Speaker-Elect to Meet President Today. Please Ignore.

 

In his Wall Street Journal column today, our own Bill McGurn.  (The column is behind a paywall, and I’m intent on sneaking out as much of Bill’s prose as the “fair use” doctrine, and the indulgence of his editors, will permit.)

John Boehner knows that today’s White House get-together with Barack Obama is a distraction….The [real] story is this: Democrats remain in charge for the next few weeks, they have some big decisions to make and, at least for now, Mr. Boehner’s relations with Mr. Obama are of far less moment than the president’s relations with his own party…

Democrats have to make…[a] decision:  Will their party acknowledge this month’s election returns or not…?

Beause Mr. Clinton’s health-care plan was defeated, he could walk away from it in 1994 and start afresh.  In theory, Mr. Obama might likewise move to the right and use Democratic liberals as a foil to his pragmatism.  In practice, it would be hard to do while defending his health-care initiative….

In other words, there is a story well worth covering:  an intramural Democratic fight about the way forward.

Let the mainstream media huff and puff about the supposed civil war on the right, despite the willingess–now demonstrated over a period of months–of the GOP and the Tea Party to work together.  The real fight–the caterwauling and gnashing of teeth–will take place on the left.

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  1. Profile Photo Contributor
    @DavidLimbaugh

    Yes, Peter, (and Bill), so why are Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan talking again about preserving parts of Obamacare in their replacement bill, specifically the requirement forcing insurance companies to cover those with pre-existing conditions. I don’t see how that works under the concept of insurance, i.e, risk assessment, anymore under Republicans than Democrats. I’m not opposed to some type of safety net, etc., but to force insurance companies to it amounts to turning insurance companies into regulated public utilities, does it not? Why do we have to accept this stuff?

    • #1
  2. Profile Photo Contributor
    @DavidLimbaugh

    In fact, I seem to remember that Obama admitted insurance companies couldn’t remain solvent under such a requirement unless there was also a provision requiring everyone to purchase insurance. So does that mean Cantor, Ryan et al are going to keep the odious mandatory insurance provision as well?

    • #2
  3. Profile Photo Member
    @

    The pre-existing conditions hoax was the linchpin of Obamacare. Once you accept the concept that insurers must be forced to cover pre-existing conditions, the mandate to buy insurance inevitably follows.

    Truth is, very few people in the US are unable to obtain coverage for pre-existing conditions. Witness the fact that only 8,000 people have signed up for that coverage as of November 1, while HHS estimated the number would be 370,000.

    Republicans, ignorant about how health insurance works and eager to appear compassionate, accepted the Democrats’ pulling of national heartstrings on this issue – and now we have the entire system grotesquely distorted in order to cover a comparative handful of people.

    • #3
  4. Profile Photo Contributor
    @DavidLimbaugh
    Kenneth: The pre-existing conditions hoax was the linchpin of Obamacare. Once you accept the concept that insurers must be forced to cover pre-existing conditions, the mandate to buy insurance inevitably follows.

    Truth is, very few people in the US are unable to obtain coverage for pre-existing conditions. Witness the fact that only 8,000 people have signed up for that coverage as of November 1, while HHS estimated the number would be 370,000.

    Republicans, ignorant about how health insurance works and eager to appear compassionate, accepted the Democrats’ pulling of national heartstrings on this issue – and now we have the entire system grotesquely distorted in order to cover a comparative handful of people. · Nov 30 at 10:26am

    Bingo, Kenneth.

    • #4
  5. Profile Photo Member
    @
    Ken Owsley: There’s more to it than whether Republican’s understand how insurance works. It’s doubtful that anyone in the country understand the premise of a risk pool.

    The fact that Cantor and Ryan are promising to retain the pre-existing conditions protection proves that they have no idea how health insurance works and that they are fools who pander to the Democrat lie.

