by John Galt
February 26, 2017 22:00 ET
“Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.” “The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
– Romans 3:13
Welcome to Rome Mr. President.
Although the biblical reference has nothing to do with Rome or Washington, D.C., it seems appropriate considering the betrayals, fake news, and absurd political games being played there now. After
President Donald Trump waltzed into Washington he thought that the bureaucracy and Republican leadership would bow down and obey the voters.
Just over one month later, reality has set in.
The mainstream/#FakeNews media has made it their mission to attack any action he advocates or speech he makes. The Democrat Party with their willing dupes in the CINO (Conservatives in Name Only) and RINO (Republicans in Name Only) groupthink are now engaging in the “we can’t repeal Obamacare” insanity. That was highlighted last week by former Alcoholic of the House, John Boehner (via Politico):
“They’ll fix Obamacare, and I shouldn’t have called it repeal and replace because that’s not what’s going to happen. They’re basically going to fix the flaws and put a more conservative box around it,” Boehner said.
That of course was followed up by failed Senator and Presidential Candidate CINO Rick Santroum on CNN Sunday:
That’s why that loser doesn’t have a talk show on Fox News, radio, or any diehard followers looking to resurrect his now total failure of a political career because he has about as much conviction to the voters cause as the former drunken loser of the House and Mitch McCONnell.
What ever those two losers have to say may or may not reflect the RINO cowardice of the Republican leadership which has shown all the bravery of an Italian armored battalion surrendering to 4 drunken unarmed Brits in the Libyan desert during World War II; one thing is certain however as Obamacare can not and will not survive either way.
On February 15th, the AETNA CEO warned the world of this fact (via Bloomberg):
Aetna Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Bertolini escalated his criticism of the Affordable Care Act, saying Obamacare’s markets are nearing failure as premiums climb and healthier individuals drop out.
“It is in a death spiral,” Bertolini said in a video interview with the Wall Street Journal that aired Wednesday on the newspaper’s website. He predicted that more insurers will drop out of the market for 2018, following Humana Inc.’s decision to quit Obamacare entirely for next year.
Aetna, too, is mulling whether to further reduce its presence in the markets set up by the ACA. The company cut its footprint to four states for this year, from 15, after losing about $450 million on sales of ACA plans last year.
With the Constitution on the line, Obamacare dying as predicted, and President Trump still trying to get his team into place because the Republicowards have decided to drag President Trump’s name and reputation through the mud to strengthen their flailing political position, the administration did take action which will impair Obamacare even more severely this year and dramatically more next year:
Major Blow to Obamacare Mandate: IRS Won’t Reject Tax Returns That Don’t Answer Health Insurance Question
Following President Donald Trump’s executive order instructing agencies to provide relief from the health law, the Internal Revenue Service appears to be taking a more lax approach to the coverage requirement.
The health law’s individual mandate requires everyone to either maintain qualifying health coverage or pay a tax penalty, known as a “shared responsibility payment.” The IRS was set to require filers to indicate whether they had maintained coverage in 2016 or paid the penalty by filling out line 61 on their form 1040s. Alternatively, they could claim exemption from the mandate by filing a form 8965.
For most filers, filling out line 61 would be mandatory. The IRS would not accept 1040s unless the coverage box was checked, or the shared responsibility payment noted, or the exemption form included. Otherwise they would be labeled “silent returns” and rejected.
Instead, however, filling out that line will be optional.
Now for those fools who just dump their tax returns off at H&R Block or some local schlub to do their taxes so they can get their refund via an advance, that option is not available as preparers are not allowed to skip this line. The practicality of this rule changes is for those souls who actually read the instructions and to the returns themselves. More from the article linked above:
Earlier this month, the IRS quietly altered its rules to allow the submission of 1040s with nothing on line 61. The IRS says it still maintains the option to follow up with those who elect not to indicate their coverage status, although it’s not clear what circumstances might trigger a follow up.
But what would have been a mandatory disclosure will instead be voluntary. Silent returns will no longer be automatically rejected. The change is a direct result of the executive order President Donald Trump issued in January directing the government to provide relief from Obamacare to individuals and insurers, within the boundaries of the law.
