Stanford economist Thomas Sowell summed up the folly in his usual cogent manner:


It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it.


The Democrats missed a golden opportunity. They could have pretended to be reaching across the aisle in a spirit of cooperation and voted for the Ryan bill. The result would have been to saddle Republicans with responsibility for the mess Obamacare created. Fortunately for us, their unprecedented fanaticism to obstruct everything in our President’s agenda had them oppose the deeply flawed bill.


The news repeatedly reported Democrats chortling over the withdrawal of the proposed legislation. After jibing and jeering, when the euphoria has passed, they will realize that they have cemented themselves into the impossible task of saving the self-destructing Obamacare.

It is true that the Republicans appeared extraordinarily inept in the matter. But they dodged the bullet.

Now, I will write something I never thought I would.  Mike Pence was wrong!  In a recently televised speech, he said that the withdrawal of the bill was  a “victory for Obamacare.”  


No, Mike, it was not. It was a victory for conservative principles and put Obamacare squarely back in the laps of the democrats who foisted it upon the American public.

 The withdrawn bill was ill-conceived and ignored opportunities to enhance market competition and reduce premium costs.  The most glaring  error was the preservation of Obamacare’s mandate that preexisting conditions must be covered. People can refuse to pay premiums for insurance coverage for years. Then, when a catastrophic illness like cancer strikes them, they can obtain coverage simply by paying a 30% higher premium for just one year. Who wouldn’t go for that deal?  It drives up costs which must be paid for by higher premiums for responsible taxpayers. It rewards the grasshopper at the expense of the ant.  Aesop got that but the GOP did not. President Trump was wrong to place his trust in Paul Ryan. At some point after the 2012 election defeat, Paul Ryan turned RINO.  We were told that, if we gave the Republicans a majority in 2014, they would repeal Obamacare, reduce taxes, cut spending, secure the border. We gave them the majority but they kept none of those promises. Paul Ryan was part of Republican “leadership” that agreed to a deal which funded Obama’s goals, raised the debt ceiling beyond Obama’s term, and approved $50 billion of additional spending in 2016 and $30 billion in 2017. Needless to say, 100% of Democrats voted for it. But it would not have passed had RINOs not  joined in. They allowed Barack Obama to increase the debt to historic and unsustainable numbers. I am glad the President pulled the bill back.  Would it have been better to have a bill that got it  right the first time?   Hell, yes.  But President Trump has taken the proper stance. The GOP will concentrate now on tax reform and re-visit the healthcare issues after Obamacare self-destructs.  I hope we can count on the GOP resisting efforts to throw more tax dollars at it.  I do not pretend to understand what is in the 2700 page Obamacare legislation, let alone the thousand of pages of regulations it spawned. I wonder if anyone does. It was foisted on us by repeated lies as to its import and we were told it had to be passed to find out what was in it – Thank you, Nancy Pelosi.  Previously [Archive 23] I suggested starting points for a solution should include the following: 

– Remove the ban on insurance companies competing across state lines.  This will spur competition as tor coverage and rates.


– Give dollar for dollar deduction for health care insurance premiums. Young people, who now go without insurance in the mistaken belief that they will not need it until they are older, would have an incentive to obtain it. This would reduce the costs of  ‘free’ Emergency Room care.


– Give dollar for dollar deduction for medical expenses including non-prescription remedies. Again, this provides an incentive for people to take care of themselves.


Plus: get health insurance out of employment benefits, a system which skews the market.


Then I would turn the problem over to Rand Paul. He is a doctor and a fiscal conservative. He has proposed some common sense solutions. I would like to see him as a principal architect of health insurance reform. Will there be some hard cases – people struck by catastrophe and unable to provide for themselves?Undoubtedly. How will these be handled?  In the traditional American way. We are the most charitable people on earth and private sector charities will provide help.  

Excellence demands competition. Without a race there can be no champion, no records broken, no excellence – in education or in any other walk of life…. The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help …government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem….Millions of individuals making their own decisions in the marketplace will always allocate resources better than any centralized government planning process.

– Ronald Reagan 

Dick Coleman

Richard M. Coleman served as National Co-Chair, Lawyers for Reagan-Bush ’84 and really does miss RR. A graduate of Georgetown University and Harvard Law School, Dick is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and a past president of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and of the National Caucus of Metropolitan Bar Leaders. A professor on the faculty of Pepperdine University’s Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution for 17 years, he received Pepperdine’s Excellence in Teaching Award. He has hosted TV forums on legal and financial topics and written and spoken extensively on political issues.

© Richard M. Coleman 2018