Editors’s note: With the Senate once again on the brink of a vote to partially repeal and replace Obamacare through the Graham-Cassidy bill, it’s a good time to share more emails from some in The Daily Signal’s audience who don’t like what they see, especially in Republicans’ actions. You can join in by writing [email protected]—Ken McIntyre
Dear Daily Signal: The people gave Congress and President Trump the mandate for conservative policies and the repeal of Obama’s Gordian knot of liberal, big government mess, especially Obamacare, when we elected Trump and a GOP majority in both houses of Congress.
And while Trump has started making progress on some goals on deportation of illegal immigrants, betterment of the military, and re-emerging on the world stage as a world power and military leader, Congress had done nothing.
It has become clear that Republicans in Congress have no intention of repealing Obamacare, and only want to sit in their cozy chairs and collect their salaries, which they’ll soon be voting on to raise again. I have worked for 30 years hoping to bring about change from within the Republican Party. The tea party was a hopeful moment, but turned out to be a flash in the pan.
I recently quit my affiliation with the GOP and joined the Constitution Party. It is a fledgling party, to be certain, but a group of well-educated and motivated individuals. The only hope left to keep the republic is to repeal and replace the Republican Party. They have been failing the people for too long.—Gordon H. Hoffman Jr., Baltimore
We all know Obamacare should never have been passed, but it was, along with many other dishonest acts under President Obama. Americans are putting themselves in debt to keep health insurance they do not need or does not work for them. Some have dropped insurance, some pay the penalty rather than put themselves deeper in debt, while all we hear is there will be millions without insurance without Obamacare.
Americans should be told Obamacare will be repealed and not exist any longer, to ensure they find individual coverage. Government should be out of the insurance business, and that would solve many problems.
People had so much faith in who they elected to Congress, but now have little if any trust that they are who we voted for. It appears they are working only for the lobbyists who are greasing their palms, and actions are speaking much louder than words. I am trying very hard not to lose faith; I am a glass half full, not half empty.—Phyllis Blum
Republicans got their jobs on the promise of repealing Obamacare. They had many chances to defund the government and they didn’t. Now they have the House, the Senate, and the executive branch, and their first responsibility is to keep their word and repeal.
I don’t want government having anything to do with my health care. Repeal now and let the chips fall where they may.
We have had over seven years to get our act together. Now it is time to keep promises. We need to go back to health care the way it was before Obama “cared.” We should be able to go across state lines to buy insurance. There should be no mandate to carry insurance.
If people are forced into buying health insurance, they should at least be able to enter some kind of health insurance savings group where they get money back for every month they don’t use their insurance. I didn’t have health insurance until I turned 65, and Medicare was taken from my Social Security.
I was way better off paying as I went for my doctor bills. I led a healthy lifestyle and I saved plenty by paying for my own health care as I went along. If people have to buy insurance, they will want to use it to get their money’s worth.—Susan Rose
Thank you for posting comments from readers about the truth of congressional Republicans (“We Hear You: The Failure of Republicans to Repeal or Replace Obamacare”). Most are RINOs and embarrassing. We’ve been totally lied to.
The Republicans are nothing more than Democrats, and all of the previous votes to repeal Obamacare were a show. Every one of those Republicans must be exposed and shown for who they really are. Americans need to see all of their donations from Planned Parenthood and their supporters, as well as insurance companies, AARP, and others who profited from Obamacare at our expense.
Mitch McConnell is such an embarrassment. And to think that President Trump was trying to do something nice and connect with the Senate majority leader by appointing his wife as commerce secretary. Well, we must get rid of McConnell and Paul Ryan, who are really Democrats posing as conservatives.—Rachel Janzen
— Jarrett Stepman (@JarrettStepman) July 24, 2017
Once again, a spot-on article from Fred Lucas about real cronyism in Washington, D.C. (“How Trump Could Force Congress and Its Staff to Live Under Obamacare”). How members of Congress can so blatantly pull an end run around the provisions of the Obamacare law and exempt themselves and their staffers is way beyond me.
I wrote to my congressional folks over a year ago, and guess what—I got no replies to any of my three letters. So, once again, go get ’em. Put the pressure on the White House to reverse the Office of Personnel Management decision and lump these folks in with the rest of us “deplorables.”—Arthur S. Catullo, Cmdr., USN (Ret.), Jacksonville, Fla.
