It's Here! It's Here! The Senate Health Care Bill Is Here (And It's Just Like Obamacare)

At long last, the Republican-controlled senate released their version of the health care bill. And it sounds so much better than Obamacare: The Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017. Unfortunately, it's better in name only, as it retains essentially the same framework as Obamacare.

"I am so tired of Washington, D.C., I have to tell you. I have to apologize for, you know, my behavior over the last year and a half when I was fighting for Ted Cruz. You know, I believed that we could fix this country because we could go back to the Constitution. I think you were ahead of me. You knew that Washington, D.C. is so broken that there's no one going back to the Constitution. It's just not going to happen in today's climate. So I apologize for actually believing. You were ahead of me on that," Glenn admitted Thursday on radio.

The details of the senate plan, which prompted Glenn's gloominess, were outlined in a tidy, easy-to-read 148-page summary. Co-host Stu Burguiere gave the Cliff Notes version of the summary, courtesy of Reason:

It is exactly what critics predicted: a bill that, at least in the near term, retains weakened versions of nearly all of Obamacare's core features while fixing few if any of the problems that Republicans say they want to fix. It is Obamacare lite—the health law that Republicans claim to oppose, but less of it. It represents a total failure of Republican policy imagination.

Even more than the House plan, the Senate plan retains the essential structure of Obamacare's individual market reforms. Like the House plan, the Senate plan retains Obamacare's major insurance regulations, including the requirement to cover preexisting conditions at the federal level.

"If this continues, insurance companies will go out of business," Glenn predicted.

So, yay, senate Republicans for putting those big, well-paid brains to use and delivering exactly the opposite of what the American people wanted: A complete repeal of Obamacare.

Listen to this segment, beginning at mark 1:40, from The Glenn Beck Program:

GLENN: You know, I am so tired of Washington, DC. I have to tell you, I -- I think -- I have to apologize for, you know, my behavior over the last year and a half. When I was fighting for Ted Cruz, you know, I believed that we could fix this country because we could refer -- you know, we could go back to the Constitution. I think you were ahead of me. You know that Washington, DC, is so broken, that there's no one going back to the Constitution. It's just not going to happen in today's climate. So I apologize for actually believing. You were ahead of me on that.

Let's look at what's happening with the health care bill.

STU: Hmm.

GLENN: Health care bill -- and we have to --

PAT: Well, keep in mind, this is Republicans. So they're fixing it. This is going to be -- it's fixed.

JEFFY: Keep in mind, it's the beginning. It's just the beginning.

PAT: It's repeal and replace. And I'll bet you, they've really taken a hard stand here.

GLENN: Keep in mind, we're at 11:08 Eastern Time in the morning, if you happen to listen to this show delayed. So we're just getting the bill. It's just been released. So we're kind of -- Stu is looking at the whole bill. We're looking at the reads of the bill. So we can't give you our opinion quite yet on this. But we will tomorrow.

They have -- they've released the G.O.P. Senate version. The Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017. It looks more than a little like the House bill, which kept most of Obamacare's structure in place. The Senate plan actually looks closer to Obamacare, that is already on the books.

You don't have to be told this. But this is why I'm so sick of Washington, DC. And I apologize to you.

The average plan has -- has risen by 22 percent. By the way, that was last year. The average plan rose in cost by 22 percent.

PAT: Bearing in mind, that this was going to save everybody $2,500 per family, per year. Remember? That was the promise.

GLENN: Yeah. In just the last year. And early reports show large spikes are coming this year as well.

The -- the for-profit health insurance providers -- you know, the people who actually think we need to be able to make money to be able to keep this thing running, have lost so much money, they've either scaled back their participation, or have dropped out entirely. Obamacare is collapsing now. The -- unlike the House plan, the Senate plan does not allow states to apply for a waiver to opt out of those rules. But it does eliminate the health insurance mandate.

Here's Stu to give us -- who has been trying to read this 148-page summary on exactly what it means.

STU: It's pretty -- I mean, it's interesting. Here is -- I like this -- to give you the boildown here to start: It is exactly what critics predicted.

This is from Reason.

