Yesterday Allahpundit spent some time talking about how the Congressional GOP is still at least pretending they’re working on a health care bill, but nobody seems terribly serious about it. (For his part, the President seems to have largely moved on.) But as AP pointed out, there were at least a few hardliners who wanted to see the rest of the Republicans get serious about the promises they made on the campaign trail, vis-à-vis Obamacare. One of those was Congressman Mo Brooks, and his idea of moving forward with a discharge petition has actually been put down on paper for the House to consider. It couldn’t have taken him terribly long since you could fit the entire package on a business sized envelope. (Fox News)
Republican Rep. Mo Brooks introduced the bill as the Obamacare Repeal Act, AL.com reported…
Brooks introduced the bill after he announced he would oppose the Republican health care measure which was later pulled from a House floor vote because it did not have enough support to pass.
“If the American people want to repeal Obamacare, this is their last, best chance during the 115th Congress,” Brooks said in a statement. Those Congressmen who are sincere about repealing Obamacare may prove it by signing the discharge petition.
So let’s take a look and see what all is involved in this legislation. Given that the original Obamacare bill required a mid-sized SUV just to haul around a single printed copy of it, it must be pretty complex, eh? Nope. As advertised, it’s a single (if rather run on) sentence.
“Effective as of Dec. 31, 2017, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is repealed, and the provisions of law amended or repealed by such Act are restored or revived as if such Act had not been enacted.”
Huh. Can anything really be that simple? Not in Washington, no, so this clearly isn’t going to get a vote. The original idea of “repealing Obamacare” gave way fairly early on to the new, hotter “repeal and replace.” As we can see here, repeal is an idea which can technically be accomplished faster than reciting the first refrain of Itsy Bitsy Spider, but it’s the replace part which takes considerably more work. It could be argued that if Obamacare was such an awful idea to begin with then replacing it really shouldn’t have been a priority, but what do I know?
Even if you could somehow get this single sentence passed out of the House it would die in the Senate faster than you could blink. The Republicans have bought in to the idea that this new entitlement is now part of the fabric of the nation so we can’t do away with it without giving the yearning masses something even better and very likely more expensive. But why?
If we were sticking to our guns here, a flat repeal such as Brooks is offering should have been the only logical step. Yes, the Democrats and their handmaidens in the media would immediately begin bleating about how many people “lost their healthcare.” (This is a complete farce, since many of those folks didn’t want it in the first place and others found their new “option” to be unaffordable. Also, “health care” is not the same as “health insurance” but you’ll rarely see the press get bogged down in such trivial distinctions.) And yet necessity remains the mother of invention, so the vacuum created by this bill would no doubt spur Congress to sit down and see if there was actually some productive work to be done.
Rather than fighting over ominous mandates and complicated exchanges which are collapsing into rubble, who knows? Perhaps they could figure out why health care in general (and prescriptions in particular) are so expensive and see if those costs could be driven down. Why is the health insurance market so non-competitive and why are the plans they offer so needlessly complicated and expensive? And for the poorest Americans, perhaps the existing companies could offer plans which would be directly funded by the government to a degree which makes them affordable rather than handing out all of these subsidies. I know that last one rubs a lot of conservatives the wrong way, but it would certainly get the job done for the poorest citizens and still cost a ton less than Obamacare did.
But don’t listen to me. I’m just another madman lost in the wilderness. Doing things the simple, if politically unpopular way is just crazy talk, right?