Neil A. Carousso produces and co-hosts WCBS Newsradio 880’s Small Business Spotlight series with Joe Connolly. Click here to watch the weekly video segments featuring advice for business owners on survival, recovery and growth opportunities.
  • “Carousso’s Comments:” Repeal ObamaCare and Remove Government from Health Care Business

    By Neil A. Carousso

    Two Republican senators announced their opposition to the “Better Care Reconciliation Act,” the Senate healthcare bill to repeal and replace the “Affordable Health Care Act,” known as ObamaCare, that has resulted in fewer options and premium increases across the board, including a 116 percent increase in premiums in Arizona last year. On average, premiums have doubled.

    Business Insider/Andy Kiersz, data from The Department of Health and Human Services
    Business Insider/Andy Kiersz, data from The Department of Health and Human Services

    Last night, Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Mike Lee (R-UT) tweeted their opposition to the Senate Republicans’ proposal.

    After 7 and a half years of campaigning and promising “repeal and replace” of ObamaCare, the fate of that promise is hanging in the balance despite having majorities in both houses of Congress and a Republican president who is arguably working harder than anyone to negotiate a better healthcare deal for Americans while attempting to unify moderates and conservatives.

    President Donald J. Trump tweeted Monday night: “Republicans should just REPEAL failing ObamaCare now & work on a new Healthcare Plan that will start from a clean slate. Dems will join in!”

    This may be the only sensible option at this point.

    Senate Republicans passed a bill in December 2015 to repeal most of ObamaCare in a 52-47 vote. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), who also opposes the BCRA, and then-Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) voted “no” with the Democrats – the only two Republicans who opposed the bill that was dead on arrival when it hit former-President Barack Obama’s desk in the Oval Office.

    On Tuesday morning, President Trump tweeted: “With only a very small majority, the Republicans in the House & Senate need more victories next year since Dems totally obstruct, no votes!”

    I’m not sure the GOP deserves victories, though. While Democrats’ partisan, anti-Trump obstruction is impeding progress and sets a standard of unprecedented division and so-called “resistance,” Republicans have been weak in passing the legislative agenda that was voted for on November 8, 2016.

    That is why “Drain the Swamp” was a message that resonated through the heartland of America with Americans frustrated over the gridlock in Washington and broken campaign promises. Americans deserve better from their government officials. The fact remains, the only “politician” who is not receiving funds and lobbying from special interests is the President.

    The Chief Executive also tweeted Tuesday in favor of changing the Senate rules to pass healthcare legislation.

    Using the so-called “nuclear option” will hurt Republicans, in my opinion, if and when Democrats control Congress in the future.

    The nuclear option was first invoked by then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) in 2013 to expedite the confirmations of Obama’s judiciary nominees. In April of this year, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) used it to the Republicans’ advantage in confirming Constitutionalist Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

    Democrats are good at passing legislation and moving the country left through judiciary confirmations and laws. Republicans are divided among the moderate and conservative facets of the Party. It is incumbent upon the GOP to use the rules of the Senate, as is, to do their jobs that they were voted to perform by the citizens of the United States.

    On the Senate floor Tuesday morning, McConnell said the Senate will vote on the repeal legislation from 2015. “President Obama vetoed it then. President Trump will sign it now.”

    The U.S. Government should have never been in the business of healthcare. At this point, the most viable option for the GOP would be to repeal the mess of ObamaCare and alleviate middle class Americans and small business owners of the outrageous taxes and mandates.

    Then, the GOP should work on small bills to fix minor problems, not one-size-fits-all legislation that moves us towards socialist, single-payer healthcare, supported by Democrats, that would undoubtedly result in longer wait times than veterans experience at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

    The free market, not politicians driven by special interests, should dictate healthcare costs through competition, health savings accounts and individual and family choices.


    Featured Image: President Donald Trump, flanked by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentiucky, left, and House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, speaks during a meeting with House and Senate leadership on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at The White House in Washington, D.C. (Evan Vucci/AP)

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