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Trump Really Does Have a Plan That’s Better Than Obamacare

“If the Supreme Court rules that Obamacare is out,” President Donald Trump said last week, “we’ll have a plan that is far better than Obamacare.”

Democrats couldn’t believe their luck. They still were reeling from special counsel Robert Mueller’s finding that the Trump campaign neither conspired nor coordinated with Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 elections.

Now the president was changing the subject from collusion (a suddenly awkward topic for Democrats) to health care (which helped them capture dozens of House seats last November).

Besides, the president really doesn’t have a plan that is far better than Obamacare, or any plan at all. Right?

Wrong.

A look at his fiscal year 2020 budget shows that the president has a plan to reduce costs and increase health care choices. His plan would achieve this by redirecting federal premium subsidies and Medicaid expansion money into grants to states. States would be required to use the money to establish consumer-centered programs that make health insurance affordable regardless of income or medical condition.

The president’s proposal is buttressed by a growing body of evidence that relaxing federal regulations and freeing the states to innovate makes health care more affordable for families and small businesses.

Ed Haislmaier and I last year published an analysis of waivers that have so far enabled seven states to significantly reduce individual health insurance premiums. These states fund “invisible high risk pools” and reinsurance arrangements largely by repurposing federal money that would otherwise have been spent on Obamacare premium subsidies, directing them instead to those in greatest medical need.

By financing care for those with the biggest medical bills, these states have substantially reduced premiums for individual policies. Before Maryland obtained its waiver, insurers in the state filed requests for 2019 premium hikes averaging 30 percent. After the federal government approved the waiver, final 2019 premiums averaged 13 percent lower than in 2018—a 43 percent swing.

Best of all, Maryland and the other waiver states have achieved these results without increasing federal spending or creating a new federally funded reinsurance program, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has proposed to do.

State innovation also extends to Medicaid. Some states have sought waivers permitting them to establish work requirements designed to help Medicaid recipients escape poverty.

Arkansas, for example, last June began requiring nondisabled, childless, working-age adults to engage in 80 hours of work activity per month. The program defined “work activity” broadly to include seeking a job, training for work, studying for a GED, engaging in community service, and learning English.

More than 18,000 people—all nondisabled and aged 30-49—were dropped from the rolls between September and December for failing to meet these requirements. The overwhelming majority did not report any work-related activity. All became eligible to re-enroll in Medicaid on Jan. 1. Fewer than 2,000 have done so, suggesting that most either don’t value the benefit or now earn enough to render them ineligible for Medicaid.

Nonetheless, last week a federal judge ordered Arkansas to drop its Medicaid work requirement, a requirement that would likely improve lifetime earnings of Medicaid recipients.

Administration efforts to relax federal rules to benefit employees of small businesses also were nullified last week by a federal judge.

Most uninsured workers are employed by small firms, many of which can’t afford Obamacare coverage for their employees. The Labor Department rule allowed small firms to band together, including across state lines, giving them purchasing power comparable to that of big businesses.

study of association health plans that formed after the new rule took effect last September found that they offered comprehensive coverage at premium savings averaging 23%. The court ruling stopped that progress in its tracks.

Waivers and regulations that benefit consumers are susceptible to the whim of judges and bureaucrats, which is why Congress should act on the president’s proposal.

It closely parallels the Health Care Choices Proposal, the product of ongoing work by national and state think tanks, grassroots organizations, policy analysts, and others in the conservative community. A study by the Center for Health and the Economy, commissioned by The Heritage Foundation, found that the proposal would reduce premiums for individual health insurance by up to 32 percent and cover virtually the same number of people as under Obamacare.

It also would give consumers more freedom to choose the coverage they think best for themselves and their families. Unlike current law, states could include direct primary care; health-sharing ministries; short-term, limited-duration plans; and other arrangements among the options available through their programs.

Those expanded choices would extend to low-income people. The proposal would require states to let those receiving assistance through the block grants, Medicaid, and other public assistance programs apply the value of their subsidy to the plan of their choice, instead of being herded into government-contracted health maintenance organizations.

Outside groups that helped develop the proposal, which is similar to the president’s, are looking to refine it by incorporating other Trump administration ideas like expansion of health savings accounts, health reimbursement arrangements, and association health plans. They’re also reviewing various administration ideas to reduce health care costs through choice and competition.

The president really does have “a plan that is far better than Obamacare.” Congress should get on board.

COMMENTARY BY

Doug Badger is a former White House and Senate policy adviser and is currently a senior fellow at the Galen Institute and a visiting fellow at The Heritage Foundation. Twitter: .

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Dear Readers:

Just two short years after the end of the Obama administration’s disastrous policies, America is once again thriving due to conservative solutions that have produced a historic surge in economic growth.

The Trump administration has embraced over 60 percent of The Heritage Foundation’s policy recommendations since his inauguration. But with the House now firmly within the grips of the progressive left, the victories may come to a screeching halt.

Why? Because they are determined more than ever to give the government more control over your lives. Restoring your liberty and embracing freedom is the best thing for you and the country.

President Donald Trump needs all of the allies he can find to push through the stone wall he now faces within this divided government. And the best way you can partner with him is by becoming a member of his greatest ally in Washington: The Heritage Foundation.

Will you activate your membership with a tax-deductible gift today?

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission.

The Irrational Hatred of Congressional Democrats Toward the POTUS and His Supporters [Video]

So now we still have leftist statists Gerrard Nadler, Chair of House Judiciary Committee and Adam Schiff Chair of House Intelligence Committee stating they will continue pursuing unnecessary investigations of every facet of President Trump’s life before he became President as well as the 2 years he has been President despite the Mueller Report. Both have stated their is plenty of “circumstantial” evidence that Trump colluded with the Russians and/or obstructed justice. What a total lie which proves the Democrats are consumed with HATE and more interested in trying to find something to impeach President Trump more than governing in the best interest of the United States. Not to mention the leftist New York Attorney General who is constantly and unfairly trying to dig up dirt on President Trump, his family and associates.

House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler epitomizes the irrational HATRED he, his leftist allies in Congress and the drive-by media have towards President Trump. Without any evidence produced by the Mueller investigation, Nadler stated “we are going to initiate investigations into abuses of power, corruption and obstruction of justice.” He will subpoena 60 former/current Trump officials and others including those with whom Trump had business dealings long before becoming President.

