That’s a shocking question, no doubt — one which comes with no obvious answer. That’s like asking your good friend in a crowd, “How long ago did you stop beating your wife?” But, consider that there are those who THINK you are stupid, and me, and other Americans who live and work among us, are too. The people who we elect and send to D.C. obviously think we’re stupid!
I don’t think every lawmaker feels that way. But of late it certainly seems to be so. For example: how could anyone that is NOT stupid allow then House Speaker Pelosi to actually say this and get away with it without challenge: (regarding the passage of Obamacare) “We’ve got to pass this law so that we can know what’s in the law.” Think about that. As ridiculous as it sounds for someone who was so powerful in American government at the time to give even one thought to passing such a law without reading it herself — a law that when put into effect would control close to 20% of the nation’s economy — how much more ridiculous is it that Americans allowed this to happen? If any husband or wife reading this was told something like that by a spouse before committing to giveaway 20% of their household income to someone else for an indefinite time period, their spouse would either have them committed or would commit homicide. Yet we allowed an elected official to not only make this claim in which she admitted she had not read the law, we did nothing about it. Are we stupid?
And then there’s this latest Healthcare debacle. For 7 years GOP Establishment members have sworn to Americans that “if you give us control of the House, Senate, and the White House, the first thing we will do is repeal and replace Obamacare.” Voters gave them control of the House, Senate and the White House. In their amazing commitment to keep that promise to American voters, the GOP gave it their best shot, but sadly could not win over the Democrats or the White House, right? No! These same men and women that had 7 years to put a plan together to quickly follow through on the major promise they all used to get re-elected could not get it done. And they before had NEVER counted on Democrat support for any repeal. Why? Because with control of both Houses and the White House they could do it alone. But……they couldn’t agree with each other — Republicans could not agree. Let me make this clear: they passed an Obamacare repeal bill and sent it to the White House in 2015. But Obama lived there and he wasn’t about to repeal his legacy legislation. With the addition of control of the White House all the GOP needed to do was re-run that same bill on which they had consensus since 2015 back through Congress, send it to President Trump, and implement the repeal. But those same Republicans that used repeal/replace to get elected backed out of their commitments to Americans and failed to even get a vote for the new bill in the House! Stupid?
What about replace? House Conservatives had a bill prepared with broad support in the House and even among Senate Conservatives they were ready to implement immediately after repeal of Obamacare. No repeal….no new bill…..no new Healthcare law to replace Obamacare. And so far we have let these men and women get away with what they’ve done. Are we stupid?!?!
Let me give you a little “new” Healthcare stupidity to ponder: Members of Congress have good health insurance by any standard, but it’s not free and not reserved only for them – and it’s not government insurance. House and Senate members are allowed to purchase private health insurance offered through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), which covers more than 8 million other federal employees, retirees and their families. According to the Congressional Research Service, the FEHBP offers about 300 different private health care plans, including five government-wide, fee-for-service plans and many regional health maintenance organization (HMO) plans, plus high-deductible, tax-advantaged plans. All plans cover hospital, surgical and physician services, and mental health services, prescription drugs and “catastrophic” coverage against very large medical expenses. There are no waiting periods for coverage when new employees are hired, and there are no exclusions for preexisting conditions. The FEHBP negotiates contracts annually with all insurance companies who wish to participate. There is plenty of competition for the business; FEHBP is the largest employer-sponsored health plan in the U.S.
These folks work for you. I am glad they have such good health insurance they obtain from their employer — YOU — and that it takes care of the employee and all family members, includes coverage of pre-existing conditions, catastrophic coverage, and have no waiting periods. The FEHBP has been praised by many as the best health insurance opportunity in the nation. It qualifies under the ACA — Obamacare.
Imagine this: Do you understand that with this program available for working men and women with their families on top of the already covered 8 million federal employees, leaving Medicare for seniors alone, block granting Medicaid funds to the states with the mandate that Medicaid benefits to the poor would be “means tested,” meaning based on income individuals would be covered if they could not afford the FEHBP insurance, leave Tricare in place for military and veterans, everyone in the U.S. would have health insurance! And this program has been successfully in place for several years. Insurance companies love it, and insurance companies fight to write these policies!
How stupid is Congress? Instead of going through all of the headaches, time, and expense of re-writing a healthcare bill, why not just tweak the FEHBP, make it available to all outside of Medicare and Medicaid, and have every one in the nation covered without having to spend billions of dollars needlessly just so the government itself can say “we control healthcare for everyone in the United States?” How stupid or WE?!?
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If it’s broke, fix it. If there’s something that almost fixes it and something else that will help fix it, put them together and fix it.” Sounds like if we grab a piece of FEHBP, grab a piece of Medicare, grab a piece of Medicaid, leave Tricare alone for the military, we could have one very effective and affordable health insurance program. If we don’t try that route, I gotta say I’m pretty certain we’re stupid.