American Elephants

Who Says Republicans Don’t Have Anything To Replace ObamaCare? by The Elephant's Child

The House of Representatives voted today 244-185 to repeal the Affordable Care Act, with five Democrats crossing the aisle to vote with Republicans. Widely reported on the news today, accompanied by the statement that repeal stood no chance in the Senate — also true — Harry Reid wouldn’t let it come to a vote, and enforces tough party discipline.

When Liberals speak about this, it is always accompanied by the statement that , well, they want to repeal it, but they don’t have anything to replace it . Why don’t they tell us what they want to replace it with?

We have to move back in time a bit, to the early Bush administration. Liberals, furious over losing the election, were whining that ‘we don’t have any ideas, why don’t we have any ideas? We need think-tanks like the Republicans have. Why don’t we have any think-tanks?’ So George Soros coughed up some money and they established The Center for American Progress, a progressive think-tank. Which has been involved ever since with issuing talking points and strategies for defeating Republicans.

Republicans do have think-tanks. lots of them.  But they are not interested just in talking points. Scholars do the studies that establish what works and what doesn’t. They dig into the numbers and determine costs, they consult industry experts, work with economists. Anyone interested in Republican ideas for reforming health care has only to consult the experts at Heritage, AEI, Cato, NCPA, Pacific Research Institute, or any one of dozens of other think-tanks, that have been studying the problem extensively.

Here’s Paul Ryan, with “the Optimist’s Guide to Repeal and Replace,”from the House Budget Committee. Here’s “Saving the American Dream: A Blueprint for Putting Patients First” from Heritage. The National Center for Policy Analysis: “Contract With America,” and “Universal Coverage Without Mandates” and most of these think tanks have health care newsletters that you can sign up for. From AEI, here is an article from their magazine The American: “How to Repeal and Replace; From a Tax to Tax Credits.” The Cato Institute has several books and a raft of studies on parts of the law and its consequences, and a newsletter as well. Denis Prager just had a post at Ricochet: “Do Republicans Really Have No Plan?”

There are many commonalities. Republicans believe in the free market, and that health care should  be determined by the patient and his doctor — not by some faceless bureaucrat in a Washington D.C. office. There is no “one size fits all” in health. People are different.

Kathleen Sebelius just wrote a piece for Investors Business Daily, under the remarkable headline “ObamaCare will Control Costs, Improve Care.” Uh huh. You take American Health Care, which everyone claims costs too much, add over 180 new agencies that will be in charge of regulating the massive government program. Then you add the 13,000 pages of regulations — and they’re not even done yet. Add something like 15,000 new IRS workers delegated to cope with all the new taxes involved.  Those 180 new agencies manned with unnumbered bureaucrats will tell your doctor, if you are lucky enough to have one, how to practice medicine, and which medicines they may prescribe, and which operations they may perform. Then you add the fact that we are already short by about 47,000 doctors, and medical schools are not equipped to educate many more.

To that you add the fact that, recently surveyed by the Doctor Patient Medical Association poll:

  • 90% of doctors say the medical system is on the wrong track.
  • 83% say they are thinking about quitting.
  • 61% say the system challenges their ethics.
  • 65% say government involvement is most  to blame for current problems.
  • 49% say they will stop accepting Medicaid patients.
  • 70% say reducing government would be best single fix.

Don’t let anyone tell you that Republicans have no ideas for reform. Their ideas are centered in what is good for doctors and patients and individual freedom. There are lots of links here— arm yourselves with the facts.

The most important fact you need to know is that the liberals who cooked up ObamaCare have carefully excepted themselves and their friends and co-workers from the program. They really do get to keep their insurance, which they do like, and their doctors. The rest of us can go hang.

How Do You Get Into the NAACP Convention to Hear Eric Holder Speak About The Racism of Requiring Voter ID?. by The Elephant's Child

You must present a government-issued photo ID such as a driver’s license.