A bill that at least in the near-term retains weakened versions of nearly all of Obamacare's core features, while fixing few, if any of the problems that Republicans say they want to fix. It is Obamacare-lite, the health care law that Republicans claim to oppose, but less of it.

It represents a total failure of Republican policy imagination. Here's some of the details of it. Even more than the House plan, the Senate plan --

GLENN: By the way, can I ask -- I heard last night the Republicans are saying they wanted to keep Donald Trump away from this bill because it was so hard to get done, and they just wanted him, because they were afraid he would make a mess of this, that they wanted to keep him away from this bill.

STU: I don't know if that's true.

GLENN: That's what I heard. I saw a report and I saw the actual screen grab of that text coming from a congressman.

And looking at this, how could have anyone made this worse?

STU: He's apparently been lobbying for it. He's -- reportedly was lobbying Rand Paul to try to get him to vote for it. Mike Lee had also been lobbied, reportedly by Ted Cruz on this, to see how he could get down the road. So --

PAT: Does that mean Ted Cruz is for it?

STU: No, that's not been announced. It just was one report.

GLENN: There are four -- I don't know who they are yet, but there are four -- they need all but two Republicans to sign up.

STU: Uh-huh.

GLENN: And there are Republicans who said, from what I know so far, I'm not interested, but I'm not ruling it out.

STU: And that's -- look, I think that's -- you shouldn't rule it out yet. Right?

GLENN: No, you shouldn't, until you've read it.

STU: There's lots of debate to happen. The problem is, what usually happens in these debates is the bill gets worse.

GLENN: It gets worse.

STU: But -- so let me give you some more, the actual details of this. Again, this is the new Senate version of the, quote, unquote, repeal and replace bill from Obamacare.

Even more than the House plan, the Senate plan retains the essential structure of Obamacare's individual market reforms. Like the House plan, the Senate plan retains Obamacare's major insurance regulations, including the requirement to cover preexisting conditions at the federal level.

GLENN: Okay. So that's the thing that Chuck Schumer said, it's a very, very sad bill. I'm sorry. Very, very mean bill.

Because they were saying that they wanted to take out preexisting conditions. So you understand -- so your friends understand, the entire thing about insurance is -- and this has been lost through SSI, Social Security Insurance. That's not insurance. That's a guarantee. Health care is not a guarantee. The way insurance works is you're in pools of people, and the bigger the pool, the better. But what do we do? We break those pools up. You cannot cross state lines. So I can't be in a pool with people all across the country.

So what happens? If you're put in the pool, the company is betting that you're not going to get sick, knowing that some people will be born with cerebral palsy, and somebody will have a heart attack, and somebody in their pool will have cancer. But it's not a sure thing.

If I said, "I'm going to cover everyone who has cancer," and you don't have to pay me prior to having cancer, that's a losing proposition. Cancer centers can't do that. The American Cancer Society can't do that. If you want to cover everyone with cancer, then you should demand that the American Cancer Society covers everyone with cancer.

No one can afford to do that.

PAT: And this is why we said at the beginning, if this passes, there's no getting rid of it.

GLENN: No.

PAT: Because once you've given this to people, it's nearly impossible to take it away.

GLENN: You can't take it. And if you wanted to do something, where people had preexisting conditions of some -- something, then you -- and you can't feel like you can't take it away. Okay. Then come up with a government program, which I'm completely against. But I'm not hearing anybody say this. That is outside of the insurance system. Come up with something different for people with preexisting, catastrophic conditions that need help.

Okay. I don't like that. I would never propose that. But that's the way you do it, to protect the insurance for people who have the sniffles and the cold and a broken arm.

What's happening is, people are not -- you have insurance -- and I can't go to the insurance company and say, "Hey, I just broke my arm -- I need to you -- I need you to sign up." No, I'm sorry. You can't sign up once you've broken your arm. But that's what is happening. You don't have to have the insurance. You don't have to pay in. But you're guaranteed, if you have a preexisting condition, to get it.

So I've never paid a dime to an insurance company. I'm not paying in for the pool.

PAT: Why not just wait till you get sick and then sign up? Why not?

GLENN: Right. And I sign up. And then the insurance company has to take you and cover you.

PAT: This is why so many -- so many insurance companies have dropped out of the exchanges. They just can't do it.

