My message tonight to my Senator Jeff Flake on his revitalized Facebook page (slightly edited):
Dear Senator Flake:
There are many problems facing our nation today. The most urgent, perhaps, is the threat posed by Obamacare. Let's consider what has transpired since it was being debated in the House and Senate, and I acknowledge that you did NOT vote for it.
Every problem with Obamacare we conservative Republicans warned about has come to pass. Check the news, and any problem being reported today was predicted before "we passed it to see what's in it." And every promise made to get the monstrosity passed has been broken. It will cost most of us more, not less. We may NOT be able to keep our doctor or insurance (my doctor just retired at age 58). And as many people may remain uncovered by medical insurance as before; they will simply be different people. Worst of all, the quality and availability of health CARE will decline, as surely as scarcity of timely treatment follows government control of medical providers.
Some friends say if we oppose Obamacare, we must also oppose Social Security and Medicare, but that is wrong, both logically and factually. First, logically they have nothing to do with Obamacare, so there can be no requirement to oppose the latter two if we oppose the first one. Second, although all the programs are coercive, that is, we are forced to participate in them by law, factually they aren't really comparable.
Of the three, only Obamacare was set up so that the only way it can achieve any measure of success is to take medical care and insurance money away from one group of people and transfer it to another group. That is, the young and healthy are greatly overcharged to subsidize the premiums of the "poor" and elderly. Yet current reports are that premiums of even some of the poor and elderly are skyrocketing (to use an Obama term) beyond the affordable range, and for others they remain affordable only because they can receive some kind of government subsidy to help pay the premiums.
The strong and vocal movement to defund Obamacare is the result of rational consideration that once this gains a toehold it will be as difficult to get rid of as the alien in "Alien," the blob in "The Blob," and the shark in "Jaws." We believe that it really is "now or never." I didn't agree with that myself until a few days ago, but I spent some time thinking about what MUST follow the implementation of both the exchanges and the sign-up of millions of people with "approved" policies. (I don't know if ALL policies must follow the same pattern of coverage, but I suspect they must.) Within a very short time, people will be forced into policies that provide much less EFFECTIVE AND APPROPRIATE coverage for a lot more money. We are given no practical way to opt out, and no choice to reject unnecessary coverage. Many will have to forego any coverage at all (until the fine/"tax" becomes exorbitant), simply because even high deductible major medical is too expensive. But eventually, they will have to capitulate, because the whole program is being administered by The Taxman.
"Now my advice for those who die
Declare the pennies on your eyes
'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman
And you're working for no one but me."
IF you believe what I just wrote, you can understand why the only possible outcome of this scenario is single-payer, Canadian-style, GOVERNMENT PROVIDED HEALTH CARE, because that means NO insurance is necessary. (Medical insurance premiums are buried within your tax bill.) And with government control comes Canadian-style multi-month-long waits for some cancer treatments, and outright refusal to treat patients over 70 years of age for some life-threatening conditions.
IF you understand and believe the previous paragraph, and I do, there is no respectable alternative to opposing Obamacare in every way possible. And you shouldn't have much trouble believing it, because candidate Obama and others in his Administration have admitted publicly that his intention is to establish Obamacare as the first step in the road to installing a single-payer system.
Moving on. You damaged your credibility beyond measure with your participation in that screwball Amnigration bill. Wasn't it obvious to you and Marco Rubio that you were both being used by the Democrats as token Republican faces for the plan? You took the hit as it moved towards its death, as Schumer and Durban looked on and smiled.
So when the time comes, you need to be front-and-center in the fight to not just amend Obamacare but to uproot it. You need to lead the way, and that means sponsor the bill (once it becomes possible, with a conservative majority in both houses and a conservative Republican in the White House) to repeal it all in one stroke; that is, in a single bill, COMPREHENSIVELY, not piecemeal. Some codicils could ensure that existing policies could remain in force, and/or they could be replaced without penalty with new policies that might be developed in the absence of the Obamacare restrictions, but it needs to be done all at once. Otherwise, you will fail, partly because nobody will believe you intend to finish the job. Look at the southern border fence for proof.
One of the most disappointing aspects of the entire debate is that I've heard NOBODY, including Senator Cruz, recite the facts I just put down above. You and your Republican colleagues need to get off your duffs and start talking about these ideas directly to the American people. Don't just refute the little Democrat talking points. Attack the foundation and structure of Obamacare with easily understood facts:
It won't work because it CAN'T work (forty million more people can't be insured and treated by the same number of doctors and hospitals without raising costs, for instance);
You really can't keep your previous insurance no matter how much you want to (people are already losing their previous insurance coverage because their employers are dropping coverage altogether due to excessive cost, because individual rates are higher in X% of cases, and MUCH higher in Y% of cases, and less in only Z% of cases);
These higher costs are structural requirement of Obamacare and can't be corrected by legislation (the only way to make the insurance affordable for a large part of the uninsured is to raise rates significantly on those who "can pay"); etc.
Because of its structure, Obamacare encourages employers to cut back the hours of employees to less than thirty per week (coverage is required by law for "full-time" employees, but that still doesn't mean it will be affordable or include family coverage).
And you must do it in ways that connect emotionally with your American audience. Don't tailor it to appeal one day to "the poor," then change it the next day to appeal to "taxpayers," then change it again to appeal to "immigrants." The message must be directed at people as human beings, not as members of some smaller group. After all, it is simply human beings who suffer from the problems listed above. Appeal to them on the grounds that the law is an unjust one; after all, it was passed on the promise that it would provide "fairer" medical care for everybody. If it's not "fair," shouldn't it be abolished?
Do I sound crazy? Like a "birther," or an "extremist"? Even a "wacko bird"? Those terms have been applied to conservative Americans who want to protect our way of life, and we really don't appreciate them, although I would proudly wear the plumage of the wacko bird if it means greater freedom and less control over our lives, greater liberty and less government intrusion in our lives, and greater personal responsibility and less government protection from ourselves and the vicissitudes of life itself.
There are plenty of other problems, but they can wait for another day.
Thank you for your kind attention.