When Mr. Holder spoke at the LBJ Library in Texas on the racism inherent in requiring voter ID, you had to show a government-issued photo ID such as a driver’s license, to get in.

When Michelle Obama does a book signing, you can’t get her to autograph her book unless you can present a government-issued photo ID such as a driver’s license.

To get into any District Courthouse in the country you must present a government-issued photo ID such as a driver’s license.

To set foot in Mr. Holder’s Justice Department in Washington D.C. you must present a government-issued photo ID such as a driver’s license.

The American people should be outraged that there are so many people in this country excluded from normal activity in society due to their lack of free government-issued photo ID. They cannot have a bank account. They cannot write checks. They cannot travel.

Liberals require photo ID for anything they think is important. However they are unconcerned with voter fraud. They encourage it, and resist recounts, resist removing ineligible voters from the rolls, including dead people, and encourage voter registration as late as the day of the election. They favor vote-by-mail ballots. and prefer that felons, illegal immigrants, and dead people vote. They are quite consistent.

(h/t: Powerline)

Managing Risk Is Hard. When the Threat Comes From Government, It is Terrifying! by The Elephant's Child

Taxes are a complicated matter, and everybody hates them. There is all sorts of confusion about just whose money it is (ours!), or the government’s (the government has no money of its own). If you allow the Bush tax cuts to expire — you are raising taxes. If you extend some Bush tax cuts for just one more year, it is not a cost to government. Things simply remain the same. If we could just agree on the meaning of language, it would help.

There are arguments as well on what the effect of raising taxes is on the economy. Democrats usually believe that is a good way to get more revenue. Republicans know that raising taxes always brings in less revenue than was expected, particularly because wealthier people have more ways to avoid paying taxes, but it also has a negative effect of dampening business activity. And the more uncertainty there is  in the mix, the more it will dampen business activity.

There is risk to all business activity. Somebody may invent a product tomorrow that will make your business obsolete. Your suppliers may raise their prices or simply fail to produce. Your employees may do something really stupid. The risks are endless. When the government essentially promises that “we’re really going to get you, starting on January 1;” who is going to hire a bunch of employees under threat of huge unknown health care costs? To top that off, it is clear that the heavy hand of government regulation may just descend on you at any time for regulations you have never heard of.

I don’t think that President Obama has a very clear understanding of business risks or of how businesses make hiring decisions. I don’t think he understands”small business.” There is an army of workers out there who are free-lancers or individual craftsmen. They work on their own, at their own pace and at their own pleasure, independently. There are small businesses that we classify as “Mom & Pop” businesses —little shops. Then there are small businesses, with only a few employees: insulation installers, plumbers, all sorts of service businesses who may range from sole practitioners to a boss with a couple of employees. All of these could fit in Mr. Obama’s under $250,000 category on whom he does not want to raise taxes because he envisions them as — Small Business. But they are not the engine of employment in the American economy.

The small business that drives employment and provides the most jobs could still be plumbers  but those who hope to be major plumbing contractors, who hope to own a fleet of trucks and grow their business. I’ve known both kinds. Both may be ambitious, but one hopes to do more business and make more money, but does not want the hassle of running a larger company, and likes his independence. If he wants to take some time off to go fishing, he can.

It’s the driven, who want to build a bigger business that create the growth in employment and in economic activity. I think that is a distinction lost on Mr. Obama, who seems to know that “you don’t raise taxes in a recession when the economy is fragile,” yet believes that anyone with a household income over $250,000 is one of the hated “rich” who need to pay more taxes —partly because he believes in redistribution of income, partly because he wants voters to hate the rich in general and Mitt Romney in particular.

There are 894,000 businesses that file their taxes as individuals or sole proprietors. They not only are targeted with much higher taxes at the beginning of the year, but if they have over 49 employees, they will be targeted by ObamaCare. To that add the uncertainty in our own economy, the uncertainty in Europe, the uncertainty of a government focused on regulating everything, and the threat of a government that seems not to understand business at all.

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