Repealing Obamacare is still alive

By JEFF JOBE
Jobe for Kentucky

The Democrats and their army of fake news machines have taken the bait and swallowed it gills deep.  They celebrate the idea that Obamacare repeal is dead for 2017 and are enjoying that our President Donald Trump has perhaps failed at keeping a promise to the American people.

But I for one don’t believe for a single minute that the repeal of Obamacare is gone for 2017.  I believe it is just like what we saw in Kentucky a few weeks ago.   The hotly contested issue of whether to allow charter schools was all but dead and honestly if in the hands of the old Republican guard it very well would have been.   They could have come home, changed nothing, and blamed the other side of the aisle for not working with them.

But I believe that President Donald Trump is as much like Governor Matt Bevin as you will find.   They both are businessmen, self-made successes in their own industry and are in office because they not only want to make Kentucky and United States as strong as we have ever been but they are willing to fight and negotiate to make it happen.

Just like in Kentucky, voters want certain things and those things cannot be taken for granted.  Conservatives want their issues passed now just as much as liberals did when they had Barack Obama.   Anyone who thinks a Republican in Washington likes the idea of coming home and saying they failed on Obamacare repeal probably swallowed the bait when they thought Republicans wouldn’t line up for charter schools.

Both issues command an amazing amount of passion when being debated and both energize the most loyal politicians.   Letting the storm calm and allowing constituents to get their views known can go a long way.   It did in Kentucky and it is right now happening in Washington.

There is always a group of Democrat and Republicans who will just line up with little or no debate inside their own party.  This is what we saw with Obamacare.  Heck, it passed without even allowing those who were to vote on it an option of reading it prior to the vote.

This is exactly what was happening inside the Republican Party.  You had President Trump handing this off to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and it was he that made the grandest mistake of all, assuming Republicans would just blindly follow those in leadership.

I honestly believe they thought by keeping the new GOP Health Care plan soft on repeal and strong on reform they would possibly pull in some of the Democrats.   This is an absurd position for any Republican to have in today’s political spectrum.  Democrats will be 100% unified against anything coming from Donald Trump or the Republican controlled Senate or House.

So what must be done and what surely will happen is Donald Trump will push Paul Ryan aside and take this on himself.  He will reach out to free-thinkers, dedicated true conservatives like Congressman Thomas Massey and Senator Rand Paul.

These men will not be passed on the right when it comes to Obamacare repeal and with their votes and influence Republicans will come home with success – success in the form of putting in place a healthcare program that honors the middle class.  Yes, the middle class.

I know a little about healthcare for the poor in America.  Too many times I see my liberal colleagues at the Courier-Journal, The Lexington Herald Leader,  UK’s Rural Journalism Department and the somewhat more timid but definitely left-of-center Glasgow Daily Times write of the massive numbers of poor that Republicans want to hurt.   If there is one thing worse than wanting not to help a man in true need it is accusing one of such a despicable position.

Nobody wants to hurt the poor and I am here to tell you that in America, at least in my half century of living, few are turned away for medical needs because they are poor.

It you know me you will probably have noticed I walk with a distinctive limp.   It comes from my left leg having been cut completely through the bone by the propeller of a boat when I was 14 years old.

I am confident I got the best care possible at the Cabell Huntington Hospital in West Virginia and never did I get the feeling I was a charity case.  Medical professionals and our government has always cared about the poor too.

For those of you who want to make the argument that this is different because it was an accident and what Obamacare does is give insurance to poor people for preventative care, I share this with you.   I got my teeth cleaned every 6 months when I was a child and I am comfortable this is more than any hard working middle class parent was able to provide back in 1977 and even today in 2017.

So to my Republican friends who went on the attack of Senator Rand Paul and Congressman Thomas Massey I say:  be quiet and watch how Republicans are supposed to work.   They read a bill, then they get professional feedback on where tweaks and changes need to be made.  They never under any circumstances blindly line up with leadership, visit Lincoln Day Dinners and talk about fellow Republicans, and certainly never trade a vote for a ride on Air Force One.

To President Trump I would say this: do what we elected you to do and make this happen.

Jeff Jobe is founder and CEO of Jobe Publishing, Inc. His commentary reflects his personal views and does not reflect the views of personal or professional associations and affiliations. Reach him at jobe@jobeinc.com. Read his previously published commentary at www.jobeforkentucky.com

1 Comment

  1. Al Cross on May 4, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    Jeff, the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues and its Kentucky Health News have never written “of the massive numbers of poor that Republicans want to hurt.” Now, we may have quoted someone as saying that one move or another would hurt an estimated number of people, but that would have been in a news story that hopefully quoted or paraphrased people on both sides. We deal in facts and what people have to say about them. Get your facts straight, please.

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