GLENN: If this continues, insurance companies will go out of business.

PAT: Yep.

GLENN: Now, they signed -- I have no sympathy at all for these insurance companies.

STU: Many of them pushed for this, for Obamacare.

GLENN: Yes. And the biggest ones did.

STU: And, of course, you know, I don't know, could it be because it benefits them in the long-run? I mean, basically what they have designed is a system that legally required people come into their store and buy their product.

GLENN: Yes.

STU: So, of course, obviously you're going down a road here which ends likely in them, you know, getting -- their industry getting money from every single citizen in the country.

GLENN: But it doesn't -- but it doesn't work that way.

STU: It doesn't work here. This is a half step -- again, I don't think any of it works. But insurance companies like it for that reason.

GLENN: Here. Let me explain this outside of insurance. If the NFL said everybody has to --

STU: Uh-oh.

GLENN: Listen to me.

STU: Oh, no. We're going to the sports analogy.

GLENN: No, no, no. We're okay.

STU: Okay. We're okay.

PAT: Danger, Will Robinson. Danger.

GLENN: Everybody has to buy NFL season tickets.

PAT: Uh-huh.

GLENN: And everybody has to buy it, but the government then said, you have to guarantee that those people who already have season tickets gets season tickets and those are free. Those are -- don't have to worry about it. They pay regular price. You know, and it's a reduced price. But then no one else in the country is buying their season tickets because they didn't want them. And it doesn't matter to them. What the hell is going to happen to the NFL? Now, the NFL is just having to buy all their own tickets? There's no -- they're not making any money. I think they thought, well, if we get everybody in the country to pay, we're going to make tons of money. Nobody is doing it. Nobody is doing it.

STU: Yeah. I hate to step on your point here, which is a good one. And obviously the preexisting conditions argument is something we've had for a long time. However, that argument is completely irrelevant in our society right now. Currently, Obamacare guarantees preexisting conditions. The House bill guarantees preexisting conditions. The Senate bill guarantees preexisting conditions. And the president has said he must have preexisting conditions in any bill that he would support. So it is like there is no one on the other side, outside of nine people in this audience, who actually think insurance is insurance anymore.

GLENN: Right. Right. And so that's the problem. If you want to take preexisting conditions and come up with something that's not insurance, then that's good. Or if you say, all right. We're going to do preexisting conditions -- we as the United States of America believe that no one should have to worry about a catastrophic failure. And, you know what, there's a lot to be said for that. That no one in this country should ever have to lose their house because they have cancer or their kid has cancer and they've lost everything. Okay.

So we as a society step in and say, we're going to take care of you. I don't think that's a wise idea. But it's charitable and it's nice and it makes us feel good. And it is a nice thing to do.

Okay. Great. But that's not insurance. So let's solve that problem. And then, how can we make the insurance that everybody needs really cheap? They're not doing that.

They're not making insurance more cheaply. They're making it much more expensive. This is only going to make things worse and collapse the entire system.

STU: Quickly on this point -- because this is point one of this. This is really not one even one that's being argued about at this point.

GLENN: Argued. Yeah.

STU: It also retains another thing that is in Obamacare, in the House plan, now in the Senate plan, and also something the president wants, which is, you keep your kids on your insurance until they're 26 years old. So the only difference here --

GLENN: How is it my kid is an adult to the government and to the doctors when they're eight, when they can -- when they could get birth control the minute they start to menstruate and have an abortion and they're an adult and they have nothing -- I have nothing to say about that. But they're a kid that I have to continue to pay for until they're 26.

STU: I will add to this, the one difference between the House and the Senate plan is some of these restrictions, under the House plan, gave the option for states to opt out, to get a waiver and opt out of some of these restrictions. Not all. But some.

GLENN: The House plan did, which was awful.

STU: The House plan did. It was already bad. The Senate plan does not give states the option to get a waiver and drop out of some of the more --

GLENN: Can you see if we can get Mike Lee on? See if we can get Mike Lee on. I'd love to hear what he has to say about this bill.

STU: I mean, it just -- you know, it's just coming out, so he may not want to.

GLENN: He may not know. But if he knows about it, maybe we can get him on tomorrow.

