Repeal and Retain: Paul Ryan Launches the Republican Welfare State

Former House Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan says he does not support  [House Speaker] Paul Ryan’s American Health Care Act [to repeal and replace Obamacare]. He said, “This is Obamacare by a different form. They’re still keeping the taxes in place and Medicaid expansion, and they’re starting a new entitlement.”

Congressman Dave Brat (R-VA) explained that he would vote against the Obamacare bill in its current form because “The bill maintains many of the federal features including a new entitlement program as well as most of the insurance regulations.” He continued, “Now [they] are saying we’re going to do repeal and replace but the bill does nothing of the sort. [Speaker] Paul Ryan has always said the entire rationale for this bill is to bend the cost curve down, and so far I have seen no evidence that this bill will bring the cost curve down.”

A Republican Study Caucus memo stated that: “This is a Republican welfare entitlement. Writing checks to individuals to purchase insurance is, in principle, Obamacare. It does allow more choices for individuals, and is more patient-centered, but is fundamentally grounded on the idea that the federal government should fund insurance purchases.”

The Republican welfare state is based on the same faulty premise as the Democratic welfare state: The false, vicious idea that man is his brother’s keeper — and that government should make it so, under the law.

Once and for all: Man is not his brother’s keeper. We are all our own keepers. While we are certainly free and welcome to help others, it’s not our central purpose for living. Anyone who claims otherwise is not living by the claim. If you put your own needs before a stranger’s, or love your own child or parents more than a stranger’s, then you’re not living by the principles of Obamacare, which state that we are all responsible for each other. If you think your central purpose is to live for others, and not live for yourself, then I bet you’re not living by that principle consistently. And I bet you feel more than a tiny bit guilty for it.

Why do you think psychotherapists such as myself are so busy, trying to alleviate people’s unearned and irrational guilt all day long? Because we’ve all been sold a bill of goods deeper and more far-reaching even than Obamacare. The false bill of goods is that our lives are not ends in themselves, and the only purpose we have in living is to sacrifice and care for others. Wrong! We are all self-interested, or at least we should be. Our natures require self-preservation, and only an attitude and ethics of self-responsibility will ensure the individual’s or society’s survival. If everyone took responsibility for themselves (and their closest loved ones), there would be no perceived need for a welfare state. Private charity would be the exception, not the norm, and the benevolent spirit of charity would not be sullied or ruined by the coercion and red tape of government.

You don’t have to agree. You can say I’m completely wrong and your moral code is precisely the opposite. And you’re free to believe it. But I’m also free to reject it. That’s the whole point of a free country, isn’t it?

That was the whole point of the United States of America, in the first place: To retain for the individual sovereignty over his or her own life. Period. That’s it.

If you want to live only for others, you’re free to do that. Nobody will stop you. But you’re not permitted to use the force of government to turn everyone into slaves of your charity projects (or power grabs), not for any portion of their lives.

At present, working Americans (those who still work) toil and labor until April or May to pay for the wealth redistribution our politicians have created. Obamacare extended that idea further. The “new and improved” Obamacare rests on that very same premise.

If ever there was an example of rearranging the deck chairs on the proverbial Titanic, Paul Ryan’s “repeal and retain” approach to Obamacare is it. No thanks, Paul Ryan. You can join ranks with Karl Marx, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. That would be the honest thing to do, because we know you hold the same faulty premises as these manipulative tyrants and — like them — your desire to retain power is all that matters to you.

Paul Ryan and his fellow Republican establishment cronies are sinister statist phonies, and this attempt to retain and even expand Obamacare proves it. Until or unless Tea Party, conservative and libertarian Republicans get rid of these people, once and for all, they’re going to do much more harm than good.

The only solution to Obamacare is to repeal it...period. And then begin the process of privatization. Nothing else will save health care.

Are you listening, Donald Trump? I sure hope so. Because if we don’t get this right, America is over.


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