Adam Schiff, Chair of House Intelligence Committee is just as bad as Nadler planning more hearings on non-existent “Russian Collusion.” The 2 yr Mueller investigation costing taxpayers r $50M+ has produced no evidence. The whole investigation was based on false FISA warrants issued with bogus “dossier” information paid for by Hillary Clinton.

Trump supporters know this vitriol stems from his legitimate election which Nadler, Shiff and their ilk can’t accept.

Nadler and Schiff, like Mueller, are conducting “Witch Hunts” to create crimes that don’t exist. Nadler’s assertion that “our job is to protect the rule of law” demonstrates the height of hypocrisy and double standards after all the criminal activity conducted by Obama and his administration including “Fast & Furious”; Benghazi; IRS scandal; failure to follow Obamacare laws; Iran deal; whitewashed Clinton investigation, etc.

No POTUS before Trump has ever been falsely criticized 24X7 for his first two years much less maintained a 50% approval rating and delivered on every campaign promise. The left just don’t get it. They are lying themselves into another loss in 2020.

Remember these numbers.

  • 19 – the number of Clinton lawyers hired by Mueller to conduct this investigation based on fake, unlawful FISA warrants and made up dossier funded by Hillary Clinton
  • 40 – the number of FBI agents involved in the Mueller investigation
  • 2800 – the number of subpoenas issued by the Mueller investigation
  • 500 search warrants
  • 230 orders for communications records
  • 50 orders authorizing use of pen registers
  • 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence
  • 500 witnesses
  • 25 – million dollars – (as of September 30, 2018) the cost to the American taxpayer for nothing

The witch hunt continues under Schiff and Nadler because they have nothing else they care about. Americans and America be damned.

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Graham Calls for New Special Counsel to Probe Justice Department

What the Mueller Report Revealed, and What’s Coming Next

Mueller Report Is a Damning Indictment of the Media

RELATED VIDEO: The Trump campaign released a video montage of Democrats’ reckless, false charges titled “Collusion Hoax!”

Declassification Countdown – Trump Goes To War With The Deep State

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood. We have all been waiting so long for the hammer of justice to come down upon the deep state and its operatives. Having written about this extensively over the past 2 years first in my book Trump and the Resurrection of America, but also in the many articles I’ve written on my website, I draft this short post with much anticipation of the events on the now very short term horizon, like sixteen more days to be more specific.

Declassification Countdown – Trump Goes To War With The Deep State

The declassification will come in stages. We cannot expect justice to be served just yet. This comes a bit later. We are at steps 6, 7 & 8 on the scale of discovery and action. It is the media that will be hit the hardest with the soon to be steps of declassification. Why? Because the truth will be revealed and the media will have no choice but to cover it. What will they say? How will they handle this? After all, we are talking about evidence. Facts. Truth. Through FISA and other sources.

As you think this trough, this further exposes and implicates the MSM fake news deep state mouth pieces and slowly but surly the public and global support for Trump shifts (even if not expressed). The MSM will be fuhrer exposed not to mention all those implicated in the declassification. This then leads to the trials, hearings, grand juries and indictments which then leads to justice. And let us not forget, the military tribunals are already under way with at least two tribunals already completed where justice has been served.

And so, sixteen days to go. Get the popcorn and enjoy the paradigm shift of power and control as President Trump and team goes on the offense. This battle of sorts will rage on for some years to come as Trump restores the power to the people. Stay the course and trust the plan.

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Relax Trump Has The Goods

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of WhiteHouse.gov.

Beware of Politicians who Covet Your Stuff!

Image may contain: 1 person, suit and text
Image from Facebook.

On Facebook there is a meme (right) based upon what President Donald J. Trump said at his “Choose Greatness” 2019 State of the Union. President Trump said:

America was founded on liberty and independence, and not government coercion, domination, and control. We are born free and we will stay free. 

Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country. 

Coveting

When I saw this meme I posted this:

Exodus 20:2-17 NKJV – “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

A Facebook friend Randy Rioux asked, “What is that for?”

I responded to Randy with, “Communism and Socialism is based upon the core belief of coveting other peoples things. It is a violation of the Tenth Commandment. At some point Communists and Socialists run out of other peoples things.” Randy replied, “Thanks for clarifying.” I believe Randy got it.

Merriam Webster defines coveting as, “to desire (what belongs to another) inordinately or culpably.”

Synonyms for covet include: ache (for)cravedesideratedesiredie (for)hanker (for or after)hunger (for)itch (for)jones (for) [slang], long (for)lust (for or after)pant (after)pine (for)repine (for)salivate (for)sigh (for)thirst (for)wantwish (for)yearn (for)yen (for).

The Individual vs. The Collective

Ayn Rand’s 1946 monograph “Textbook of Americanism” explains in the simplest terms possible what made America unique and great.

Rand opens with an explanation of two starkly contrasting ideas.

What Is the Basic Issue in the World Today?

The basic issue in the world today is between two principles: Individualism and Collectivism. Individualism holds that man has inalienable rights which cannot be taken away from him by any other man, nor by any number, group or collective of other men. Therefore, each man exists by his own right and for his own sake, not for the sake of the group.

Collectivism holds that man has no rights; that his work, his body and his personality belong to the group; that the group can do with him as it pleases, in any manner it pleases, for the sake of whatever it decides to be its own welfare. Therefore, each man exists only by the permission of the group and for the sake of the group.

These two principles are the roots of two opposite social systems. The basic issue of the world today is between these two systems.

President Trump clearly threw the gauntlet down against the “collective” when he said, “America was founded on liberty and independence, and not government coercion, domination, and control. We are born free and we will stay free.” 

2020 Presidential Primary

This is what every America should be alert for as we enter the 2020 Presidential primaries. There will be dozens of debates as both political parties field candidates at the national, state and local levels.

The defining issue in 2020 will be coveting.

