Did you get the “True Grit” reference? I do try to be topical (although I have no idea whether that line is in the remake)…
Back on this post, Doug Ross said, “So will Brad call out Lindsey for wasting resources?”
That kind of stuff makes me tired. You know why bloggers and sure-enough journalists avoid ever saying anything nice about anybody in public life? Because they never hear the end of it. They’re constantly getting this Well I hope now you see what a jerk your buddy is, and see the error of your ways stuff.
Let’s be clear. There is no one I respect in the U.S. Senate more than Lindsey Graham, so stuff that in your pipe and smoke it, you cynics. There are good men in public life, and Graham is highly intelligent, principled and hard-working. He has proved this time and time again. He is good for South Carolina, and good for the country. I am proud that he is our senior senator. Now that John Spratt is gone, I think Lindsey is clearly the best member of the SC congressional delegation.
But you know what? Sometimes, even on an important issue, he’s dead wrong. That happens. It happens with the best of men. (Women, too, probably, but far be it from me as a gentleman to reflect negatively upon the ladies.) And there’s one that he and two of my other favorites in the Senate, John McCain and Joe Lieberman, and that’s the one Doug and I were talking about — national health care policy.
He’s really, really wrong on it. I mean, Jim DeMint just wants it to be Obama’s Waterloo, but I get the feeling that Lindsey Graham really means it. He really wants to gut Obamacare. And he doesn’t just want to vote on a purely symbolic “repeal;” he want to hang it, draw it and quarter it, slice and dice it, by passing legislation that deprives it of its central elements, the only things that give it any chance of having a good effect on the health care crisis in this country.
Here’s the release he put out today:
Barrasso, Graham Introduce Legislation Allowing States to ‘Opt-Out’ of Obamacare
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) today introduced S.244, The State Health Care Choice Act, to repeal and replace Obamacare by allowing states to ‘Opt-Out’ of its major provisions. Under the legislation, states could choose to ‘Opt-Out’ of:
- Individual mandate – the requirement to buy government-approved health insurance coupled with a financial penalty for not doing so.
- Employer mandate – the requirement for businesses to provide government-approved health insurance coupled with financial penalties for not doing so.
- Medicaid mandate – the forced expansion of state Medicaid programs.
- Benefit mandates – defines what qualifies as a health plan as well as new federal requirements for regulating health insurance.
“As a doctor in Wyoming, I witnessed regularly how Washington simply didn’t understand the needs of the people of our state,” said Barrasso. “After Obamacare, Washington is more out of touch than ever. Instead of requiring states to follow Obamacare’s one-size-fits-all health care policy, our bill lets states decide what works best for them. We will fight to repeal the President’s bad health spending law and provide states with flexibility, freedom and choice.”
“Our legislation opens up a third front in the fight against Obama health care,” said Graham, noting the other ‘fronts’ include legal challenges moving through the courts and the House-passed repeal. “Our bill takes the fight out of Washington and puts it back in the states. I would hope every Senator, regardless of party, would give the people of their home state a chance to be heard. I’m confident that if given the chance, a large number of states would opt-out of the provisions regarding the individual mandate, employer mandate, and expansion of Medicaid. As more states opt-out, it will have the effect of repealing and replacing Obamacare.”
“Medicaid expansion under Obama health care will be devastating to many states, including South Carolina,” continued Graham. “We are already facing a severe budget shortfall this year. The future expansion of Medicaid – which adds an additional one billion dollars of state matching funding requirements and will result in nearly 30 percent of South Carolinians being eligible for Medicaid – only adds to our budget problems. This combination of Medicaid expansion and increased state funding makes it virtually impossible for South Carolina to pull out of her economic woes.”
The Senators noted the Obama Administration has already issued 733 waivers to businesses allowing them to continue offering insurance to their employees and questioned why states should not have the same ability to obtain relief.
To read the text of the bill, click here.
Note that this masquerades as a substitute for Obama care — not mere repeal, but replacement. What a mockery. It is most certainly nothing of the kind.
The absolute worst thing you could do to last year’s health-care bill — which is deeply flawed, but would at least take a step or two in the direction of real reform — would be to let anyone opt out of it, much less entire states.
Either we’re all in it, or it will not work. It may not work anyway. I still firmly believe that simple, straightforward single-payer is the way to go. But hey, critics of Obamacare say it’s a back-door way to get us there, and maybe they’re right. One thing I know for sure is that there isn’t a plan in the wings to replace it. I mean, if this is the best that a smart guy like Lindsey Graham can come up with, we’d better cling to Obamacare as though it were our last chance to avoid drowning.
And this fantasy that states can in any way affect this mega-economic hole that we are in — or that they would (especially if they are South Carolina). Again, either we come up with a national solution and we’re all in it — a risk pool of 300-plus million people — or there’s not much use talking, because you really don’t get the problem. Sen. Barrasso says Washington doesn’t get it. He may be right; I can certainly point to one guy in Washington who doesn’t get it. No, make that two. (And for that matter, the Dems don’t either, or they’d have gone for single-payer. So I guess he’s right; it’s a majority.)
This is just sad. So sad, that I marvel at it.
I’m going to issue another invitation to Sen. Graham to join me on “The Brad Show” and explain this. He always has good explanations for what he does, and I’d love to hear this one.
In the meantime, satisfy yourselves with this video of him and Barrasso talking about this abomination…