None So Blind

By Lawrence A. Hunter, Ph.D.
June 18, 2012

A few weeks ago, I said the Grand Old Party (GOP) should change its name to the Fixing the Unfixable Party (FUP).  Last week, I described most Republicans as Socialist Fellow Travelers.  This week comes a plethora of evidence I was right in both instances.

First came reports out of America’s heartland where Republicans swept to large legislative and gubernatorial victories in 2010 that the effort to reduce the size of government and cut tax rates has stalled due to deep divisions within the party —“a war” according to the Kansas Republican Senate President—between those who want to use government to “advance conservative goals and those who want it to stop meddling.”

How do you know you are talking to a Republican Fellow Traveler?  When he is uttering the words “using government to advance business” and “not jeopardizing services that people have come to expect,” standard fare among the Republicans.

As conservative Minnesota Senator Sean Nienow put it, “We ended the [legislative] session this year with two products not that different than what Democrats would have come up with if they were in charge.”

In Washington, Congress is currently in the process of producing another pork-laden, fixer-upper “reform” of the farm program that is distinguished, as usual, by its bipartisan rent seeking for the farm faction at everyone else’s expense.  In this case, Congress is looking to replace “liberal” direct subsidy payments to farmers with a “conservative” expansion of federal crop insurance programs—six of one, half a dozen of the other.  Meanwhile last week, Fla. Senator Marco Rubio, frequently mentioned as a possible Mitt Romney running mate, led 30 Republicans voting in favor of an extension of price supports and quotas for sugar producers. 

On the “advancing-business” front, a majority of Republican Senators also voted last month to reauthorize the notorious Export-Import Bank, which ladles on billions of dollars of corporate welfare with federal loan guarantees and subsidized insurance to businesses.

Now comes more evidence of Republican perfidy on healthcare.  No matter how the Supreme Court rules on ObamaCare, the Wall Street Journal reports, congressional Republicans have no intention of using the opportunity to deregulate medicine and restore freedom of choice and market forces to healthcare.  Instead, they intend to fix the unfixable Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) by adopting a “take-the-good-stuff” approach.  Can you say RhinoCare? Can you say a Trojan Elephant for socialized medicine using Medicare with another label as a template for an expanded insurance-based, single payer of last resort just as I predicted almost three years ago?

The fellow traveling Heritage Foundation, the originator of Obama’s individual health-insurance mandate, also is pushing for the fixer-upper approach on health-care reform: Heritage’s Ed Haislmaier is quoted by Politico as worrying, “Of particular concern to me [is] that folks on the right not throw out the baby with the bath water.”

Meanwhile, back in the states—the same states where the battle within the Republican Party is being lost—it is clear the locals are well ahead of their national counterparts in Congress in adopting the fellow-traveling, fixer-upper approach on ObamaCare.  Nationally, all eyes have been focused on the slow-grinding implementation of ObamaCare while the Supreme Courts deliberates on the constitutionality of the Act.  Beneath the radar, however, red-state legislators and bureaucrats have been busy about the business of quietly working to comply with the law and positioning themselves so that whether PPACA is overturned or upheld in the Supreme Court, ObamaCare can be “repurposed” to create state-based reforms such as state-run health insurance exchanges modeled after the exchanges in PPACA.

These insurance exchanges are touted as “marketplaces where people not covered through their employers can shop for health insurance at competitive rates, with subsidies for lower- and middle-income individuals and families.”  Whether state or national, insurance exchanges are in reality bureaucratic “delivery mechanisms,” which when combined with the two main characteristics of exchanges—guaranteed issue and community rating—almost certainly will lead to a public takeover of the health care system.

Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney let the cat out of the bag: “Our game plan was to take all the federal money we could take [and] build the [insurance] exchange.  If PPACA is ruled unconstitutional in part or in whole, we’re still prepared to go forward with the exchange.”

If insanity really is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results each time, then it appears getting rich will drive you nuts.  Exhibit number one: Poor, pitiful rich guy, Sheldon Adelson.  Casino owner Adelson seems not to have learned that in politics no less than in casino gambling where he became a billionaire, the establishment house has rigged the game in its favor.  Adelson has become a compulsive political gambler who has so much money and is so desperate to elect Republicans to office that he is plunging his wealth, on the order of $70 million, to elect more fellow-traveling Republicans to office. To what end; for what purpose?

It just goes to show, I guess, it really is true that none are so blind as those that will not see.

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