Coveting takes on many forms. Here are some core coveting issues to watch out for:

  1. Coveting other peoples freedom of speech. There are those politicians who hunger for the power to limit free speech. Many social media giants have become gate keepers and salivate over denying some freedom of expression.
  2. Coveting other peoples ability to defend themselves. This ongoing battle will heat up as politicians use tragedies to yearn for the day that all Americans are disarmed and unable to defend themselves from thieves, criminals and the government.
  3. Coveting other peoples religious beliefs. Some politicians will use hatred of Jews to promote their political agenda.
  4. Coveting other peoples wealth. Taxes is the tool of politicians at every level to take what is not theirs and redistribute it as they wish.
  5. Coveting other peoples individualism. The great battle since the beginning of mankind is the struggle between the individual and the collective (government).
  6. Coveting other peoples children. This is perhaps the most dangerous form of coveting. This form of coveting takes on many forms: the brainwashing of children to turn on their parents, the sexual assaults on children to feed a craving (pedophilia and pederasty) and the using of children for personal gain (human trafficking and prostitution).
  7. Coveting another persons life. The law recently passed in New York and the law proposed in Virginia are the definition of infanticide.

All of these forms of coveting, and many more, will be on full display during the 2020 Presidential primaries.

Coveting leads to worshiping false images (the earth), disrespecting your parents, adultery, stealing, lying (bearing false witness) and even murder.

Watch for them. Beware of them. Vote to end coveting.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is by Pixabay.

Exit Signs: Poll Warns Dems to Back off Social Issues

In the last 48 hours, there’s been a lot of speculation about what motivated voters to give back control of the House to Democrats. But based on exit polling, we can tell you one thing: it isn’t their radical social policy. Some Americans may be frustrated by GOP leaders or at odds with Donald Trump, but their positions on life, religious liberty, and sexuality are still light years more conservative than the party they just handed half of Congress to.

In a new FRC-commissioned McLaughlin & Associates survey, 1,000 Americans were asked their thoughts on a wide variety of issues — including some that Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has already promised the House will address. The answers we got (which, interestingly, included more people who voted for Democrats on Tuesday than Republicans) might surprise you. When heartland Democrats tried to explain that Hillary Clinton lost because it seemed like she cared “more about bathrooms than jobs,” the party should have listened. Today, those same people are sending the same message – and it’ll be interesting to see if the extremists under Pelosi’s control pay attention.

When they were asked if they approved or disapproved of “government forcing schools, businesses, and nonprofit organizations opening showers, changing facilities, locker rooms, and bathrooms designated for women and girls to biological males and vice versa,” the answer couldn’t be clearer. Sixty percent said they opposed the bathroom policies of Barack Obama and other liberals, compared to just 24 percent who approved. That’s a 36-point gap on an issue that Pelosi has already promised to force on Americans in the new Congress. The Equality Act, the most radical piece of LGBT legislation ever introduced, is about to become a top 10 priority of the Democratic House.

As recently as this year, the Democrats’ own base pleaded with them to stop pushing their transgender agenda and get back to the work of real governing. “You’re killing us” was the headline. “The Democratic brand,” Illinois State Rep. Jerry Costello told Politico, “is hugely damaged, and it’s going to take a while to bring it back. Democrats in southern Illinois have been more identified by [transgender] bathrooms than by putting people back to work.” That seems destined to continue, based on the agenda of House Democrats.

Along those same lines, the majority of people don’t want the federal government to redefine sex to include “gender identity.” That’s especially significant now, as President Trump considers rolling back Obama’s overreach on that very issue. Asked if they wanted to “allow individuals who identify as transgender to get a special legal status related to employment law, federally-funded health care benefits, and the use of bathrooms and showers of the opposite sex,” 54 percent said no. Only 27 percent agree with radical positions of Pelosi and Obama.

On abortion, where Democrats have boxed themselves into one of the most militant positions of all — even going so far as to demand taxpayer-funded abortions in their platform — 56 percent don’t agree. As other polls have shown, the majority of Americans appreciate the Hyde Amendment that Democrats want to abolish – the 41-year-old wall between taxpayers and elective abortion. That’s double the 28 percent in Pelosi’s camp.

But perhaps the most powerful support came on an issue where President Trump stands tallest: religious liberty. A whopping 70 percent of respondents agreed that the government “should leave people free to follow their beliefs about marriage between one man and one woman” — not just in how they live their lives but in how they run their businesses. They’ve seen people like Jack Phillips, Aaron and Melissa Klein, and Barronelle Stuzman personally destroyed for daring to hold a view on marriage that Barack Obama did five years ago. (And, as our poll shows, a plurality still do!) That’s an astounding majority, especially when you see the minuscule number (18 percent) who think like Obama and Pelosi do – that government should be used as a club to beat people into submission on LGBT issues.

The bottom line of the survey is this: if Democrats think they have a mandate to push their fanatical social agenda, they’re wrong. And trust me. In two years, Americans will remind them — like they did in 2010 and 2016 — if they try.


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


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Why Capitalism is a fundamental Right of Man

Thomas Paine wrote a book titled Rights of Man. The Rights of Man posits that popular political revolution is permissible when a government does not safeguard the natural rights of its people. The Rights of Man begins thusly:

To

GEORGE WASHINGTON

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

SIR,

I PRESENT you a small Treatise in defense of those Principles of Freedom which your exemplary Virtue hath so eminently contributed to establish.–That the Rights of Man may become as universal as your Benevolence can wish, and that you may enjoy the Happiness of seeing the New World regenerated the Old, is the Prayer of

SIR,

Your much obliged, and Obedient humble Servant,

THOMAS PAINE

Paine was addressing the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen written in France after their revolution. The basic principle of the Declaration was that all “men are born and remain free and equal in rights” (Article 1), which were specified as the rights of liberty, private property, the inviolability of the person, and resistance to oppression (Article 2).

Capitalism is defined as:

A social system based on the principle of individual rights. Politically, it is the system of laissez-faire (freedom). Legally it is a system of objective laws (rule of law as opposed to rule of man). Economically, when such freedom is applied to the sphere of production its result is the free-market.

Therefore capitalism is a basic right of man or in more modern terminology a human right.

To take away one’s property is to take away their ability to survive. Take away a farmer’s land and you take away a farmer’s ability to reap what he has sown. The farmer can no longer feed his family nor sell what he has reaped to feed others. If the state (government) controls the dirt (land) then it controls the people.