Absolutely do not exempt Congress from Obamacare. This whole scenario is such a farce. John McCain is not the only RINO in this; he just gets the attention.—Shirley
We the people need to start a petition to cancel the health care the House and Senate have and make it the same we have. How long do you think it would take them to pass a health care bill then?—Susan Penn
Let’s see that our president knows we the people support his use of the pen to force Congress to live the way we have to live, without the exemptions they have given themselves. It is disgraceful that they can sidestep laws like Obamacare. All my friends, even the Dems and liberals, agree with me on this one.—Beatrice
You alert people to so much. Please run an article on the so-called death panels built into Obamacare—the issue of caps and the independent payment board. According to an opinion piece I read in The Wall Street Journal, time is running out to repeal this.
Please give this some attention so that your readers can contact their representatives if they wish to do so. I think when the words “death panel” are used, most people think they refer to doctors being paid for end-of-life counseling. That isn’t the issue at all.—John Stocks
— The Daily Signal (@DailySignal) August 5, 2017
Regarding Jarrett Stepman’s commentary, “How Obamacare Is Eroding Private Insurance,” my husband and I are both self-employed, and we have two college-age sons. Though thankful to Obamacare to be able to keep our sons on my insurance (supplemental insurance offered by colleges is exorbitant and just a money maker), we indeed “make too much money” for Obamacare yet not enough actually to be able to use the insurance we pay for.
Our premium for health insurance (Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Bronze, no dental or vision) is $1,500 a month with an annual deduction of $10,000 per person and $20,000 family. I am finding that I cannot afford to go to the doctor when I need to because it literally costs me the complete out-of-pocket costs.
The only benefit is that if we go “in network” we will have the “negotiated” rate billed. Though that isn’t even the real case, as physicians billing companies are masters at breaking out the charges into subcategories (sort of like peeling an onion), so one ends up getting a lot of duplicate charges and that is passed on to the consumer.
The consumer must be very diligent to evaluate every doctor’s bill and every explanation of benefits to make sure charges are accurate. It is expensive, exhausting, and frustrating. I am quite aggravated with being forced by law to pay for others to have insurance when I cannot effectively use my own for the benefit of my family.
I think it is ludicrous that our leaders in Congress (a true dichotomy) on both sides of the aisle can’t seem to do the job they were hired to do. If my progress performance was on par with theirs, I would have been fired. Hey, now, there is an idea: Let’s toss them all and start over again. Pretty sure the Founding Fathers never intended politics to be a lifelong employment opportunity.
Please keep up the pressure. The Heritage Foundation does good work.—Melissa Turrisi
I am using this opportunity to vent my anger and disgust at our so-called Congress. They make laws that don’t apply to them. They are immune to prosecution for their violations. They have a golden parachute retirement program and health care. The rhetoric they spew about protecting citizens of their states is nothing but lies.
When they talk about citizens without health insurance who may not have expanded Medicaid any longer, they fail to mention this was a windfall entitlement from Obamacare that suddenly appeared for able-bodied citizens who otherwise wouldn’t have insurance in the first place.
Republicans have fallen into the same pit as the Democrats, expecting their election campaign funding to come from their favorite lobbyists, who are deciding how they vote. They will never receive a dime from me again.
Come the next election, I will vote for the candidate who has the best haircut or color of tie. There is little difference between parties anymore. I don’t expect any astounding revelation when it comes to tax reform either.
I am 76 years old and on limited income, with no COLA in Social Security for several years. My wife has Alzheimer’s, with me being the primary caregiver. But life is good because we have our Lord. All of the above is to be expected because this nation abandoned God a long time ago.—Charles Fickling
— Jim Mullen (@freedomforusnow) August 2, 2017
Why not a “universal health care policy” written by the government and offered by all the insurance companies across state lines? The insurance companies would bargain with hospitals, doctors, pharmacies, and other health care providers for the best prices, and we would all benefit from the savings. The only government involvement would be to insure compliance.—Dan O’Toole
Excellent chart on the differences among Republicans’ Obamacare repeal/replace bills in Jarrett Stepman’s commentary, “7 Years of Promising Obamacare Repeal Leaves Republicans Just One Option.” Concise, comprehensive, and easy to grasp quickly.
