, you have a conversation and arrive at an agreement as to what the product or service is worth.

    You provide the product or service.

    You get paid.

    You cover your costs, and put your profit in the bank, or spend it however you wish.

    The above scenario covers every type of economic transaction in which man beings engage.

  9. It's pretty simple. You want to live in a void and you don't want to pay taxes. Well, maybe for and to the military-industrial complex.

  10. Can't even cough up .02% of the Federal Budget for the NEA, gotta blame some offensive art that offends your sensibilities. I'll bet you're all for so-called sin taxes on pleasures you treasure. Or did you give up booze?

  11. You know my depiction of the free market is exactly correct. That's why you dance all around it with irrelevant crud like the military industrial complex, booze and the NEA.

  12. I just don't see taxes to pay for the collective good in the mix. And the military industrial complex enters into it because they are the prime beneficiary of your beloved national defense strategy. Public schools and universities? Naah. Roads and bridges? Naah? A national space exploration program? Consumer product safety commission? Naah. Not a damned thing to do with health and human services? National Seashores & Parks, naah. OASI, Work Comp, Unemployment Comp? Naah. Scientific research funding? Naah, leave that up to the corporate mavens so if it pads their bottom lines it's great, right? Much more.....naah, fuggetaboutit.

  13. But build a wall, a prison, ship the other back home after the corporate and private owners have used and abused them (and really still need them, they'll someday find out if they are successful). You just do not want to pay taxes. Kinda like your former party's President in power. You're smaht, I guess.

  14. Because there is no such thing as a "collective good" beyond every citizen being safe and free from coercion.

  15. And what is wrong with nicely padded corporate bottom lines if a good deemed to be of value by the consumer is being provided?

  16. You're really in revolt against taxes. And as ripe to force what you see as your Creator's will on the people. That ain't the way it's all worked out. So for you, it's so very late in the day.