[break]

GLENN: All righty.

So we're looking -- so Stu says, "Glenn shut up. You've brought up two things that are not in the bill, and nobody is even arguing for." Okay. So let me ask you this: State lines. Insurance across state lines. Right? That one is in there.

PAT: I mean, that's a no-brainer. That's what everybody thought could make this so much better.

GLENN: Yeah. You're seeing that, right? I mean, Reason and Politico and everybody else.

PAT: So surely that's like point one.

STU: That is not point one. No. Per se.

PAT: Two. Okay. It's two.

GLENN: But it's at least mentioned in all the articles that you've read. I know you haven't read the full bill yet.

STU: Right. No.

GLENN: No. It's -- wait.

STU: No.

PAT: Where is it then? Okay. It's not in the first one or two --

GLENN: It's not in any articles about it.

STU: No.

So it's interesting in that --

PAT: It's hard to believe they can't even do that, isn't it?

STU: I just don't know.

GLENN: No. No. No. Hang on.

May I have an intervention? It's time for an intervention.

STU: I agree with that. I mean, it might not be the same kind of intervention you're talking about.

GLENN: You're referring to like having one with me.

STU: No. I would not.

GLENN: Okay. I think it's time for an intervention on Pat. He's like, it's crazy that they couldn't even get that done.

Stop it. Let go of that silly belief that these people will do the right thing. Stop it, Pat. It's harmful to you, your family, your relationships. Our relationship. The country.

PAT: Uh-huh. Uh-huh.

GLENN: Give up on that belief.

PAT: Give up all hope in our government. In our government.

GLENN: In our government. All hope.

PAT: Okay.

JEFFY: I mean, people are already giving up hope on the feed: If health care costs continue to rise, they're going to have to start selling face cream.

STU: Sure.

JEFFY: So they're worried.

GLENN: Joanna Gaines is already doing it. She's doing it.

STU: No, she's not.

GLENN: Right.

STU: I actually got an email from someone, very beginning of the sort of Trump administration, from a person who was a big Trump skeptic. Did not like Trump at all.

And they said, oh, my gosh -- when these first reports were coming out -- oh, my gosh, they're going to repeal Obamacare. I can't believe this. I did not think this would happen.

Yeah, this is where we are now. Just a few months later, I mean, all of that -- even the hope I think from almost everyone on the conservative side looking at these bills is dead. Now, you hope maybe you get the individual mandate and a few of the taxes gone. And you say, "Hey, celebrate. We backed off ten on the horrible scale to a 9.5." That's all we're hoping for. That's the only thing we're even wishing for out of this bill anymore. And that is really where we are. If what you hope for is a small government and a free market and a conservative platform, you're not even hoping anymore for something good. You're hoping to take a ten and reverse it a little bit to an eight or a nine.

GLENN: I'm hoping that they don't torture me before they shoot me in the head.

STU: Okay. All right.

(laughter)

GLENN: That's kind of where we are. Just, will you just kill me quickly?

PAT: No.

GLENN: Or do you have to torture me too? Back in just a second.

(OUT AT 10:32AM)

GLENN: All right. Let's -- let's go to the health care bill. We're going to give you the full rundown of this tomorrow, what it means. And then we'll hopefully talk to a couple of Senate leaders on it tomorrow. This just came out about an hour ago, so we haven't read the entire bill yet. We're trying to scan it as we go in between the breaks. Stu has a couple of updates. And then we're going to move on to something else that is happening, the border wall.

STU: Okay. So we know one of the big complaints about the House bill, was it's going to create all this instability. Some people are going to drop off insurance. Blah, blah, blah.

The way the Senate bill attempts to manage that is by buying off health insurance companies with payments Republicans previously argued were illegal and should be stopped. They're called CSR payments. Cost-sharing reduction payments. They're subsidies due to insurers through 2019. It authorizes those and back payments of those subsidies that insurers have not received. On this front, it's actually an expansion of Obamacare.

GLENN: So wait. So we're paying our tax dollars, and we're giving subsidies to insurance programs?

STU: Right. Yeah. To insurance companies to make it essentially worth their while, to reduce their cost.

