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.


POLLING: House Freedom Caucus Saved GOP From 2018 Disaster

Full Repeal is Key to Keeping the GOP’s Integrity and Majority

The House Freedom Caucus (HFC) has been under intense fire for their integral role in keeping the GOP from breaking their biggest promise in decades: Repeal and Replace ObamaCare. They’ve been threatened with primary election opponents and told that they’ve doomed the Republican Party by “making perfect the enemy of the good.” While President Trump and Senate leadership look to even further water down their weak bill by partnering with Democrats, the HFC stood by their promise.

Republicans in the House and Senate should be sending Congressman Meadows a thank you note for saving the GOP from 2018 electoral disaster. – Chris Wilson (@WilsonWPA)

Since Speaker Ryan pulled the ACHA, plenty of sources in Congress and the punditry have made the argument that the members of the HFC put their congressional seats in jeopardy and have done significant electoral harm to the GOP in general. Thanks to an incredible suite of analysis by WPA Research, we can now put that notion to bed as utterly false.

Data from three WPA national predictive models on 1) Speaker Ryan’s AHCA, 2) Obamacare, and 3) a plan to fully repeal Obamacare and replace it with market-based solutions show that the Freedom Caucus members were, in fact, doing the will of their constituents in helping defeat the AHCA.

Moreover, the data show overwhelming support for full repeal and replace and suggest that the House Freedom Caucus did the Senate, and Republicans’ hopes of expanding their Senate majority, a great service in stopping the bill before it made it across the Capitol.

The House Freedom Caucus Did What Their Constituents Wanted

Whatever negative things opponents may say about members of the House Freedom Caucus, it’s dishonest to say that they acted against the will of their constituents. Not only do their districts strongly favor full repeal of ObamaCare but in only one member’s case did they prefer the half-measure ACHA bill to leaving ObamaCare intact.

This carefully researched and modeled data makes clear that each member of the HFC did the explicit will of their constituents. Members’ resolve to stand by their principles and districts should be reinforced by these findings. They have nothing to fear from electoral threats, whether by President Trump or their own Republican leadership.

Death-Spiraling ObamaCare Still More Popular Than ACHA

While the Senate never got an opportunity to vote on the ACHA, leadership and many members voiced resounding support for the pitiful bill. They hoped that they could deceive their constituents into believing that the ACHA represented a promise kept, and that it would translate into rising support when many of them headed out on the campaign trail for re-election next year. WPA Research’s data, however, shows that doing so would seriously broken with their electorate’s desires and put Republican seats in jeopardy.

Every Senate Battleground Opposes ACHA

It turns out that keeping promises matters. The crop of Republicans up for Senate re-election were carried to victory on one promise: full repeal and replacement of ObamaCare. Democrats on the ballot in 2018 haven’t faced voters since so many of the negative effects of that legislation became crystal clear to voters.

WPA Research’s analysis shows that not only is true Repeal-Replace a winner in Republican states but that it will put Democrats in a very tight electoral bind. Failure to take action could jeopardize the tenuous Republican majority but fulfilling their 7-year promise could provide an opportunity to pick up several key seats.

While it is clear the constituents of House Freedom Caucus members prefer repeal and replace, supporting this approach would also be a net-win in the key 2018 Senate states. Likewise, a vote to preserve Obamacare, rather than repealing and replacing, would be a net-loss for endangered Democrats.

The table below shows the number of supporters who prefer a repeal-and-replace plan versus those who support keeping Obamacare as is. While the margins are tight in some states, in every state there is a net preference for repeal-and-replace.

Our models illustrate the supported course of action is move a repeal-and-replace bill. Not only does this positioning have overwhelming support in each state, it would force endangered Democrats to choose between their party and their constituents.

Don’t Fall for The Lies

Moderate Republicans are stinging from the defeat of the ACHA and will continue to lash out at conservatives and the HFC in particular. The WPA Research analysis shows clearly that the HFC’s efforts have not only stood by their district’s desires but protected the GOP’s electoral chances in 2018.

This data shows one clear course forward: Repeal and Replace Obamacare. Further, it makes clear that crafting an even more liberal piece of legislation would spell absolute doom for Republicans.

The GOP must honor their promise and completely repeal and replace this disaster of a law.