Hart: Fix Obamacare right

Hart: Fix Obamacare right

March 31st, 2017 by Ron Hart in Opinion Columns

Ron Hart

Ron Hart

In large measure, the reason Donald Trump was elected against the desires of the GOP, and later the Democrats, is that he is really neither. The inability to get the health care revision bill passed last week emphasizes why Americans elected Trump: to break up the caucuses that are driven by special interests and to get things done in Washington. He is not a politician, which is why this seems so awkward, but it's for the best.

Obamacare needs major changes. It is like one of those cheap hospital gowns that ties in the back. Americans know the gown is like Obamacare; it makes you feel like you are covered, but you know your backside is exposed.

Watching Democrats defend Obamacare is like watching your niece defend her abusive relationship with her boyfriend, Trever. It is so bad Trump bristled at calling his bill "TrumpCare" — and he puts his name on steaks, vodka and mattresses.

The Dems know it is in a "death spiral," as the Aetna CEO recently said. They are just looking for someone to blame. As Trump said, it would be smarter politically for Republicans to watch it explode further on the American people, since all the goodies were front-end loaded and the costs were put in like a time bomb to explode when Obama was gone. In short, bad will get worse.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, like his orange predecessor John Boehner, cannot force all three branches of government to work together. He can't even control all three branches of the Republican Party: RINOs, tea partiers and libertarians.

Republicans have healthy debate and disagree. Democrats, who come up through the party machine, do whatever their leaders tell them. They are lemmings. Liberal justices do the same thing on the Supreme Court: vote together. This does not make them right, just cohesive. That way they do not have to independently think through any issue.

So this is a chance to get it right, not rush it through like then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did with her infamous words, "We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in the bill."

Somehow, Americans think that insurance companies will not increase prices when they are forced to cover somebody's lay-about kid until he is 26 or walks in with a pre-existing condition, like needing a heart transplant. A recent and astonishing CBS poll of millennials found they do not consider themselves adults until age 30. Think we have coddled them too much?

Obamacare was a boondoggle for friends of Democrats. The stock values of drug and hospital companies have soared since Obamacare was passed, and they all plummeted in November when Trump was elected.

There is no such thing as a free lunch. Somehow liberals are shocked by such a hard economic truth: Businesses charge extra when you make them provide more.

Now deductibles are higher and premium costs in some states have increased more than 100 percent. Yes, there are more people covered, but when a law is passed that if you do not buy health insurance from us you go to jail, of course more people are forced to have coverage.

It is a shell game, hard to untangle in just one bill. All I know is competition, tort reform and a true free market pricing of insurance are the answers. Health insurance is the only business where the consumer (you) has no idea of the price, does not shop for best quality, has no idea who is paying for it and what he or she will owe. You can thank regulations.

Consumer choice is the key. Under Obamacare, the only choices were to buy the farm, sell the family jewels or push up daisies.

If the hard right prevents Obamacare reform from happening, Trump needs to work with moderate Democrats to get it done. He is one of the few presidents in modern times who could artfully do a "deal."

To show you where priorities are, conservative House Republicans did submit a bill that makes it illegal for federal workers to watch porn at their jobs. But under a technical rule, it will not apply to Homeland Security/TSA or the Internal Revenue Service, where the activity is considered "job training."

Contact Ron Hart, an op-ed humorist and award-winning author, at Ron@RonaldHart.com or @RonaldHart on Twitter.

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