GLENN: How about my freaking 21 percent increase that I paid last year as being their incentive? Jeez.

STU: Now, to give Trump some credit here, these are the payments that he, in particular, was talking -- at least had been floated in the media that Trump was talking about, withholding these payments to the insurance companies, which basically would make the entire individual market fall apart. And so this is the Senate saying, no, not only are we going to do them, we're going to give them back payments, which is actually going to give them more money and actually expand Obamacare slightly on that.

PAT: Jeez. Jeez.

GLENN: So we know that the insurance company lobby got their chit in.

STU: Yeah, they got their stuff in.

So --

GLENN: I did say C-H.

STU: I assumed you didn't just swear in that --

GLENN: Yeah. I just saw -- I just saw kind of everybody look at each other. And I'm like, no, I just want to make sure.

PAT: I was trying to think, what was that word exactly?

STU: Yes, they got their stuff.

So this is probably -- if you want the clearest example as to what the G.O.P. Senate health care bill does -- if you just want to understand it with one little function, it's this: The House version of the repeal provided free money to people for health care, as does Obamacare. They did it based on age. The Senate bill does it based on income, which is the exact same way Obamacare does it. Here's the difference, however. Again, this is what I'm talking about, the difference of these plans. Obamacare gave free money to people up to $98,000 a year in salary. Okay. That's Obamacare.

PAT: All right.

STU: $98,000 a year.

PAT: You get free money up to 98,000. Okay?

STU: Yes. The Senate bill will give free money to people for health care, up to $86,000 a year.

GLENN: Wait. What?

STU: So that's the difference. It is -- instead of 98,000, they're making it 86,000.

GLENN: So wait. That's more money than --

STU: No. Why do I -- why do I use numbers? Why do I even use them? Why even say them out loud?

GLENN: Wait. So wait.

STU: If you earn up to $86,000 a year, under the G.O.P. plan, you'll get free money. Under Obamacare, it was 98,000. So it is a slight tiny, teeny roll back of what this was.

GLENN: Got it. Got it. Got it.

STU: And if you want to look at it easily -- you know, if what we had in 2008 was a zero and Obamacare was a ten, as far as where these plans are --

GLENN: This is a nine and a half.

STU: This is -- let's say the health -- the House plan was an eight, and this is a nine. Right?

GLENN: Which is exactly what we said it would be.

STU: Yes.

GLENN: We said it would go to the Senate and it would get worse. And everybody said, "No, no, it's going to get better."

JEFFY: Just the beginning. We're working through this one.

GLENN: Okay. All right. Okay.

STU: So there you go. You want a basic understanding. We'll get into more --

PAT: But it does two good things that we know of, right? It removes the individual mandate.

STU: Which to me -- and I've said this before many times.

PAT: Which is good.

STU: I believe is the most offensive part of Obamacare. The individual mandate.

PAT: Well, it is. It's unconstitutional.

GLENN: Yeah.

STU: I maintain that regardless of what the Supreme Court says.

PAT: Yes.

GLENN: But the individual mandate is the only thing that makes this work, supposedly.

STU: I don't know. You could argue that. You know, one person who argued the opposite of that was Barack Obama in the campaign. He said you didn't need an individual mandate. If you wanted an individual mandate, you could just --

PAT: Make people buy homes, and you won't have homeless.

STU: Have people buy homes, and there would be no homelessness. I mean, he used to mock that idea. But you're right, I mean, there is a function of it, to force people and gather all their money through tax penalties to pay for this nonsense.

GLENN: Is the Cadillac tax gone?

STU: The Cadillac tax, I have not read that on this particular bill. The House bill pushed it out, but did not remove it.

GLENN: Okay. That's craziness. How can you continue -- look, as a businessman, I cannot run my business and plan for the future when I don't know what the government is going to cost me next year or the year after or the year after that.

STU: I know.

GLENN: I have to have a stable environment to be able to run my business.

STU: And so much of this is just bookkeeping, figuring. Right?

GLENN: No. You know what it is? It's not only bookkeeping, figuring, it's also, when is the next election that we need to be the savior of the world?