    Employer-sponsored health insurance is based upon a risk pool, so no questions are asked about employees’ health condition. The only people who are excluded from coverage are those who seek to purchase individual plans or, in limited circumstances, dependents of employees of companies who do not provide automatic coverage of dependents.

    • #5
  6. Profile Photo Member
    @BereketKelile

    I don’t think the problem is that the Republicans don’t understand how insurance works. They think that it’s playing well with the voters and they’re trying to position themselves in a positive light. Supposedly there was some research done that shows it polls well and so they’re making their political calculations. I’m not defending the strategy but I think that’s what they’re angling for.

    • #6
  7. Profile Photo Member
    @
    bereket kelile: I don’t think the problem is that the Republicans don’t understand how insurance works. They think that it’s playing well with the voters and they’re trying to position themselves in a positive light. Supposedly there was some research done that shows it polls well and so they’re making their political calculations. I’m not defending the strategy but I think that’s what they’re angling for. · Nov 30 at 12:07pm

    I think you’re right. And I despise them for pandering

    • #7
  8. Profile Photo Member
    @Sisyphus

    Thanks, Kenneth and Pilgrim, for your words here. And I welcome Eagle Eye Limbaugh to the watch. But I have a young, uninsurable teenager who has been suffering from “preexisting conditions” for going on five years. No easy diagnosis, issues dealt with as they arise. Tonight he is in the hospital so they can develop a pain regimen. Please understand the Medicaid deal that leftist doctors keep offering as “salvation” (two have “ordered” me to enroll the boy, they are no longer on the case).

    Medicaid and Medicare are a crazy quilt of the worst medical industry pathologies, price fixing, hidebound rule sets that assumes a very conventional medical situations and then spew Dickensian regulations that direct care and override the best medical practice, common sense, and even the fundamentals of humane treatment. This is where Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Cantor, and Ryan are driving the American people.

    (cont.) 

    • #8
  9. Profile Photo Member
    @Sisyphus

    According to these pillars of federal medical care, once I accept coverage for my son, it is illegal for me to override coverage decisions. No American doctor can prescribe care except the care approved by Washington, DC. This would make my son, with medical challenges far beyond the medical skills of the federal government, a medical ward of the federal government. The federal government is now head doctor. As a Medicaid patient, I would not be allowed to pay out of pocket for or otherwise seek unapproved, but potentially life-saving tests, pain treatments, therapies. Under threat of fine and imprisonment of any medical personnel assisting. My son would suffer, and even die with that most famous brain donor, the federal government, directing his care.

    (cont.) 

    • #9
  10. Profile Photo Member
    @Sisyphus

    When Cantor and Ryan glibly take unrealistic and anti-market positions, they join the corrupt left in corralling all of America into accepting the brain donor as the director of their medical care. They join the corrupt left in bidding my son to suffer and die. They make me and any like me their blood enemy. Anyone who seeks medical peonage for me, my family, and my countrymen, is our enemy. 

    Thank you all from me and my family for your help on this issue. 

    • #10
  11. Profile Photo Contributor
    @PeterRobinson

    David, you know what? You’re onto something really important here–and that in one way or another will remain a big story between now and Election Day in 2012: just how faithful to their Tea Party promises will the Republicans in Congress actually prove? Or, to put the matter the other way around, just how much slack will the Tea Party cut them as the leaders of the GOP begin making the compromises that are inseparable from practical politics?

    I hereby nominate Eagle Eye Limbaugh to watch this for the rest of us, screeching an alert whenever there’s an outrage, and extending the talons of his prose to do justice to the offenders.

    • #11
  12. Profile Photo Coolidge
    @Pilgrim
    Kenneth: Truth is, very few people in the US are unable to obtain coverage for pre-existing conditions. Witness the fact that only 8,000 people have signed up for that coverage as of November 1, while HHS estimated the number would be 370,000….