This is what the American Revolution was all about. Unchaining the people from serfdom to the King of England. 

As Friedrich A. Hayek, in his book The Road to Serfdom wrote:

It is true that the virtues which are less esteemed and practiced now–independence, self-reliance, and the willingness to bear risks, the readiness to back one’s own conviction against a majority, and the willingness to voluntary cooperation with one’s neighbors–are essentially those on which the of an individualist society rests.

Collectivism has nothing to put in their place, and in so far as it already has destroyed then it has left a void filled by nothing but the demand for obedience and the compulsion of the individual to what is collectively decided to be good.

Capitalism is the opposite of obedience and compulsion.

Capitalism can exist even in the most repressive societies, such as in Communist Cuba. In my column My Visit to Cuba — An American in Havana I wrote:

What I observed is that the Cuban people have great potential if they are unleashed and allowed to earn what they are truly worth. Socialismo (socialism) is slowly but surely killing their lives and doing them great harm. I noticed on the ride West of Havana through the rural areas of Cuba hundreds of people waiting along the road trying to get a ride. Some were nurses in their white uniforms thumbing rides to the hospital where they are needed. I saw horse drawn carriages along the major highway carrying people because the public transportation system cannot keep up with the demand. The horses and cattle we saw were emaciated. The roads were in poor shape including the national highway system.

As one Cuban man put it, “the people have no love for their work.” They have no love for their work because Cuba needs a change in direction.

A love for work comes from the rewards of one’s efforts. Take that away and you remove the soul of the individual. You remove his purpose in life. You remove the one of the fundamental rights of man.

There are those who believe the polar opposite. There are those who believe that central control trumps individual freedom. There are those who are being taught that capitalism is evil, until the time that they must earn enough to feed themselves.

There was a time in America when there were only two classes of citizens, the working class and the non-working class. The working class took care of the non-working class. Economic classification is identity politics (a.k.a. Cultural Marxism) writ large. It is designed to put the poor (those earning below a certain wage determined by government) against the rich (those earning above a certain wage determined by the government).

During his inaugural address President Trump stated:

Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.

For too long, a small group in our nation’s Capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost.

[ … ]

The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country.

[ … ]

That all changes – starting right here, and right now, because this moment is your moment: it belongs to you.

President Trump is an American. He believes in the rights of man. He is a capitalist. He is everything that Washington, D.C. hates.

RELATED ARTICLE: The Origins of the ‘Cult of Political Correctness’ [a.k.a. Cultural Marxism]

Democrats in La La Land, while Republicans are laughing their Ossoffs

Shortly after the Karen Handel win in Georgia’s 6th District race for the U.S. Congress the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) sent out the following in an email to their supporters:

[W]e know yesterday didn’t go as we hoped.

Make no mistake, we’re disappointed, and we know you are too.

But this race should have never been this close. Republicans had to pour tens of millions into a race that should’ve easily been theirs.

That gives us so much hope as we look toward 2018.

Let’s look at what each candidate raised and spent in the Georgia 6th District race:

The fact is that it was the Democrats who “poured tens of millions” into this race. In fact Democrats poured $32 million into the 4 special congressional elections to date and lost all of them.

Most of Ossoff’s money came from outside of the 6th District. Ossoff spent 7 times what Handel spent and lost by 6 percentage points. Democrats are living in La La Land if they believe this gives them “hope” as they look forward to 2018.

But wait, not so! The DCCC believes the Congress is in play in 2018!

The DCCC email contains a link to a video made by DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján who declares that the Democrats have a “real shot” at taking back the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018:

In the Daily Wire column 4 Dumbest Democratic Reactions To Their Stunning Defeat In The Georgia 6th Ben Shapiro lists the following reactions to Ossoff’s loss:

  1. Republicans Are Just Evil.
  2. Democrats Must Move To The Left.
  3. We Need A Hug.
  4. Civility Will Never Work!

To date Democrats have lost 4 special elections. The DCCC and Luján made the Georgia District 6 race a referendum on President Trump and his make America great again (MAGA) agenda. The DCCC was right, it was a referendum on President Trump’s agenda. That’s why Handel won handily. The DCCC has lost every special election, against a President and Republican Party that has relentlessly been demonized in the media, by some Republicans and most all Democrats.

So the Democrat base wants the DCCC to do more of the same, expecting different results?

This reminds us of how the media and Democrats treated candidate Trump during the 2016 presidential election. They lost in November 2016. They continue to lose.

The DCCC message has not changed. Luján keeps singing the same tune. The Democrats will keep losing if they go down the path of hating Republicans, moving even further to the left, hugging one another and abandoning civility and resisting anything and everything proposed by Republicans.

Democrats are still in La La Land, while Republicans are laughing their Ossoffs.

When your opponent is committing suicide, don’t interfere.

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The Left Spent at Least $32 Million on 4 Special Elections. And They Still Lost All of Them.

VIDEO: CBS Anchor Pelley Calls GOP Congressional Shooting ‘Self-Inflicted’

In Georgia’s 6th, Democrats couldn’t capitalize on an unusually well-educated electorate

Why Democrats keep losing

VIDEO: We Don’t Need Another Obamacare | Senator Rand Paul on Healthcare Plan

Senator Rand Paul talks about the new Obamacare repeal and replacement bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives.

Senator Paul believes it is better than what it was before but it is still a far cry from being a free market bill and will most likely be Obamacare cut in half.

The Every Day American in an email notes:

TODAY’S BIG THING: THE AMERICAN HEALTH CARE ACT

WHAT’S THE BIG PICTURE?

The American Health Care Act (AHCA) is the Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.

HAVEN’T I HEARD THIS BEFORE?

Yes. About six weeks ago, Republicans came close to voting on the AHCA. Ultimately, the bill was pulled. So, moderate and conservative Republicans spent time working together to improve the legislation.

WHAT ARE THE DETAILS?

The updated AHCA is the same bill as before, but with three important changes.

  1. Palmer/Schweikert Amendment: creates a new federal risk-sharing program, a high-risk pool that will lower costs for people with pre-existing conditions, and lower costs for everyone else.