STU: Exactly. For example, the Medicaid. What they're doing with Medicaid is they're slowly rolling back the Medicaid. And they're cutting it deeply. Deep cuts to this Medicaid program. And that's one of the things that the Democrats are going to say about it.

However, it pushes those cuts so far out in the future, but still within the ten-year frame. The ten-year frame is important because that's how they score these CBO bills.

So when they're -- they have to do this to get reconciliation to work. So what they're doing is, they're telling you, you know what, we're going to cut Medicaid by 900 percent, we promise, in 2026.

We all know that is not going to occur. When it comes down to 2026, they're going to just change it and start spending that money again. So it is not even real. The savings here is not even real. They're obviously going to change that later on, as they've done many times before or on both sides of the aisle.

From the moment the 33-year-old Thomas Jefferson arrived at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1776, he was on the radical side. That caused John Adams to like him immediately. Then the Congress stuck Jefferson and Adams together on the five-man committee to write a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain, and their mutual admiration society began.

Jefferson thought Adams should write the Declaration. But Adams protested, saying, “It can't come from me because I'm obnoxious and disliked." Adams reasoned that Jefferson was not obnoxious or disliked, therefore he should write it. Plus, he flattered Jefferson, by telling him he was a great writer. It was a master class in passing the buck.

So, over the next 17 days, Jefferson holed up in his room, applying his lawyer skills to the ideas of the Enlightenment. He borrowed freely from existing documents like the Virginia Declaration of Rights. He later wrote that “he was not striving for originality of principle or sentiment." Instead, he hoped his words served as “an expression of the American mind."

It's safe to say he achieved his goal.

The five-man committee changed about 25 percent of Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration before submitting it to Congress. Then, Congress altered about one-fifth of that draft. But most of the final Declaration's words are Jefferson's, including the most famous passage — the Preamble — which Congress left intact. The result is nothing less than America's mission statement, the words that ultimately bind the nation together. And words that we desperately need to rediscover because of our boiling partisan rage.

The Declaration is brilliant in structure and purpose. It was designed for multiple audiences: the King of Great Britain, the colonists, and the world. And it was designed for multiple purposes: rallying the troops, gaining foreign allies, and announcing the creation of a new country.

The Declaration is structured in five sections: the Introduction, Preamble, the Body composed of two parts, and the Conclusion. It's basically the most genius breakup letter ever written.

In the Introduction, step 1 is the notificationI think we need to break up. And to be fair, I feel I owe you an explanation...

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…

The Continental Congress felt they were entitled by “the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" to “dissolve the political bands," but they needed to prove the legitimacy of their cause. They were defying the world's most powerful nation and needed to motivate foreign allies to join the effort. So, they set their struggle within the entire “Course of human events." They're saying, this is no petty political spat — this is a major event in world history.

Step 2 is declaring what you believe in, your standardsHere's what I'm looking for in a healthy relationship...

This is the most famous part of the Declaration; the part school children recite — the Preamble:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That's as much as many Americans know of the Declaration. But the Preamble is the DNA of our nation, and it really needs to be taken as a whole:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The Preamble takes us through a logical progression: All men are created equal; God gives all humans certain inherent rights that cannot be denied; these include the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; to protect those rights, we have governments set up; but when a government fails to protect our inherent rights, people have the right to change or replace it.

Government is only there to protect the rights of mankind. They don't have any power unless we give it to them. That was an extraordinarily radical concept then and we're drifting away from it now.

The Preamble is the justification for revolution. But note how they don't mention Great Britain yet. And again, note how they frame it within a universal context. These are fundamental principles, not just squabbling between neighbors. These are the principles that make the Declaration just as relevant today. It's not just a dusty parchment that applied in 1776.

Step 3 is laying out your caseHere's why things didn't work out between us. It's not me, it's you...

This is Part 1 of the Body of the Declaration. It's the section where Jefferson gets to flex his lawyer muscles by listing 27 grievances against the British crown. This is the specific proof of their right to rebellion:

He has obstructed the administration of justice...

For imposing taxes on us without our consent...

For suspending our own legislatures...

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us...

Again, Congress presented these “causes which impel them to separation" in universal terms to appeal to an international audience. It's like they were saying, by joining our fight you'll be joining mankind's overall fight against tyranny.

