How to eat the elephant: Repeal and Replace is silly.

How to eat an elephant

Eat the elephant one bite at a time

Large objectives can be tackled. It’s easy if you break it down into smaller tasks.  The same applies to changing our approach to the “Affordable” Care Act a/k/a Obamacare. Did anyone really think we could eat the elephant in one bite?

First, take a good look at the elephant

How big is it? How tall, how wide, How complex? If you want to read the law, here are some links:

  1.  Full Text of the Affordable Care Act and Reconciliation Act (PDF – 2.6 MB) This is not the official version, and [the government provided it for your convenience. 
  2. Certified full-text version: Affordable Care Act (PDF – 2.41 MB).  
  3. Certified full-text version: Reconciliation Act (PDF – 257 KB).  This is the funding and taxation side of it.
  4. Wikipedia article. Very long, extremely detailed. There are 475 footnotes! There are referenced articles on every nuance you can imagine.
  5. Public Law 111–148 after consolidating the amendments made by PPACA Title X and by HCERA. 906 pages of bedtime reading.
  6. 2100 listings of Rules, Notices of Rules and Proposed Rules. 1,220 Notices, 372 Rules, 317 Proposed Rules, and 204 Presidential Documents. And these are out of 73 Agencies.

Repeal and Replace was a silly notion

You might be able to eat the elephant, but not in one bite. Sure, it sounded good on the campaign trails. But just take a look at the resources linked above and tell me that a full repeal could be made.  Read the Wikipedia article in #4 above, or review the listings in #6 above and see how many agencies, how many parts of American life and business, and how many “points to ponder” exist in this behemoth.

Eat the elephant or just make sure it doesn’t eat us?

We must figure all the major pieces that exist on the elephant and then determine where to start. The goal must be determined and it is not to eat the entire elephant, but rather to end up with satisfaction to the palate.

Reality check

The goal really is not to eat the elephant, but simply to tame it. I suggest that there has been scant attention paid to the real problems that Obamacare only exacerbated. Just some:

  1. Our (the country’s) problem is not healthcare, but rather health. Large segments of our population are unhealthy in many ways and from many causes. Obesity estimates are in the range of 30% overall and higher in certain populations. Most families have been touched by heart-attacks, cancer, liver disease, and more. Drug usage and the longterm effects of chronic drug usage are growing. Yet there is little attention in the “reforms” to addressing fundamental health issues.
  2. Little attention was given to healthcare delivery. What you hear touted is that with Obamacare fewer people will use the emergency rooms for basic care. Has that happened? What about rural areas? I don’t hear about clinics popping up in places like Ozona, Texas.
  3. Was Obamacare anything more than a financing scheme that pulled us closer to a single-payer system but still on the backs of the insurance companies? You can find plenty of stories of care/coverage being but off a the behest of the insurance company that determines “you are well enough.” Decisions are made by an insurance company bureaucrat about what you need or what they will cover. I fear the day that bureaucrat is working directly for the government.

It can be argued that Obamacare has done some great good, but even strong partisans agree to a large extent that many problems remain. Repeal and Replace was a silly notion.  There are good parts to keep and bad parts to fix. It will take a bipartisan approach infused with a lot of statesmanship that has been lacking.

Congress will have to figure out a way to do its duty and the erasure of rigid party lines and dogma must be the first step. Otherwise, the elephant will stomp on us all.


This says it all about the so-called healthcare “reform” bill

The Obama-Pelosi-Reid machine combined the radicalism of Alinsky, the corruption of Springfield and the machine power politics of Chicago.

Sunday was a pressured, bought, intimidated vote worthy of Hugo Chavez but unworthy of the United States of America.

It is hard to imagine how much pressure they brought to bear on congressman Stupak to get him to accept a cynical, phony clearly illegal and unconstitutional executive order on abortion. The ruthlessness and inhumanity of the Obama-Pelosi-Reid machine was most clearly on display in their public humiliation of Stupak.

The real principles of the machine were articulated by Democratic Congressman Alcee Hastings who was impeached and removed from the bench as a federal judge, before being elected to the House when he said “”There ain’t no rules here, we’re trying to accomplish something. . . .All this talk about rules. . . .When the deal goes down . . . we make ’em up as we go along.”

via This Will Not Stand: Newt on the passage of Obamacare.

The comment of (impeached and removed) judge Hastings is the most despicable example of what happened, and why.

The lie of an executive order banning federal funding of abortions

OK, pay attention now. This is not a pro-life/pro-choice argument.  Both sides of that issue should be concerned about this issue.  What is the issue?  We’ve just seen Rep. Bart Stupak decide to vote “yes” on health care and he is relying on a letter from Pres. Obama that the Pres. will issue an executive order that federal funding of abortions will not be included in this legislation.

It’s a lie for him to say he’s relying on that and the mere issuance of such an executive order is a lie, or at best a false promise having no effect whatsoever and, in fact, federal funding of abortions is a required part of the law of the land.

Here’s why. The landmark case of Roe v. Wade decriminalized abortions and Medicaid came to cover all abortion services. Eventually, an amendment to the medicaid bill known as the “Hyde amendment” restricted funding and yet later further modifications kept some restrictions which still limit federal funding of abortions in some, but not all, circumstances.

The end result is, we presently have in the law the requirement of federal funding of abortions under some circumstances. And an Executive Order cannot alter that result. ONLY if the current health care bill explicitly banned federal funding of abortion could the present law be altered. The President’s swift pen can’t do it.

Thus, regardless of your position on abortion in general, or on federal funding of abortions, you have to be concerned about the red herring be tossed out giving a false sense of how things will work in this regard. It’s just part of the ongoing problem of the process. The games continue.