    Republicans, ignorant about how health insurance works and eager to appear compassionate, accepted the Democrats’ pulling of national heartstrings on this issue – and now we have the entire system grotesquely distorted in order to cover a comparative handful of people. · Nov 30 at 10:26am

    To underscore Kenneth’s point: In Florida the High Risk pool can cost as much as $850 per month, with $3000 deductable and significant copays. Not affordable for a lot of people, especially if their health status prevents them from full employment. However, if all of the 370,000 individuals that Kenneth cites as the HHS expected enrollment were fully paid the cost would be *only* $3.7 Billion. Obviously much less if means tested. The preexisting problem is a stalking-horse for a much greater reorganization of healthcare which is why a “comprehensive” bill was the only approach the Democrats would consider.

    • #12
  13. Profile Photo Inactive
    @LucyPevensie

    Sisyphus, thank you so much for your comments. I’ve been struggling for years to formulate ways of expressing what you just said so beautifully. The problem is that they have made such a mess that to explain it is much too complicated for sound bites.

    I will be praying for your son and for you.

    • #13
  14. Profile Photo Member
    @AaronMiller

    Thanks for the perspective, Sisyphus. I’ll pray for your family as well.

    I had previously considered Cantor and Ryan to represent a bit of respectability among the GOP establishment. Apparently, we really do need a clean sweep.

    • #14
  15. Profile Photo Inactive
    @flownover

    Cantor and Ryan are busily scraping off the fresh new thoughts . They need to be busy obfuscating until the lame duck session is over and then get to work when the troops show up in force. Maybe this is a head-fake.

    Gosh I hope so.

    I realize that few read the bill when it passed, but that shouldn’t be a mistake twice. We need a clear plan on the methodical repeal and dismantling of this albatross.

    • #15
  16. Profile Photo Coolidge
    @Spin

    There’s more to it than whether Republican’s understand how insurance works. It’s doubtful that anyone in the country understand the premise of a risk pool. Most people think that insurers establish waiting periods or other mechanisms as a way to line their own pockets. Recently my nephew, a young man with a family in his 20s asked me: “How can they get away with forcing me to buy insurance?” I explained the issue to him in 5 minutes or less, and he got it. But frankly, most Americans don’t get it, and it’s not because it’s overly complicated. It’s because Americans seem mostly interested in splashing about in the kiddy pool of policymaking. They wade in just far enough to complain about getting wet, but not far enough to learn to swim. Beohner and Co. need to explain this issue to the American people in a concise way. The Democrats certainly aren’t going to explain it. It’s in their best interests to keep the American public believing the “big insurance” is as evil as “big oil” and “big pharma” and “big gov”…I mean…scratch that last bit.

    • #16
  17. Profile Photo Member
    @BereketKelile

    Ramesh Ponnuru has a great article in the current National Review issue about why 2011 isn’t the same as 1995. I’m wondering if the fact that Obama was able to get a bill on healthcare whereas Clinton didn’t is going to be a difference that works against Obama; not as a gamechanger, mind you, but more of a liability than an asset. The article mentioned that Clinton was able to start afresh. So is that something Obama can’t do since he did “win” on the healthcare issue?

    • #17
  18. Profile Photo Member
    @Sisyphus

    Thanks guys. We have good friends, good family, good neighbors, and the boy in question is an awesome human being. We are on multiple local prayer lists, multiple denominations. But my intent here on Ricochet is to emphasize the decisions being made on behalf of our families, and how they play out when we are “given” health care.

    As for Cantor and Ryan, I hope they see the issues more clearly as the debate further unfolds. As Tea Party, I would rather persuade than replace office holders. (Actually, in the moment, I wouldn’t mind more direct educational techniques, but I guess that goes with the fatherhood thing.) I guarantee you they do not even begin to understand the issues they are raising. It was obvious during the public debate on the bill that the members had no clue what the bill said or what it would do to families, though the Republicans at least took the time to find a few of the objectionable bits.

    And, of course, Michelle Malkin and her merry band of readers are national treasures.

    • #18

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