Step 4 is demonstrating the actions you took I really tried to make this relationship work, and here's how...

This is Part 2 of the Body. It explains how the colonists attempted to plead their case directly to the British people, only to have the door slammed in their face:

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury...

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice... We must, therefore... hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

This basically wrapped up America's argument for independence — we haven't been treated justly, we tried to talk to you about it, but since you refuse to listen and things are only getting worse, we're done here.

Step 5 is stating your intent — So, I think it's best if we go our separate ways. And my decision is final...

This is the powerful Conclusion. If people know any part of the Declaration besides the Preamble, this is it:

...that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved...

They left no room for doubt. The relationship was over, and America was going to reboot, on its own, with all the rights of an independent nation.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The message was clear — this was no pitchfork mob. These were serious men who had carefully thought through the issues before taking action. They were putting everything on the line for this cause.

The Declaration of Independence is a landmark in the history of democracy because it was the first formal statement of a people announcing their right to choose their own government. That seems so obvious to us now, but in 1776 it was radical and unprecedented.

In 1825, Jefferson wrote that the purpose of the Declaration was “not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of… but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm… to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take."

You're not going to do better than the Declaration of Independence. Sure, it worked as a means of breaking away from Great Britain, but its genius is that its principles of equality, inherent rights, and self-government work for all time — as long as we actually know and pursue those principles.

On June 7, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania State House, better known today as Independence Hall. Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies' independence. The “Lee Resolution" was short and sweet:

Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

Intense debate followed, and the Congress voted 7 to 5 (with New York abstaining) to postpone a vote on Lee's Resolution. They called a recess for three weeks. In the meantime, the delegates felt they needed to explain what they were doing in writing. So, before the recess, they appointed a five-man committee to come up with a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain. They appointed two men from New England — Roger Sherman and John Adams; two from the middle colonies — Robert Livingston and Benjamin Franklin; and one Southerner — Thomas Jefferson. The responsibility for writing what would become the Declaration of Independence fell to Jefferson.

In the rotunda of the National Archives building in Washington, D.C., there are three original documents on permanent display: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. These are the three pillars of the United States, yet America barely seems to know them anymore. We need to get reacquainted — quickly.

In a letter to his friend John Adams in 1816, Jefferson wrote: “I like the dreams of the future, better than the history of the past."

America used to be a forward-looking nation of dreamers. We still are in spots, but the national attitude that we hear broadcast loudest across media is not looking toward the future with optimism and hope. In late 2017, a national poll found 59% of Americans think we are currently at the “lowest point in our nation's history that they can remember."

America spends far too much time looking to the past for blame and excuse. And let's be honest, even the Right is often more concerned with “owning the left" than helping point anyone toward the practical principles of the Declaration of Independence. America has clearly lost touch with who we are as a nation. We have a national identity crisis.

The Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

It is urgent that we get reacquainted with the Declaration of Independence because postmodernism would have us believe that we've evolved beyond the America of our founding documents, and thus they're irrelevant to the present and the future. But the Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

Today, much of the nation is so addicted to partisan indignation that "day-to-day" indignation isn't enough to feed the addiction. So, we're reaching into America's past to help us get our fix. In 2016, Democrats in the Louisiana state legislature tabled a bill that would have required fourth through sixth graders to recite the opening lines of the Declaration. They didn't table it because they thought it would be too difficult or too patriotic. They tabled it because the requirement would include the phrase “all men are created equal" and the progressives in the Louisiana legislature didn't want the children to have to recite a lie. Representative Barbara Norton said, “One thing that I do know is, all men are not created equal. When I think back in 1776, July the fourth, African Americans were slaves. And for you to bring a bill to request that our children will recite the Declaration, I think it's a little bit unfair to us. To ask our children to recite something that's not the truth. And for you to ask those children to repeat the Declaration stating that all men's are free. I think that's unfair."

Remarkable — an elected representative saying it wouldn't be fair for students to have to recite the Declaration because “all men are not created equal." Another Louisiana Democrat explained that the government born out of the Declaration “was used against races of people." I guess they missed that part in school where they might have learned that the same government later made slavery illegal and amended the Constitution to guarantee all men equal protection under the law. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were an admission of guilt by the nation regarding slavery, and an effort to right the wrongs.