  2. The MacArthur Amendment: allows states to apply for waivers to three of Obamacare’s costliest mandates: essential health benefits; age rating; and community rating, but only if the state has a risk-sharing program to help individuals with pre-existing conditions afford coverage.This new flexibility will allow states to design insurance frameworks that are right for their unique populations, providing superior care and lowering costs for patients.

  3. The Upton-Long Amendment: dedicates $8 billion solely to reducing premiums and other out-of-pocket costs for patients in the individual market with pre-existing conditions who do not maintain continuous coverage and who live in states that receive a waiver to redesign their insurance market.

SO… IS IT LAW?

Not quite. Next it goes to the Senate and then to the White House, where it is signed into law. Don’t worry. We’ll keep you updated every step of the way.

WAIT, IS CONGRESS EXEMPT?

No. Yesterday, Congress also voted on the McSally Bill, which ensures that Members of Congress and their staff live by the same health care rules as everyone else.

WHAT’S NEXT?

Congress has several big projects coming up this year and next, including balancing the budget, funding the military, fixing America’s infrastructure, and overhauling the tax code.

Stay tuned. It’s sure to be an exciting year.

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Why Is Trump Waging War on the Freedom Caucus? by Jeffrey A. Tucker

Why is Trump attacking the House Freedom Caucus? He has tweeted that “we must fight them.”

My first thought: this is inevitable. Destiny is unfolding before our eyes!

There is the obvious fact that the Freedom Caucus was the reason the GOP’s so-called replacement for Obamacare went down to defeat. They fought it for a solid reason: it would not have reduced premiums or deductibles, and it would not have increased access to a greater degree of choice in the health-insurance market.

These people knew this. How? Because there was not one word of that bill that enabled the health care industry to become more competitive. Competition is the standard by which reform must be judged. The core problem of Obamacare (among many) was that it froze the market in an artificial form and insulated it from competitive forces.At minimum, any reform must unfreeze the market. The proposed reform did not do that.

Bad Reform

That means the reform would not have been good for the American people. It would not have been good for the Republican Party. And then the chance for real reform – long promised by many people in the party – would have been gone.

Trump latched on to the proposal without understanding it. Or, other theories: he doesn’t care, he actually does favor universal coverage even if it is terrible, or he just wanted some pyrrhic victory even if it did nothing to improve the access.

The Freedom Caucus killed it. And I’m trying to think back in political history here, is there another time since World War Two that a pro-freedom faction of the Republican Party killed a bill pushed by the majority that pertained to such a large sector and dealt with such a hugely important program?

I can’t think of one.

What this signifies is extremely important. We might be seeing the emergence of a classically liberal faction within the GOP, one that is self consciously driven by an agenda that is centered on a clear goal: getting us closer to an ideal of a free society. The Caucus isn’t fully formed yet in an ideological sense, but its agenda is becoming less blurry by the day. (And please don’t call them the “hard right wing.”)The old GOP coalition included nationalists, militarists, free enterprisers, and social conservatives. The Trump takeover has strained it to the breaking point. Now the genuine believers in freedom are gaining a better understanding of themselves and what they must do.

For the first times in our lives! Even in our parents’ and grandparents’ lives!

The Larger Picture

Trump is obviously not a student of history or political philosophy, but he does embody a strain of thinking with a history that traces back in time. I discussed this in some detail here, here, and here, among many other places. The tradition of thought he inhabits stands in radical opposition to the liberal tradition. It always has. We just remain rather ignorant of this fact because the fascist tradition of thought has been dormant for many decades, and so is strangely unfamiliar to this generation of political observers.

So let us be clear: this manner of thinking that celebrates the nation-state, believes in great collectives on the move, panics about the demographic genocide of a race, rails against the “other” invading our shores, puts all hope in a powerful executive, and otherwise believes not in freedom but rather in compliance, loyalty, and hero worship – this manner of thinking has always and everywhere included liberals (or libertarians) as part of the enemy to be destroyed.

And why is this? Liberalism to them represents “rootless cosmopolitanism,” in the old Nazi phrase. They are willing to do business with anyone, move anywhere, and imagine that the good life of peace and prosperity is more than enough to aspire to in order to achieve the best of all possible worlds. They don’t believe that war is ennobling and heroic, but rather bloody and destructive. They are in awe of the creation of wealth out of simple exchanges and small innovations. They are champions of the old bourgeois spirit.To the liberal mind, the goal of life is to live well in peace and experience social and financial gain, with ever more alleviation of life’s pains and sufferings. Here is magic. Here is beauty. Here is true heroism.

The alt-right mind will have none of this. They want the clash, the war, the struggle against the enemy, big theaters of epic battles that pit great collectives against each other. If you want a hilarious caricature of this life outlook, no one does it better than Roderick Spode.

Natural Enemies

This is why these two groups can never get along politically. They desire different things. It has always and everywhere been true that when the strongmen of the right-Hegelian mindset gain control, they target the liberals for destruction. Liberals become the enemy that must be crushed.

And so it is that a mere few months into the presidency of this odd figure that the Freedom Caucus has emerged as a leading opposition. They will back him where they can but will otherwise adhere to the great principle of freedom. When their interests diverge, the Freedom Caucus will go the other way. It is not loyalty but freedom that drives them. It is not party but principle that makes them do what they do.To any aspiring despot, such views are intolerable, as bad as the reliable left-wing opposition.

Listen, I’m all for working with anyone to achieve freedom. When Trump is right (as he is on environmental regulation, capital gains taxes, and some other issues), he deserves to be backed. When he is wrong, he deserves to be opposed. This is not about partisanship. It is about obtaining freer lives.

But let us not languish in naïvete. The mindset of the right-wing Hegelian is not at all the same as a descendant of the legacy of Adam Smith. They know it. We need to know it too.

Jeffrey A. Tucker

Jeffrey A. Tucker

Jeffrey Tucker is Director of Content for the Foundation for Economic Education. He is also Chief Liberty Officer and founder of Liberty.me, Distinguished Honorary Member of Mises Brazil, research fellow at the Acton Institute, policy adviser of the Heartland Institute, founder of the CryptoCurrency Conference, member of the editorial board of the Molinari Review, an advisor to the blockchain application builder Factom, and author of five books. He has written 150 introductions to books and many thousands of articles appearing in the scholarly and popular press.

