As the Democrats get hit with a torrent of negative press from the roll out of Obamacare, Republicans must make sure that they don’t fall into the trap of counter intuitive messaging votes. If they don’t play their cards right, they might allow red state Democrats to give the illusion that they are fixing Obamacare without dealing with the systemic problems.
Also, this week Republicans will get an opportunity to stand on the side of the free market with consumers and retirees against Wall Street and big banks if they have the gumption to oppose Janet Yellen’s nomination as Chairman of the Federal Reserve.
In response to the growing outrage over people losing their insurance due to Obamacare, the House will consider H.R. 3350, the Keep Your Health Plan Act, on Friday. The bill was presented by Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.).
Rep. Fred Upton. Photo Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images
This bill will countermand the Obamacare restrictions on insurers offering low-cost plans for those who have already purchased them. However, it will only allow them to continue the plans for one year.
This is obviously a well-intentioned “messaging” bill, designed more to expose Obama’s healthcare lie than to actually repeal Obamacare. In fact, this bill will make it easier to preserve the rest of the law. Here are some concerns conservatives should consider:
When advancing messaging bills you have to be careful for what you wish. Often, the opposition will acquiesce and actually pass the bill. There are already four Democrats in the Senate who have agreed to pass a bill allowing insurers to retain current plans.
Republicans need to consider the end game. Do they really want to pass this bill? It will give the illusion that the law is fixed and make it harder to repeal in the future.
[sharequote align="center"]This could give the illusion that the law is fixed & make it harder to repeal.[/sharequote]
While this bill might bring some temporary relief to those who are immediately losing their coverage, it will not ameliorate the systemic problems with Obamacare.
Ultimately, insurers would still be required to comply with all the mandates, issued guarantee, and community rating for all other plans – aside for those grandfathered in to current non-compliant plans.
This is completely unsustainable. Insurers will still have to raise premiums exponentially over the next few years in order to cover everything else. This will only serve the purpose of diverting the anger away from the government on onto the insurance companies.
Moreover, why are Republicans voting on the Upton bill, which only lifts the ban on low cost plans for one-year instead of the and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) bill which grandfathers in these plans permanently? The fact that this would only preserve the plans for one year will make it easier for Democrats to support it and save face while preserving the law in the long-run.
Janet Yellen Confirmation as Chairman of the Federal Reserve
There is perhaps no entity of government that has more autonomous power to centrally plan our economy than the Federal Reserve. The endless monetary stimulus, artificially low interest rates, and juicing up the stock market, has devalued the dollar, inflated commodities, distorted the housing market, enabled the growth of government (with cheap borrowing), and redistributed wealth from savers to borrowers.
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., right, meets with Janet Yellen, President Barack Obama's nominee to become Federal Reserve chair, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013. Photo Credit: AP
With current Chairman Ben Bernanke stepping down, Republicans must utilize the confirmation process of Janet Yellen to focus attention on the deleterious policies of the Fed.
On Thursday, the Senate Banking Committee will hold its first confirmation hearing on the nomination of Janet Yellen to be the next Chairman of the Federal Reserve. As Vice Chair of the Fed, Yellen has been even more zealous in pushing monetary stimulus and interventionist policies than Bernanke.
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