Dissension in The Swamp

December 6, 2017

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President Trump promised to drain the swamp. But finding the plug in the boggy mire and pulling it out has proved difficult.

That said, the swamp is no longer functioning with its usual efficiency. Congress is having more difficulty getting bills passed. There’s dissension in the ranks and impasse is common. That’s mostly a good thing.

Although the following examples show how dissension is slowing swamp-like behaviors, they also show how the level of dissension is still insufficient to stop these behaviors or restore freedoms lost under Obama:

  • GOOD: On September 30, Congress let the $13.6 billion/yr Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) lapse. Most states will be out of CHIP funds by June 2018.
  • BAD: On November 3, the House voted 242-174 to continue CHIP funding at a higherlevel! Both Senate and House CHIP bills authorize $21 billion to $25 billion annually through 2022.
  • GOOD: A repeal of the ACA’s individual mandate (largest tax ever) was added to the Senate Tax Reform bill to fund other tax breaks. The repeal could destabilize the Obamacare exchanges. See our statement on the tax bill here.
     
  • BAD: Republicans will likely agree to “stabilize” Obamacare exchanges by giving health plans $4.5 billion in taxpayer-funded bailouts. These “reinsurance funds” pay for high-cost patients, making taxpayers the patient’s “insurer.”
     
  • BAD: The Affordable Care Act is still law. Every word of all 2,700 pages.

Congress also hasn’t done anything to stop the drain on taxpayer pocketbooks. It plans to raise the debt ceiling beyond $20 trillion by December 8 (or no later than January) to finance the federal government.

As US News and World Report reminds us, $20 billion is only the “official debt.” It doesn’t count other unfunded liabilities like Social Security and Medicare, which means the total debt is between $100 and $250 trillion. Meanwhile, the Democrats want to repeal the ceiling altogether and let the debt climb into oblivion without a vote required to raise it. In other words, no backstop, no accountability.

Draining the swamp is not easy, but draining your pocketbook is.  

Say Four Things to Congress: Repeal the individual mandate; Repeal the entire Affordable Care Act (yes, keep the pressure on); Refuse to stabilize the Obamacare exchanges; and Refuse to bail out health plans with your tax dollars. Capitol Switchboard: #202-224-3121

Then encourage the Trump administration to do everything possible to limit the damage—and open the drain.

Working to free patients and pocketbooks,

 
Twila Brase, RN, PHN
President and Co-founder