AHCA Vote

Acknowledge the GOP promotes big government policies and we can still be friends

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Acknowledge the GOP promotes big government policies and we can still be friends

The House just sent the Amer­i­can Health Care Act to the Sen­ate. From there, it’ll face a tougher fight through Sen­ate revi­sions before reach­ing the President’s desk. For the the first time in seven years, the prospects of repeal­ing Oba­macare are actu­ally pretty high. Repub­li­cans around the nation are cheer­ing. Democ­rats are spin­ning it as a call to retake Con­gress in 2018.

Most of my friends are Repub­li­cans, as are most of the read­ers on this site. I sup­port their desire to rid the nation of the abom­i­na­tion of Oba­macare. I also respect the need to put the GOP stamp of approval on a replace­ment plan. Heck, there are a cou­ple of things in the AHCA that I don’t mind; it’s a slight improve­ment over the ACA.

One thing I whole­heart­edly dis­agree with is the notion that the AHCA is a step towards smaller gov­ern­ment. This does noth­ing to rein in DC. It keeps the national gov­ern­ment firmly entrenched in an area where it absolutely, pos­i­tively does not belong. By doing so, it pre­vents the free mar­ket from help­ing mil­lions of Amer­i­cans by dri­ving down health insur­ance costs. It adjusts the man­date by shift­ing the penalty, but the man­date remains nonethe­less. It gives states the option to opt out of pre-​existing con­di­tions, yet no state will actu­ally use this option. Why? Because by giv­ing the AHCA the GOP stamp of approval, any hope of edu­cat­ing peo­ple on the vast neg­a­tives asso­ci­ated with the pre-​existing con­di­tions clause have evaporated.

It isn’t just the AHCA. Look at the spend­ing pack­age that keeps the gov­ern­ment fund­ing Pres­i­dent Obama’s sus­tained laun­dry list of pro­grams. Look at pushes for huge infra­struc­ture spend­ing. Look at every big gov­ern­ment pro­gram that is not fac­ing extinc­tion despite the GOP hav­ing full con­trol in DC.

As a Fed­er­al­ist, I look at today’s GOP the same way many polit­i­cally savvy con­ser­v­a­tives view it: bet­ter than the Democ­rats. After the rise and fall of the Tea Party as well as a short-​term spike in con­ser­v­a­tives win­ning pri­maries over mod­er­ates, we’ve seen the sta­tus quo of the Estab­lish­ment reaf­firmed in 2017. The AHCA is just the lat­est example.

These are unpop­u­lar notions to be post­ing on sites that are sup­port­ive of the Repub­li­can Party, but I’m not alone in my dis­sent. Con­ser­v­a­tive pun­dits and Federalism-​minded jour­nal­ists around the nation are speak­ing out.

Ben Shapiro at Daily Wire notes:

On Thurs­day, House Repub­li­cans pre­pared to take final own­er­ship over Oba­macare, slap­ping a giant “T” atop the edi­fice of leg­isla­tive manure and declar­ing vic­tory. This fol­lows Repub­li­cans embrac­ing Barack Obama’s bud­get pri­or­i­ties in their newest bud­get bill, which did not fund Trump’s wall but did fund refugee reset­tle­ment, Planned Par­ent­hood, and Oba­macare. Repub­li­cans have appar­ently become the David Cop­per­field of garbage: they can take Obama’s garbage and turn it into Trump’s garbage right before your eyes!

Mark Levin has been very crit­i­cal of the GOP on his show lately:

Too many con­ser­v­a­tives have sim­ply accepted as effec­tive power the minor con­ces­sion of the pro­gres­sives” as they “drive the polit­i­cal and cul­tural agenda,” Levin explains.

Andrea Ruth at Red­State sup­ports the bill, but only because not pass­ing it would make the GOP look worse than it already does:

Vot­ers first gave them the House imme­di­ately fol­low­ing the pas­sage of Oba­macare. Repub­li­cans sub­se­quently show-​voted on repeal­ing Oba­macare more than 50 times in the fol­low­ing six years when they knew such a bill would never be enacted while a Demo­c­rat was in the White House.

