Saturday, January 7, 2017


The Greatest Generation invented the term: R and R meant Rest and Recuperation. Or Rest and Recreation. Or Rest and Relaxation. It didn’t matter. It was just R and R. Or maybe even “Rock and Roll.” Everybody knew what it meant.

But times change and words change and even slang and abbreviations change. Google R and R today and you might find an article about “Repeal and Replace.”

Nancy Pelosi says the only good thing about Repeal and Replace is that it is alliterative. I don’t often agree with Nancy, but I’m with her on this one.

After all the thundering promises to repeal Obama Care, Congressional Republicans have jumped on board the Pander Train and promised to enact a new National Health Care Law to replace the discredited ACA.

Early in his campaign, Donald Trump had a simple answer to the Obama Care question. He said: “Just let the Insurance Companies sell across state lines.”

Hello. What a drastic idea? For more  than 200 years, health care has been a matter solely within the jurisdiction of the States. Every State has some sort of regulation of health insurance companies. Some, like Massachusetts, have a system very similar to the Affordable Care Act.

The result over the years has been that some States have more inclusive, more affordable, more desirable health care providers than other States.
But they also have licensure requirements that keep foreign companies out or put them at a competitive disadvantage.

Mr. Trump is a businessman. He understands the free enterprise system. He knows that “affordable” is a slippery word. It is certainly not a standard that can be written into the law. What is affordable for one person is exorbitant to another.

The Republicans in Washington have lost their nerve. They are backpedalling on their brave and bold promise to repeal Obama Care.

And why? Simply because there are some features of the law that are popular and they don’t want to be pegged with killing things like coverage for pre-existing conditions, extended parental coverage for children to age 26 and the large number of people who are simply getting health insurance as a welfare benefit.

Surely there are many in Washington who hope that the law can be replaced with support from both sides of the aisle. After all, Bill Clinton said the law is crazy, didn’t he? And Hillary conceded that it needs amending. The D.C. establishment of store bought politicians – the “swamp” as Trump calls it – will be working hard to mesh the ideas of “fix” and “replace” in order to claim a bipartisan solution.

The real tragedy is that nobody is speaking for the Constitution. Both Parties are committed to a national health care system, dictated from Washington, D.C. and mandatory from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

Hamilton, Madison, Jefferson and Washington would be appalled. There is nothing in the Constitution suggesting that health care is a proper function of the national government.

Health care in America, before Obamacare, was the envy of the world. It was built on the free enterprise system; the sum total of the free choices of a free people.

Health care is a human necessity, like food, clothing, shelter and liberty.

Like these other essentials, health care cost varies from State to State, often from town to town. The history, the weather, the culture, the terrain, all these things affect affordability.

One size does not fit everybody. The last thing we should want to do in America is to kill the spirit of initiative and enterprise. The Republicans have the gavel in Congress. They should repeal Obamacare, every word of it. Make it effective in two years to give everyone time to adjust.

Then forget about replacing it with another federal program. Just let the fifty States do what they are supposed to do under our Constitution.


  1. Your comments would make sense if the cost of healthcare did not put it out of the reach of 90% of Americans. Insurance actually contributes to the higher costs because it takes the pain of the cost out of the hands of the consumer. And government under ObamaCare has increased the cost through burdensome regulatin. The problem no one is trying to solve is why healthcare is so expensive. In a free market, doctors and hospitals would go out of business when 90% of their customers could not afford their services. But the sick customer cannot walk away from the service and often doesn't know the cost until after they are obligated to pay for the service. That is not how free markets operate. So something else needs to be done. I am certain that if we did away with insurance, prices would drop precipitously. But so would the number of doctors, nurses, and hospitals. It is an almost insoluble problem but mostly because people are asking the wrong questions.

  2. Judge, Medicare is a partial national health care system that has been declared lawful by the Supremes. The Affordable Care Act has also been declared Constitutional in spite of Justice Roberts observation that it is in fact a tax. Congress has the power to tax. What is "un-Constitutional about a health care tax?
    I certainly agree that our political leaders, which unfortunately includes the Supremes, have gone far astray in allowing the Government to consolidate too much power in Washington. I've contended that if Washington wants some type of universal health they should simply allow everyone access to the health insurance options available to Federal employees. They do have a set of minimal requirements, but are definitely affordable even without the part the Government pays as part of the employee benefits. To pay for it just tax individuals based on income and provide tax credits to those below a certain minimum income level. There is already law in the tax code called an earned income tax credit. Check out the range of health,vision and dental plans available to Civil Service employees. You'll be surprised at the range of options available.

  3. Judge,

    Among the many Trump commentators I have read, you alone find it sufficient to characterize him merely as a "businessman.".

    Admittedly, I am not exempt from the general rule that we tend to see what we want to see. But in the following respectful commentary aimed at Trump supporters, Keith Olberman points out what he and I both happen to see, and I believe you would not feel disrespected after viewing it.

    Happy New Year.

  4. I would not rank Keith Olberman as a respectful commentator. Anyone who thinks that a Christmas card from a candidate for public office which consists of a picture of the candidate in front of a Christmas tree and bears the message “Merry Christmas” is a sicko, ought to consult his own psychiatrist. If Olberman has the kahoonas to chastise Georgia Congressman John Lewis for his outrageous claim that Donald J.Trump was not legitimately elected, I might concede he has some claim to be an unbiased commentator.

  5. Judge,

    Thanks very much for viewing Olberman's video.

    I said I thought that in this particular video, Olberman was being respectful (to Trump supporters), but I didn't claim that Olberman is not biased. He is, correctly, in my opinion, generally considered to be liberal in his perspective. And he certainly can come across as disrespectful, or at least very outspoken, as well. See the following, which I found during a search of " Olberman 'John Lewis'"

    Olberman had cited Trump's Christmas card as one small illustration in a chain of many examples selected to illustrate Olberman's point about Trump's personality quirks rendering him unfit to serve as president. As you surely must be aware, many, many people see this problem as a serious one.

    Thanks again for viewing the video.

    I now am willing to accept that you are resolute in your support of Trump.

    Faith-based, chosen beliefs are the most difficult ones to grow out of in the face of contrary evidence. From my own perspective, my views are reality-based while yours are not. Likely, you would say the opposite.

    If evidence will eventually emerge to contradict my fears of a President Trump, I hope I will be able to see and objectively assess it.