9 May 2017

Notes from Norm: The Beginning of the End of Obamacare

The passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) by the United States House of Representatives is the first step of an effort to repeal, and replace, Obamacare.

By a vote of 217 to 213 the U.S. House lived up to its promise to the American people to begin the process of providing quality, affordable and accessible health care to every American citizen.

Not only will the AHCA help cut the deficit which stands at over $19 trillion, it will also provide welcome tax relief to millions of Americans.

The bill eliminates the oppressive Obamacare mandates, it empowers individual states to reduce health care costs and protects Americans with pre-existing conditions.

I have written repeatedly about the need to repeal Obamacare.  From its inception and passage by the Democratic controlled Senate and House in 2010, and President Obama’s subsequent signature making the bill the law of the land, the massive overreach of government into the lives of the American people has yet to live up to its promises.

Instead, it has broken one promise after another.

Americans were neither able to keep their doctor nor was there a significant reduction in health care costs.

Even worse the very economic assumptions upon which Democrats and the President based the passage of Obamacare were flawed at the beginning and only further ensured its ultimate demise.

The passage of the AHCA is not the end of Obamacare.  But, it is the beginning of the end.

The next step begins in the United States Senate.

It is clear that the Senate does not intend to simply take the House passed language and accept it as is.

There will be changes to the legislation.

Members of the Senate have their own ideas and approaches to repealing and replacing Obamacare.  Some of those ideas and approaches will be consistent with the AHCA.  Others may be significantly different.

Unfortunately, the political pundits and the left-leaning media outlets in the United States have been communicating a distressing lack of understanding of how the process actually works.

In their haste to predict the end of Republicans in the House due to the passage of the American Health Care Act they have either forgotten, or deliberately have chosen to ignore, the process in which a bill becomes a law in America.

A safe assumption is that the legislation passed by the House will not be the legislation passed by the Senate.

If one assumes that to be the case then the next step of the legislative process is for the leadership of both bodies to appoint a conference committee.

That conference committee will then come together and try to find common ground on the legislation, offering amendments and making their case as to why those amendments will help strengthen the legislation.

Once that process is completed and if the conference committee can achieve agreement on a compromise bill they will then send it back to their respective bodies for review and passage.

Only then, and assuming both bodies accept the changes and pass the exact same bill, will the legislation go to the President for his signature to pass the bill into law – or his veto.

Despite the shrill commentary by the talking heads on cable television and the wringing of hands by columnists who still can’t believe Hillary Clinton is not their President nothing has changed about the current health care system in the United States.

There is no magic wand President Trump can wave or Executive Order he can issue that will eliminate Obamcare and replace it with something else.

Nothing will change until, and unless, the process called Regular Order is actually followed to its logical and sensible conclusion.

I know it’s grist for the political mill for Democrats to scream that Republicans are taking away the health care of millions of Americans.

That it is not true is beside the point to them.

It shouldn’t be, however, to the media that insists that it is doing nothing more than reporting the news today.

Unfortunately, the approach that Republicans have taken to repeal and replace Obamacare doesn’t fit their narrative, or that of Democrats.

For that matter, the narrative of repealing Obamacare runs contrary to their ideological and philosophical beliefs at every level.

Be that as it may be the fact remains that the passage of the American Health Care Act isn’t the end of Obamacare in America.

It is, however, the beginning of the end for Obamcare.

And, hopefully the end of the beginning of the dream of liberals in America to create a government mandated health care system that will further erode Americans access to quality and affordable health care.