Yet, the progressive logic goes something like this: many of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, including Thomas Jefferson who wrote it, owned slaves; slavery is evil; therefore, the Declaration of Independence is not valid because it was created by evil slave owners.

It's a sad reality that the left has a very hard time appreciating the universal merits of the Declaration of Independence because they're so hung up on the long-dead issue of slavery. And just to be clear — because people love to take things out of context — of course slavery was horrible. Yes, it is a total stain on our history. But defending the Declaration of Independence is not an effort to excuse any aspect of slavery.

Okay then, people might say, how could the Founders approve the phrase “All men are created equal," when many of them owned slaves? How did they miss that?

They didn't miss it. In fact, Thomas Jefferson included an anti-slavery passage in his first draft of the Declaration. The paragraph blasted King George for condoning slavery and preventing the American Colonies from passing legislation to ban slavery:

He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights to life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere... Determined to keep open a market where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.

We don't say “execrable" that much anymore. It means, utterly detestable, abominable, abhorrent — basically very bad.

Jefferson was upset when Georgia and North Carolina threw up the biggest resistance to that paragraph. Ultimately, those two states twisted Congress' arm to delete the paragraph.

Still, how could a man calling the slave trade “execrable" be a slaveowner himself? No doubt about it, Jefferson was a flawed human being. He even had slaves from his estate in Virginia attending him while he was in Philadelphia, in the very apartment where he was writing the Declaration.

Many of the Southern Founders deeply believed in the principles of the Declaration yet couldn't bring themselves to upend the basis of their livelihood. By 1806, Virginia law made it more difficult for slave owners to free their slaves, especially if the owner had significant debts as Jefferson did.

At the same time, the Founders were not idiots. They understood the ramifications of signing on to the principles described so eloquently in the Declaration. They understood that logically, slavery would eventually have to be abolished in America because it was unjust, and the words they were committing to paper said as much. Remember, John Adams was on the committee of five that worked on the Declaration and he later said that the Revolution would never be complete until the slaves were free.

Also, the same generation that signed the Declaration started the process of abolition by banning the importation of slaves in 1807. Jefferson was President at the time and he urged Congress to pass the law.

America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough.

The Declaration took a major step toward crippling the institution of slavery. It made the argument for the first time about the fundamental rights of all humans which completely undermined slavery. Planting the seeds to end slavery is not nearly commendable enough for leftist critics, but you can't discount the fact that the seeds were planted. It's like they started an expiration clock for slavery by approving the Declaration. Everything that happened almost a century later to end slavery, and then a century after that with the Civil Rights movement, flowed from the principles voiced in the Declaration.

Ironically for a movement that calls itself progressive, it is obsessed with retrying and judging the past over and over. Progressives consider this a better use of time than actually putting past abuses in the rearview and striving not to be defined by ancestral failures.

It can be very constructive to look to the past, but not when it's used to flog each other in the present. Examining history is useful in providing a road map for the future. And America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough. But it's right there, the original, under glass. The ink is fading, but the words won't die — as long as we continue to discuss them.

'Good Morning Texas' gives exclusive preview of Mercury One museum

Screen shot from Good Morning Texas

Mercury One is holding a special exhibition over the 4th of July weekend, using hundreds of artifacts, documents and augmented reality experiences to showcase the history of slavery — including slavery today — and a path forward. Good Morning Texas reporter Paige McCoy Smith went through the exhibit for an exclusive preview with Mercury One's chief operating officer Michael Little on Tuesday.

Watch the video below to see the full preview.

Click here to purchase tickets to the museum (running from July 4 - 7).

Over the weekend, journalist Andy Ngo and several other apparent right-leaning people were brutally beaten by masked-gangs of Antifa protesters in Portland, Oregon. Short for "antifascist," Antifa claims to be fighting for social justice and tolerance — by forcibly and violently silencing anyone with opposing opinions. Ngo, who was kicked, punched, and sprayed with an unknown substance, is currently still in the hospital with a "brain bleed" as a result of the savage attack. Watch the video to get the details from Glenn.