The president and vice president needed to have a blow-up or power point of this chart for their meetings with the 52 Republican senators. It seems the crybaby repeal-and-only-repeal folks just like to throw childish temper tantrums. We have the opportunity to start reform now.—Liana Silsby, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
In a recent interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox, Dr. Charles Krauthammer explained how he would fix the health care problem. His point, which I’ve never heard brought up by any senator in any interview, was the high cost of insurance on doctors for malpractice and how it affects medical costs. His suggestion is to reform the tort laws, protecting doctors from frivolous lawsuits so they may do their jobs rather than just making lawyers rich. The government would save billions of dollars with that alone.—John McAlpin
As with any provider, expenses dictate the charged fees. In medical cases, legal amounts to an inordinate dollar amount compared to other free world countries. Malpractice insurance, medical equipment, pharmacy, litigation, excessive monetary settlements and fees, and so on. Tort reform should be the primary issue to resolve.—Mike Dahly
— Star Parker (@UrbanCURE) July 6, 2017
Work and Dignity
Dear Daily Signal: Thanks to Jarrett Stepman for his commentary article, “Why the Left Is Wrong About Welfare Reform.” I hope it can be the start of a change in the conversation about welfare and work, and the nature of work itself.
We want people to work because, as a country, we count on this money to keep our economy going. Steve Smoot, in his talk to the World Congress of Families in 2009, stated that 70 percent of our gross domestic product is driven by individual consumer spending.
So how can we have a robust economy if people are on government assistance programs footed by taxpayer dollars? This adds further drag to our economy. We want to grow the private sector. This frees up our tax dollars for spending in the economy.
I don’t believe our young people are getting these basic economic principles taught to them.
We want welfare recipients (like all our citizens) to work because our country values the skills and talents they possess. We must make good use of these skills and talents where there is a fit.
The “talking points” from the left seem to paint work as drudgery. When people aren’t working, what are they doing? Are they spending their idle time in less worthy pursuits?
Treating people with dignity should be incorporated into our goals. How are people being treated with dignity when they are living in poverty and reliant on the government?
Moving people to self-sufficiency, where they provide for themselves and their own families, is where we need to go. Ideally, growing private sector jobs—as President Trump is doing—is going to help get us there.
This latter model is the basis for Catholic Charities’ transitional housing program, designed to move people from homelessness to self-reliance in two years. The program’s success, however, relies on the ability of people to get a job that allows them to provide for their needs and those of their family.
Thanks for your honest and insightful reporting.—Katie Goryl
I enjoyed Genevieve Wood’s interview with J.D. Vance (“‘Hillbilly Elegy’ Author Outlines Ways to Increase Opportunity”). I recently read his book with great appreciation for his life experiences. He is so right on about what this country needs. Less government and more family involvement. Not just in Appalachia, but everywhere.
The bottom line is, good people, whether successful or not, need a healthy, stable, loving family environment. It all starts from within the home, and thankfully, J.D. had grandparents who ruled with both love and strict discipline. Without proper role models, most of us are doomed.
When I see the violent looters and thugs who protest our government, I can pretty much guarantee you that they come from chaotic, unstable home environments. This behavior would not even occur to most of us.
I raised two daughters and am in my 60s now. I think I am a pretty cool grandma. I am blessed with good health and love to be active with my seven grandkids. With involved parents, strict discipline and lots of love, I pray that they will all grow up to be healthy, well adjusted adults. Regardless of what directions their careers take them, my prayer is that they are kind, considerate adults who can make a difference in some way.
Anyone can make a baby, but it takes a lot of work to make a good person. J.D. Vance is definitely one of those success stories.—Lynne Plaxton
— Rob Bluey (@RobertBluey) August 30, 2017
This and That
Genevieve Wood’s piece on Hurricane Harvey is so heartwarming, and I am ever so grateful to see it (“Hurricane Harvey Brings Out the Best in Americans”). It is the true picture of what Texas and the USA are all about. God gave us this country to do his work, and we will never stop taking care of it.
I thank God for your honest, unbiased reporting that keeps us in balance. We need you desperately to stay the course and overcome the evil that so many delight in spewing daily. God bless all at The Daily Signal and Heritage.—Shirley Sclafani
Thank you to Jarrett Stepman for the excellent commentary article about Louisiana’s disgraceful jettisoning of history (“Louisiana Democrats Purge Thomas Jefferson, Who Acquired Louisiana”). Here in Arkansas, the Democrats have replaced their Jefferson-Jackson Dinner with the “Clinton Dinner” (gag).