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Obama’s Legacy: The rise of the ‘Alt-Left’

Merriam-Webster defines an insurgency as “a usually violent attempt to take control of a government : a rebellion or uprising.”

Four blacks Jordan Hill, 18; Tesfaye Cooper, 18; Brittany Covington, 18; and Tanishia Covington, 24, tortured a handicapped white boy. Brittany Covington posted the video below on her Facebook page [WARNING DISTURBING IMAGES]:

Tyler Durden from Zero Hedge reports, “Jordan Hill, 18, of Carpentersville; Tesfaye Cooper, 18, of Chicago; Brittany Covington, 18, of Chicago; and Tanishia Covington, 24, of Chicago; were each charged with aggravated kidnapping, hate crime, aggravated unlawful restraint, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and residential burglary, according to the Cook County state’s attorney. Hill was also charged with robbery and possession of a stolen motor vehicle.”

Why is this case of torture and hate of blacks against whites so important? Because it is representative of the Alt-Left in America.

President Obama since his election has made the Democratic Party a coalition of tribes. Staffer for former House Speaker Dennis Hastert John Feehery in a June, 2009 CNN op-ed column “Why Democrats give GOP hope” stated that “Democrats are internally divided to a greater degree than Republicans.” Feehery wrote,

The Democratic Party can be seen as a coalition of tribes, much more so than Republican voters, who tend to be much more homogeneous racially and philosophically… The Democratic Party is dominated by six different — if overlapping — groups of voters.

The groups that Feehery listed in 2009 were: The Democratic leadership, Blue Dog Democrats, African-Americans, Hispanics, Union voters and Urban liberals.

Since 2009 these tribes have changed and become more prone to use violence to take control of local, state and the federal government. The Alt-Left is a rebellion against the American people. Today the Alt-Left coalition consists of new tribes. In a column The neo-Democrat Party: Devout followers of Marx, Mao and Mohammed I noted:

I believe what President Obama has truly done is fundamentally transformed the Democratic Party of JFK to the Democrat Party of BHO. I use the word Democrat because the Party of Obama is not Democratic, as envisioned by Thomas Jefferson. The membership of the neo-Democrat Party are made up primarily of the devout followers of Marx, Mao and Mohammed.

Those who oppose Obama and the neo-Democrat Party, including JFK Democrats, are subject to ridicule, rejection and bullying.

Extremism in the name of the collective is the over riding strategy of the neo-Democrat. Radicalism is the tactic. The more extreme the ideal, the more it is embraced. This leads to what some have labeled a form of political insanity. I call it political suicide. History teaches us that tyrants and tyranny ultimately lose the support of the masses. Why? Because the policies implemented harm the masses.

Ayn Rand wrote:

“The uncontested absurdities of today are the accepted slogans of tomorrow. They come to be accepted by degrees, by dint of constant pressure on one side and constant retreat on the other – until one day when they are suddenly declared to be the country’s official ideology.”

Here are some of the absurdities that have become the official ideology of the Alt-Left (i.e. Democratic Party):

  • The greatest national security threat is climate change (i.e. formerly global warming).
  • White Christian men are a greater threat than the Islamic State, Iran and the Black Lives Matter movement.
  • Spending on social programs is more important than spending on national security.
  • Engagement and dialogue with America’s enemies (i.e. Iran) is preferred to any form of confrontation.
  • Nationalized health care (the Affordable Care Act) is affordable.
  • Deficit spending is good for the economy and will create jobs.
  • Putting more Americans on the public dole is good for creating more government jobs.
  • Anyone who disagrees with the neo-Democrat Party policies is racist, homophobic, Islamophobic and a national security threat.
  • People don’t kill people, guns kill people (e.g. need to outlaw guns).
  • Public schools must teach children what to think, not how to think (i.e. Common Core).
  • Aborting the unborn and selling their body parts is noble.
  • Bigger government, more regulations and centralized powers and greater control over the behaviors of citizens is good.
  • Coal, oil and natural gas are evil.
  • Saving the planet is more important than saving the human race.
  • A weak America is good for world peace.
  • The Judeo/Christian God is dead.

The Democratic Party of JFK has morphed into the neo-Democrat Party of the Alt-Left by dint of constant pressure from the radicals and the constant retreat of the Jeffersonian Democrats.

Today the Democrat Party has fundamentally transformed into the party of Marx, Mao and Mohammed.

It is a struggle between the civilized man and the uncivilized man (savage).

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Trump Won, But We’re Not Done!

Between eating Turkey, passing out, and eating more turkey, plus pumpkin cheesecake (a dollop of whipped cream on top), I caught the news on TV. It seemed the lead story of every broadcast was Trump is an uncouth two-faced SOB. The incredulous mainstream media is going to bombard us for the next four years, spinning every news story to further the Left’s despicable lie that stupid racist whites elected America’s version of Hitler.

The Left has already begun doubling down on it’s efforts to demonize conservatism and block every attempt to reverse Obama’s illegal far-left radical transformation of our once great nation.

Heads up folks. Step one in the Left’s War Room playbook is to discourage us; convince us that Trump is a fraud who will betray his voters. This is why we are seeing so many Leftist talking heads, the NY Times and other democrat operatives disguised as media claiming Trump is backing away from his campaign promises. Don’t fall for it folks.

These people on the Left are relentless and evil. Yes, I said evil. Most of what they stand for and desire to do is consistently anti-God, anti-America and anti-traditional family and values. They always send the message that God’s original plan and purposes are stupid. They have a much better more sophisticated idea for the way things ought to be. But, I digress.

trump-hillary-twiceEven as I speak, Hillary’s camp is still insidiously scheming to steal the presidential election from We the People in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

In an unprecedented sleazy attack, Hillary’s thugs sent threatening letters to electors to bully them into breaking tradition and the law by voting against the will of voters in their states. Hillary’s thugs are trying to strong-arm electors to vote for Hillary on December 19th rather than Trump, the peoples’ choice. 

The Clintons are like Jason and Michael Myers in those Friday the 13th and Halloween movies. No matter what was done to kill Jason and Michael; hit them with a train or cutting them up into little pieces, somehow they came back to life. Thus, I am holding my breath until after December 19th. Then, I can rest assured that Hillary is truly politically dead and Trump can begin fixing Obama’s mess; making America great again.