Noah Mill­man at The Amer­i­can Con­ser­v­a­tive isn’t sup­port­ive at all:

By their own repeated admis­sion, the GOP lead­er­ship has no actual pol­icy goal of any kind. They promised some­thing. They have to deliver some­thing — even if that some­thing is wildly unpop­u­lar, sat­is­fies nobody, and bears almost no rela­tion to what they orig­i­nally promised.

I believe in my heart that many Repub­li­can vot­ers still believe in the type of small-​government Fed­er­al­ism that Ronald Rea­gan espoused. It’s not their fault that a major­ity of Repub­li­can rep­re­sen­ta­tives view “smaller gov­ern­ment” as a catch­phrase in their cam­paign sales pitch instead of a goal. How­ever, don’t try to con­vince me that they’ll come around even­tu­ally. Accept that they’re the big-​government Democ­ratlite Party so we can work together to really rein in DC.

The House just sent the American Health Care Act to the Senate. From there, it’ll face a tougher fight through Senate revisions before reaching the President’s desk. For the the first time in seven years, the prospects of repealing Obamacare are actually pretty high. Republicans around the nation are cheering. Democrats are spinning it as a call to retake Congress in 2018.

Most of my friends are Republicans, as are most of the readers on this site. I support their desire to rid the nation of the abomination of Obamacare. I also respect the need to put the GOP stamp of approval on a replacement plan. Heck, there are a couple of things in the AHCA that I don’t mind; it’s a slight improvement over the ACA.

One thing I wholeheartedly disagree with is the notion that the AHCA is a step towards smaller government. This does nothing to rein in DC. It keeps the national government firmly entrenched in an area where it absolutely, positively does not belong. By doing so, it prevents the free market from helping millions of Americans by driving down health insurance costs. It adjusts the mandate by shifting the penalty, but the mandate remains nonetheless. It gives states the option to opt out of pre-existing conditions, yet no state will actually use this option. Why? Because by giving the AHCA the GOP stamp of approval, any hope of educating people on the vast negatives associated with the pre-existing conditions clause have evaporated.

It isn’t just the AHCA. Look at the spending package that keeps the government funding President Obama’s sustained laundry list of programs. Look at pushes for huge infrastructure spending. Look at every big government program that is not facing extinction despite the GOP having full control in DC.

As a Federalist, I look at today’s GOP the same way many politically savvy conservatives view it: better than the Democrats. After the rise and fall of the Tea Party as well as a short-term spike in conservatives winning primaries over moderates, we’ve seen the status quo of the Establishment reaffirmed in 2017. The AHCA is just the latest example.

These are unpopular notions to be posting on sites that are supportive of the Republican Party, but I’m not alone in my dissent. Conservative pundits and Federalism-minded journalists around the nation are speaking out.

Ben Shapiro at Daily Wire notes:

On Thursday, House Republicans prepared to take final ownership over Obamacare, slapping a giant “T” atop the edifice of legislative manure and declaring victory. This follows Republicans embracing Barack Obama’s budget priorities in their newest budget bill, which did not fund Trump’s wall but did fund refugee resettlement, Planned Parenthood, and Obamacare. Republicans have apparently become the David Copperfield of garbage: they can take Obama’s garbage and turn it into Trump’s garbage right before your eyes!

Mark Levin has been very critical of the GOP on his show lately:

“Too many conservatives have simply accepted as effective power the minor concession of the progressives” as they “drive the political and cultural agenda,” Levin explains.

Andrea Ruth at RedState supports the bill, but only because not passing it would make the GOP look worse than it already does:

Voters first gave them the House immediately following the passage of Obamacare. Republicans subsequently show-voted on repealing Obamacare more than 50 times in the following six years when they knew such a bill would never be enacted while a Democrat was in the White House.

Noah Millman at The American Conservative isn’t supportive at all:

By their own repeated admission, the GOP leadership has no actual policy goal of any kind. They promised something. They have to deliver something — even if that something is wildly unpopular, satisfies nobody, and bears almost no relation to what they originally promised.

I believe in my heart that many Republican voters still believe in the type of small-government Federalism that Ronald Reagan espoused. It’s not their fault that a majority of Republican representatives view “smaller government” as a catchphrase in their campaign sales pitch instead of a goal. However, don’t try to convince me that they’ll come around eventually. Accept that they’re the big-government Democratlite Party so we can work together to really rein in DC.