One of the fundamental differences that conservatives have with the left is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This 2010 monstrosity legislation effectively put the federal government in charge of insuring that all Americans had access to health care, whether they could afford it or not. Not one single Republican voted for it, not even the most “moderate” of the Republicans In Name Only, but the abysmal results of the 2008 elections left the Democrats with a filibuster-proof majority for a few months, enough time to get it through the Senate. Deals had to be made — and then later broken — such as the “Cornhusker kickback” and the “Louisiana Purchase” to get the last couple of Democrats on board, but the deal was passed. I said, back in February of 2010, that I opposed any of the health care plans being considered, because, “Whatever form it takes, whether single payer or private insurance based, in the end it is an attempt to transfer the ultimate responsibility for your health care from you to the federal government.”
And that is exactly what has happened. The GOP opposed the PP&ACA, but left’s ultimate goal, making the federal government responsible for everyone having access to health care, was achieved.
So, what are the Republican presidential candidates’ positions? They all want to repeal the ACA, but, interestingly enough, they all want to replace it with something. Many of them have been less than specific about just how they would replace the ACA, but none of them is challenging the underlying principle that the government will guarantee everyone access to health care. I have omitted some of the snowball’s chance in Hell candidates, but here are the Republicans’ positions:
- [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ]’s “repeal and replace” plan.
- Donald Trump has been all over the board, but most recently said insurance for everybody.
- Jeb Bush would repeal and replace Obaminablecare.
- Carly Fiorina was less specific, but still wants the Affordable Care Act repealed, with some measures taken to insure the uninsurable, depending somewhat on state rather than federal action.
- [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ] would repeal and replace the ACA.
- John Kasich would repeal parts of the ACA, and replace those parts with a plan similar to Ohio’s.
- Ben Carson said that he would repeal most of the ACA, and replace it with something else, but retain the ban on insurance companies being unable to refuse patients with pre-existing conditions.
- Even libertarian [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ] believes that there is a role for government in helping people to get health care coverage.
Let me be very blunt here: the Republicans have surrendered, completely, on the principle, and are simply arguing about how to achieve the goal. Is the Obysmalcare legislation poorly crafted? Certainly it is! Does the Obaminablecare foul up our health care system? Absotively, posilutely it does! But all that the Republicans are arguing is how to improve the delivery of socialized health care, and not whether health care should be socialized in the first place.
And I’ll be blunt again: our choice is between two fundamental positions:
- The government, at some level, is ultimately responsible for insuring that every American has access to health care; or
- The government is not responsible for seeing to it that everyone has access to health care, which necessarily includes the consequence that some people who need health care and cannot afford it will not get it.
Now, I am an [insert slang term for the rectum here], and I am perfectly willing to return to a system in which those people who cannot pay for their health care do not receive it, even if that means they will die in the street due to the lack. That is the natural result of not guaranteeing health care for everyone, and I am willing to both admit it and support that.
But the Republican candidates don’t seem to be willing to take that position — at least, not publicly — and thus they have been left with agreeing with the premise of the Affordable Care Act, but simply differing on how to achieve the objective. Doesn’t that make all of them RINOs?