Since 2012, I have served as chairman of The Conservative Campaign Committee (CCC). CCC was birthed out of Tea Party Express. CCC’s brilliant executive director, Joe Wierzbicki and president Ryan Gill saw the need for a PAC laser-focused on electing conservatives; mostly House and Senate races. They asked me to come on broad as chairman of CCC.

I like to think of us as the “Wild Bunch”, the title of an old movie. We produce TV and radio campaign ads and utilize social media. We go the unusual extra mile of providing boots on the ground initiatives; organizing phone-from-home, rallies and standing on street corners waving signs; not my wife Mary’s favorite thing because she hates cold weather. We pride ourselves on squeezing every ounce of juice out of our resources, talents and efforts. Win or lose, we know we gave it our all.

Mary and I are still on the road. Post election, our CCC team is working on the Louisiana Special Runoff Election through December 10th, and then on top of that the push-back by Democrats to try and steal the election in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, and then the 100 Day Plan, Supreme Court battles (go Ted Cruz!) and so much more… 

My bottom line is yes, Trump won, but we’re not done yet folks.

The Left is not going away, abandoning its evil mission to transform America. Think of them as villains Jason and Michael Myers, impossible to permanently annihilate. The Left will relentlessly seek to discourage us at every turn. Even before his inauguration, the Left has begun its shock-and-awe assault to destroy Trump’s presidency. It is vitally important that we remain unaffected by media spin. We must stay engaged, alert and prayed-up.

Like the Carpenters’ song, “We’ve Only Just Begun” the monumental politically bloody battle to reverse Obama’s evil transformation of our country. Crazy people are dangerous. Thus, be prepared for the crazy Left to come at Trump and normal thinking Americans with every evil scheme/attack their perverted brains can conceive.

Three Leftist black thugs beat up an elderly white man including kicks to his face for voting for Trump. A group of Leftist blacks beat up a black female Trump supporter and told spectators not to call an ambulance for her. Black Lives Matters have doubled down on assassinating police. Unprecedented, there have been 60 police officers fatally shot this year, 20 in ambushes. This is pure evil from the pits of hell folks.

We must be ready to legally push back. Quoting English military and political leader Oliver Cromwell, “Trust in God and keep your powder dry.”

My fellow patriots, yes, Trump won. But we have many more miles to go before we can sleep.

CARTOON VIDEO: Hillary’s ‘Crime Isn’t Criminal’ Children’s Book

Jimmy Kimmel sure likes to lampoon but only for one side, well we think fair play is called for in this election. We whipped up a little Children’s Book of our own for everyone’s favorite political gangster, ole Machine Gun Clinton.

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76% of Republicans and 38% of Democrats want to ‘Admit Fewer Refugees’

I was surprised to see that this large number—38%—of Democrats think our refugee admissions are too high!

Obama and Clinton 3

Readers you have to wade through a lot of column inches before you get to what I consider the meat of this story by AP.  It sure looks like Americans generally are not in agreement with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on admitting tens of thousands of refugees from mostly Muslim countries, especially Syrians.

Associated Press at WHIO (12 paragraphs into the story).  Emphasis below is mine:

Americans are slightly more likely to oppose than favor a temporary ban on Muslims who are not U.S. citizens from entering the United States, by a 52 percent to 45 percent margin that has been strikingly consistent in AP-GfK polls conducted this year.

Sixty-nine percent of Republicans say they favor the temporary ban on Muslim immigration, while 68 percent of Democrats are opposed. Half of whites and just a third of non-whites say they favor the ban. Seventy-six percent of Trump supporters are in favor.

On a trip to Scotland last month, Trump shifted his rhetoric, saying he would instead “want terrorists out” of the U.S., and to do so, he would limit people’s entry from “specific terrorist countries and we know who those terrorist countries are.”

The poll indicates that rhetorical shift could win support. Among those asked more broadly about a temporary ban on immigrants from areas of the world where there is a history of terrorism against the U.S. or its allies, 63 percent are in favor and 34 percent opposed. Ninety-four percent of Trump supporters say they favor this proposal, as do 45 percent of Clinton supporters.

“That’s a necessity for creating stability,” said Ryan Williams, 40, a health care provider from Jacksonville, North Carolina.

Most Americans — 53 percent — think the United States is currently letting in too many refugees from Syria, engulfed in civil war since 2011 and the Islamic State militant group’s de facto center. President Barack Obama has pledged to admit some 10,000 Syrian refugees this year.

Remember Hillary is on record saying she wants to admit 65,000 Syrians immediately (only 11 percent of Americans agree with her!):

Another 33 percent think the current level is about right, while just 11 percent want to let in more. About 4 in 10 think there’s a very or somewhat high risk of refugees committing acts of religious or political violence in the United States, 34 percent think the risk moderate, and 24 percent consider it very or somewhat low.

Seventy-six percent of Republicans think the U.S. should allow fewer refugees. Among Democrats, 43 percent think the current level is about right, 38 percent think the U.S. should allow fewer, and 18 percent want to allow more.

This tells me that Trump has to continue to pound the issue of refugees!  (And, that the propagandists at The Hive have their work cut out for them).

BTW, if every American could see what I’ve seen over the last two days on my road trip, these numbers would be even higher!

One more thing…I’ve heard several times lately that some Americans think that the U.S. refugee program is a temporary one for the refugees, that they only come here until things calm down in their home countries.  That is NOT the case! Refugees who come to the U.S. come here permanently and ultimately become citizens.

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85% of Republicans and 40% of Democrats believe Middle East refugees pose a major threat to U.S.

cost of illegal immigrants…get this! 40% of Democrats agree!

I love how this is written.  The Reuters reporter says only 40% of Dems have the same fear.  Holy cow, that is a lot of people! Consider also that 74% of plain vanilla Republicans also worry about the resettlement of Middle Eastern refugees into their towns.

I would have guessed the Dems would be a far lower percentage than 40% (so does that mean there might be inroads into the Democratic electorate for Trump?).

Reuters:

Supporters of Donald Trump, the presumptive U.S. Republican presidential nominee, see refugees arriving from Iraq and Syria as one of the greatest threats to the United States, according to a study released on Thursday by the Pew Research Center.

Eighty-five percent of respondents who said they supported Trump saw the refugees fleeing the Islamic State militant group as a threat, compared with 74 percent of Republicans overall, said the study.

[….]

Only 40 percent of Democrats viewed the refugees from the region as a major threat.

The Dems must be told over and over again that Hillary will continue the Obama push for more and more Syrian and Iraqi refugees to colonize America!

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Why Students Give Capitalism an ‘F’ by B.K. Marcus

bernie sanders half of a sign socialismNot only are young voters more likely to support Democrats than Republicans, they are also more likely to support the most left-wing Democrats. In recent polls of voters under 30, self-declared democratic socialist Bernie Sanders beats the more mainstream Hillary Clinton by almost six-to-one.

Former professor Mark Pastin, writing in the Weekly Standard, acknowledges some of Clinton’s flaws as a candidate, but concludes that “the most compelling explanation” for young Democrats’ overwhelming preference for Sanders “is that young voters actually like the idea of a socialist revolution.”

I’m embarrassed to confess that when I was a young voter, I probably would have been among the “Sandernistas.”

I don’t think Pastin is right about the revolution, though. Much of Sanders’s success in defanging the word socialism is in pairing it with an emphasis on democracy, as George Bernard Shaw and the Fabians did in an earlier era. Democratic socialists — at least among my comrades — preferred the idea of evolutionary socialism, and we tried hard to distance ourselves from the revolutionary folks.

Whether by evolution or revolution, however, what we all sought was less competition and more cooperation, less commerce and more compassion. Above all, we wanted greater equality.

“When I asked my students what they thought socialism meant,” Pastin writes, “they would generally recite some version of the Marxist chestnut ‘from each according to ability and to each according to need.'” That sounds about right, but add to that the assumption that it’s government’s job to effect the transfer.

My father, gently skeptical of my politics, pointed out a problem confronting American socialists: we tended to imagine ourselves on the receiving end of the redistribution — rob from the rich and give to the rest of us. “However poor we may think we are in the United States,” he told me, “we would have to give up most of what we now have in order to make everyone in the world equal.” This was strange to hear from someone always behind on the rent and facing ever-growing debt.

Pastin makes a related point: “I’ve always thought that socialism appealed to students because they have never not been on the receiving end of government largesse.”

As an informal test of his students’ egalitarian beliefs, Pastin “would offer to run the class along socialist principles, such as the mandate to take from the able and give to the needy.” Specifically, he proposed subtracting points from the A students and transferring them to those who would otherwise earn lower grades.

Even the most ardent socialist students balked at this arrangement. In fact, according to Pastin, the highest-performing students were both more likely to be self-declared socialists and more likely to meet his proposal with outrage: grading, they argued, should be a matter of merit.

Is it pure hypocrisy on the part of these rhetorical radicals, or is there a logical consistency behind this apparent contradiction in their values?

Trying to recall the details of my own callow political folly, I seem to recall three main issues behind my anti-capitalistic mentality:

  1. “Capitalism” was just the word we all used for whatever we didn’t like about the status quo, especially whatever struck us as promoting inequality. I had friends propose to me that we should consider the C-word a catchall for racism, patriarchy, and crony corporatism. If that’s what capitalism means, how could anyone be for it?
  2. Even when we left race and sex out of the equation, our understanding of commerce was zero-sum: the 1 percent grew rich by exploiting the 99 percent.
  3. For whatever reason, none of us imagined we’d ever be business people, except on the smallest possible scale: at farmer’s markets, as street vendors, in small shops. Those things weren’t capitalism. Capitalism was big business: McDonald’s, IBM, the military-industrial complex.

I don’t know how many of today’s young socialists hold these same assumptions, but a question recently posted to Quora.com sounds like it could have been written by one of my fellow lefties in the 1980s: “Should I drop out of college to disobey the capitalist world that values a human with a piece of paper?” (See Praxis strategist Derek Magill’s withering advice to the would-be dropout.)

Even if a different array of confusions drives the radical chic of millennial voters, what is clear is that they see American capitalism as rigged. “Crony capitalism,” from their perspective, is redundant — and “free market” is an oxymoron. They’re not necessarily opposed to meritocracy; they just don’t see what merit has to do with the marketplace.

Grading that would penalize the studious to reward the slackers is obviously unfair, and a sure-fire strategy to kill anyone’s incentive to do the homework. It’s not that the socialist students are applying the principle inconsistently; it’s that they don’t see what merit has to do with commerce. Some of that may be intellectual laziness, some is the result of indoctrination by anti-capitalist faculty, but much of it is also based in the reality of America’s mixed economy.

Not only have young voters spent most of their lives sheltered from the productive side of the commercial world, schooled by men and women who are themselves deliberately insulated from the marketplace, but time spent in the reality of the private sector is hardly an education in what the advocates of economic freedom have in mind when we talk about the free market.

If my own experience is any guide, today’s democratic socialists will have to spend a lot of time unlearning much of what they’ve been taught.

Pastin’s informal experiment is an illuminating first step, and it’s a powerful way to expose the conflict between his students’ understanding of merit and the socialists’ understanding of equality. But there’s also a danger in comparing the economy to the classroom. By offering his grade redistribution as an analogy for socialism, Pastin seems to imply that the merit-based grade system better resembles a free market. But that’s silly.

For one thing, studying hard for your next exam may improve your own GPA, but it probably doesn’t help your classmates. In contrast, an unhampered marketplace makes everyone better off, however unequally.

More significantly, in a free economy, there is no one person in the role of the grade-giving professor. In the absence of coercion, power has a hard time remaining that centralized. Yes, wealth can be seen as a kind of grade, but in the free market, an entrepreneur’s profits and losses are like millions of cumulative grades from the consumers. A+ for improving our lives. F for wasting time and resources.

That kind of spontaneous, decentralized, self-regulating prosperity is every bit as radical as the visions of young socialists, minus the impoverishing effects of coerced redistribution. It’s almost certainly not what they imagine when they say they oppose “capitalism.”

B.K. MarcusB.K. Marcus

B.K. Marcus is editor of the Freeman.