Leverage and the Art of the Deal

Politicians are demanding immediate federal subsidies to healthcare insurance companies, all the while ignoring the fact that the federal court has deemed these subsidies unconstitutional.

The ACHA legislation was written giving the federal government the right and capability to subsidize healthcare insurance cost of healthcare payments. This was considered necessary because Obamacare doesn’t allow insurance companies to have higher premiums for Americans with pre-existing health conditions.  Not surprisingly, every insurance company has requested government approval for increased premiums each successive year, with no end in sight. Frustrated with the inability to repeal this bill while Obama was in office, the Republican led House of Representatives stripped this subsidy money from the budget. Essentially, these government subsidies for insurance companies were not apportioned by the House of Representatives for the budget.

Former President Obama, as was his wont, ignored the fact that the federal budget provided zero funding for insurance subsidies, and diverted money from the Treasury Department making these payments faithfully. This overt unauthorized act prompted the House of Representatives to sue him in federal court, claiming he had violated the constitution because the House of Representative have the sole right and responsibility to apportion funding for the budget. They won in federal court, with the President being ordered to cease and desist these payments.

President Obama appealed this ruling, and continued these payments, claiming he had the right during the appeals process. It is still in the appeals process.

When President Trump came into office, an early decision was made to continue these payments through July in order to give Congress time to craft legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare. The decision to continue these unconstitutional payments is expected to be made any day now.

This is where it gets interesting. Last week the Senate’s Moderate Party declined to repeal Obamacare. This in spite of the fact virtually all of them had campaigned on ACHA repeal and had promised their constituents full repeal once a Republican president was in the White House.

Immediately upon this act of treachery to Republicans across the fruited plains, senators such as Lamar Alexander R-TN rushed to assure the MSM they would take up bipartisan efforts in committee in order to come up with a solution which would pass the senate. But they conveniently left out two very vital pressing points. This is where the President’s leverage comes in.

It is evident these senators don’t believe President Trump will discontinue these payments. Also, healthcare insurance firms are currently submitting requests to raise healthcare premiums, some by as much as 30% or higher. Which means the cost of these federal subsidies is increasing even as the President makes his decision.  So, they chose to stay with Obamacare, move on to tax reform and return to healthcare reform in the fall. All the while naively believing they had the President over a barrel.

Imagine their surprise with the President notified them he was seriously considering cancelling those payments, as well as premium subsidies for the congressional healthcare policies. One by one, they rushed in front of any microphone they could find and pompously demanded these payments be made, essentially asking him and the American people to trust them to take care of Obamacare at a later date.

Have no doubt of this fact: If the President discontinues these unconstitutional payments, Obamacare will fail very quickly. These subsidies are solely responsible for propping up this misbegotten piece of legislation. If done now, the Democrats still own this 4-year debacle. They wrote it without any Republican assistance or compromise, they fought change throughout Obama’s time in the White House, and they have obstructed every effort by Republicans to repeal and/or change this bill.

The President has an obligation to drop the government’s objection to the Federal Court ruling and back out of the appeal. The President has an obligation to notify insurance companies they will not be receiving any further unconstitutional subsidies from our government. The President has an obligation to immediately discontinue subsidizing Congressional healthcare premiums while millions of Americans have seen an average 105% premium increase since Obamacare came into existence.

There should be no worry about the House re-authorizing the funding for these insurance companies. There simply is not appetite within the majority party to own this any further.

The President has an opportunity to uphold a campaign promise to his supporters. It was thought this promise would be upheld in conjunction with Congress. Sadly, that doesn’t appear to be possible at all. It is incumbent upon the President to continue draining the swamp and this is yet another excellent way to achieve that goal. Its a difficult decision, one with consequences; but no one ever said the Art of Leverage was simple.


About the author

Wm. P. Fitzhenry

5th generation Texan, 2nd generation reformed Presbyterian, a twin and a serial entrepreneur.

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