In order to preserve the memory of our third president (Arkansas was also part of the Louisiana Purchase), I am considering renaming our Reagan-Rockefeller event (named after President Reagan and Arkansas Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller, and his son, Lt. Gov. Win P. Rockefeller) as the Jefferson-Reagan-Rockefeller event.—Mark Johnson, chairman, Pulaski County Republican Committee
I know White House correspondent Fred Lucas’ heart is broken because Democrats want to impeach Trump (“Democrats Hatch Plans A, B, and C to Impeach Trump”). Both parties, and their ideological allies, have always put politics and their interests above the nation. I’m not sure Lucas is writing what he writes because he has to earn a living or he really believes in what he writes.
Republicans are equally vicious, or more so, in attacking and coming up with one-liners like “death panels” and so on. Republicans spent a great deal of time trying to sabotage Hillary Clinton using Benghazi, and The Daily Signal was complicit with its writings. Now Democrats are trying to undermine Trump, and your hearts are hurting. I am speechless!—Ash Patel
So many of us would love to see President Trump do as he said: Drain that swamp. Our vote is for the president to cut all the perks of Congress, who think they are so above the real people. The people are sick to death of their superior attitude. We love The Daily Signal; keep up the good work. God bless you.—Jenny King
Thanks for letting us know that President Trump is cracking down on the Veterans Administration. We have no complaints here in Wisconsin. But the VA’s way of doing business with workers through a union is an eye-opener. And the accounting of payoffs to quiet those who are to be dismissed is really out and out blackmail.
A few bad apples spoil a barrel of good ones. The media should have this on the front page. But they won’t publish anything good about Trump. Sad state of affairs.—Carol Crowe
Agriculture as a whole would be better off if government never had gotten in it. I’m an 80-year-old retired farmer who farmed for 45 years without their programs. It’s time for those takers of our tax money to be weaned off and a real supply and demand take place.—Joe Mahaffey
If the Defense Department continues to spend on green energy projects, then should the Trump administration divert funds from the Energy Department to fund those projects (“Most of Obama’s Green Policies Persist at Defense Department”). Since we have the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado, is the Defense Department’s green energy program a duplicate, and one or the other should be killed?—Richard R. Allen, Colorado Springs, Colo.
— Israel News Links (@IsraelNewsLinks) August 4, 2017
How Are We Doing?
Dear Daily Signal: I am neither a radical nor a liberal, just an old, blind, and disabled woman, retired from six decades of teaching and counseling. In all sincerity, I want to thank Kelsey Harkness for her reporting. It’s refreshing to see individuals and groups who still believe in presenting unbiased facts for the public to read and decide upon for themselves.
With the hundreds of emails I get, I automatically delete a lot because of the challenge of “reading,” since I am blind. I love our country, am a little skeptical and critical of how the American society as a whole is handling the legacy we forged for them, but I see hope in people like Kelsey Harkness. The Daily Signal is the best thing I read.—Joanne R. Scheafnock
Progressive ideology promotes racism and intolerance. Progressives use the same playbook as did the Bolsheviks.—Robert Menzel
Why do we never see a representative of The Daily Signal as a guest on TV programs such as “Lou Dobbs Tonight” or “Hannity?”—M.D. Barber
Thank you for the detailed update on what is going on regarding immigration in our country. We of course do not get this in the mainstream media. It’s why I support The Daily Signal. Keep up the great work.—Kathy Griggs
You people are complete and utter a——s. Your group has done more to undermine the integrity of the United States than any white supremacist.—Steve Rippe
Thank you to Fred Lucas for his reporting. Our great country needs this platform to propel the truth, against the evils of the mainstream media. God bless all that The Daily Signal is doing to ensure that truth stands front and center in the news today.—Lori Mattia
Thank you for the awesome job you guys do. I am so elated to finally find a news source that keeps me posted on daily events without all the lies, hate, and venom that is being spewed from other media sources. You are brave, honest, and true patriots. It gives me hope that not everyone is completely insane. Keep up this valuable and very good work.—Allison Fuentes