“The recent executive order directed federal agencies to exercise authority and discretion available to them to reduce potential burden,” the IRS said in a statement to Reason. “Consistent with that, the IRS has decided to make changes that would continue to allow electronic and paper returns to be accepted for processing in instances where a taxpayer doesn’t indicate their coverage status.”
The tax agency says the change will reduce the health law’s strain on taxpayers. “Processing silent returns means that taxpayer returns are not systemically rejected, allowing them to be processed and minimizing burden on taxpayers, including those expecting a refund,” the IRS statement said.
The change may seem minor. But it makes it clear that following Trump’s executive order, the agency’s trajectory is towards a less strict enforcement process.
Although the new policy leaves Obamacare’s individual mandate on the books, it may make it easier for individuals to go without coverage while avoiding the penalty. Essentially, if not explicitly, it is a weakening of the mandate enforcement mechanism.
By using the Executive Branch’s power of prosecutor’s discretion, this essentially mutes the individual mandate and blocks the IRS from collecting data necessary to enforce fines and penalties on non-compliant taxpayers.
This is what is known as a great start, but on Tuesday, February 28, 2017 during his speech to the joint session of Congress, President Trump can and should force the weak, pathetic, Republican leadership to act and pass real reform as outlined by Senator Rand Paul and Congressman Mark Sanford in their legislation.
President Trump should kill Obamacare Tuesday night and here is how he can do it.
First and foremost, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan should be thanked publicly during the speech for giving President Trump the cover for engaging in the most obvious course of action. The Speaker was kind enough to do the legwork necessary for killing Obamacare in 2016 by exploiting an oversight by Nancy Pelosi and the gang that couldn’t shoot straight in Sections 1401 and 1402 of the ACA.
The failure by Obama and the Democrats came to light in 2016 in the case House v. Burwell and resolution reached last May (full decision below) where it was stated:
The Affordable Care Act unambiguously appropriates money for Section 1401 premium tax credits but not for Section 1402 reimbursements to insurers. Such an appropriation cannot be inferred. None of Secretaries’ extra-textual arguments—whether based on economics, “unintended” results, or legislative history—is persuasive.
The Court will enter judgment in favor of the House of Representatives and enjoin the use of unappropriated monies to fund reimbursements due to insurers under Section 1402. The Court will stay its injunction, however, pending appeal by either or both parties.
Former President Obama promised an appeal but with the courts refusing to act until after the election and the Democrats acting so smug because they assumed Hillary Clinton would win, they sat on the case and now President Trump has the match and the TNT to blow this sucker up on Tuesday night.
- President Trump needs to announce loudly that the end of the Establishment, Big Pharma, Big Insurance alliance with political leaders and Washington, D.C. is coming to an end during his administration. Those members of the Establishment will face total opposition from the administration and the American people who are tired of high prices on life saving drugs and politics setting medical insurance prices instead of the free markets.
- President Trump should announce that he will not appeal the decision in House v. Burwell and instead will act accordingly in due respect of the Judge’s Constitutional decision. He should follow that up by announcing he will order Treasury Secretary Mnuchin to seek refunds for those taxpayer dollars illegally given to the “Big Insurance” companies as subsidies in violation of this decision. This action will effectively end all insurance company participation in any Obamacare Marketplace at the Federal or State level by the end of 2017.
- President Trump can order HHS Secretary Price to freeze all changes to disbursement of Medicaid under Obamacare mandates along with all regulatory changes to the ACA, including eligibility rules, payment levels, doctor reimbursements, until a functional plan to replace the current system is passed by the Congress and put on his desk. This will apply the pressure necessary to mandate changes to the Medicaid disaster at the Federal level via regulatory reform while forcing the Republicans to actually do their jobs instead of acting like frightened little girls afraid to deal with their constituents. It also forces them to choose between being labelled as slaves to “Big Insurance” and “Big Pharama” or public servants to their voters. The campaign against those who oppose reform should rightfully be brutal including multimedia attacks on those Democrats and Republicans receiving huge donations from those two industry leaders and their support for the current Obamacare system.
If President Trump has the moral fortitude, especially since he has nothing to lose with his relations with the Republican Party for his term, he would take this approach to force a better, more palatable deal for the American people. And in the process marry the Democrat Party to “Big Insurance” and “Big Pharma” just in time for the 2018 elections.
Here is the full text of the House v. Burwell decision from last May: