The Missing Ingredient in BCRA: Humility

No, the Senate healthcare bill released yesterday does not repeal Obamacare. It doesn’t even significantly reform American healthcare.

It cuts taxes. It bails out insurance companies. It props up Obamacare through the next election. It lays out plans to slow Medicaid spending beginning in 2025, but that probably won’t happen. And it leaves in place the ham-fisted federal regulations that have driven up family health insurance premiums by 140 percent since Obamacare was implemented.

As the bill is currently drafted, I won’t vote for it.

On the other hand, I understand the opportunity Republicans have right now to help Americans get better, more affordable coverage.

That’s why I joined the Senate working group on healthcare reform with an open mind. I knew then, as I know now, that as one of the most conservative Republican Senators, I would have to compromise with the least conservative Republican Senators to get something done. And compromise I have!

At the beginning of this process, I wanted a full repeal of Obamacare. Despite campaigning on that very thing for eight years, my Republican colleagues disagreed.

So then I called for a partial repeal, like we passed in 2015 — and which conservatives were promised by our leaders in January. A partial repeal would at least force Congress to start over on a new system that could work better.

Again, no.

So then I advocated repealing Obamacare’s regulations, which have been the primary drivers of spiking premiums. I repeated this suggestion at every single meeting of the working group, and at every members lunch for several weeks. Yet when the Better Care Reconciliation Act was unveiled yesterday, the core Obamacare regulations were largely untouched.

Far short of “repeal,” the Senate bill keeps the Democrats’ broken system intact, just with less spending on the poor to pay for corporate bailouts and tax cuts. A cynic might say that the BCRA is less a Republican health care bill than a caricature of a Republican health care bill.

Yet, for all that, I have not closed the door on voting for some version of it in the end.

Conservatives have compromised on not repealing, on spending levels, tax credits, subsidies, corporate bailouts, Medicaid, and the Obamacare regulations. That is, on every substantive question in the bill.

Having conceded to my moderate colleagues on all of the above, I now ask only that the bill be amended to include an opt-out provision, for states or even just for individuals.

The reason Americans are divided about health care (like so many issues today) is that we don’t know exactly how to fix it. Politicians hate to admit it, and partisans like to pretend otherwise. But it’s true.

And history teaches us that when we don’t know how to solve a problem, the best thing to do is to experiment. We should test different ideas through a cooperative, bottom-up, trial-and-error process rather than imposing top-down, partisan power-plays that disrupt the lives of hundreds of millions of people at a time.

Eight years ago Democrats created a one-size-fits-all national health care system… and it’s collapsing around us. They couldn’t even make the darn website work!

Why do Republicans — who are supposedly skeptical of government miracle-working — expect our one-size-fits-all scheme to work any better?

The only hope for actually solving the deep, challenging problems in our health care system is to let people try out approaches other than the ones a few dozen politicians thought up inside the D.C. bubble.

And so, for all my frustrations about the process and my disagreements with the substance of BCRA, I would still be willing to vote for it if it allowed states and/or individuals to opt-out of the Obamacare system free-and-clear to experiment with different forms of insurance, benefits packages, and care provision options. Liberal states might try single-payer systems, while conservatives might emphasize health savings accounts. Some people embrace association health plans or so-called “medishare” ministry models. My guess is different approaches will work for different people in different places — like everything else in life.

The only way to find out what does work is to find out what doesn’t. We know the pre-Obamacare system was breaking down. Now we know Obamacare is failing too. I doubt the BCRA system would fare much better, or that the next Pelosi-Sanders-Warren scheme Democrats cook up wouldn’t be even worse.

At some point Washington elites might at least entertain the possibility that we may not have all the answers. I think right now — with President Trump’s shocking upset of the establishment still fresh in our minds — would be a good time for Congress to add a new ingredient to its legislative sausage: a dash of humility.

To win my vote, the Republican health care bill must create a little space for states and individuals to sidestep Washington’s arrogant incompetence, and see if they can do better. Recent history suggests Washington couldn’t possibly do worse.

This article was originally posted on Medium by Senator Mike Lee (R-UT).

On Monday's episode of "The Glenn Beck Radio Program," Glenn opened up about the tragic death of his brother-in-law, Vincent Colonna Jr., who passed away unexpectedly on April 5. He also shared some of the important thoughts and insights he's learned through the grieving process.

"Last Monday, I was sitting in this chair ... the two-minute warning comes and Stu said to me, 'You ready for the show?'' ... And that's when my wife [Tania] came to the door of the studio here at our house and said, 'I...' and she held the phone up. And then she collapsed on the floor in tears," Glenn began. "Tania's brother had passed. To say this was a shock, is an understatement."

Glenn described his brother-in-law as having "a servant's spirit."

"He was always the guy who lit up the room. He was always the guy helping others. He would never stop, because he was always helping others," Glenn said of Vincent. "He was on the school board. He was a little league coach. He was the soccer coach. He helped build the church. He took care of the lawn of the church. He was constantly doing things, raising money for charity, working over here, helping to organize this. But he was never the guy in the spotlight. He was just the guy doing it, and you had no idea how much he had done because he never talked about it.

"We also didn't know how much mental anguish he was in because he never talked about it. And last Monday morning, after spending Easter with the family ... he killed himself. This is now the third family member of mine that has gone through this. And I keep seeing it play out over and over and over again, in exactly the same way."

Glenn described his thoughts as he, Tania, and her family struggled to come to grips with the devastating loss.

"I learned some really important things as I was watching this wake. I'm seeing these people from all walks of life ... the people that were there, were there because [Vince] made a difference in their life. He was a true servant. As I'm watching this, all that kept going through my mind was, 'by their fruits, ye shall know them.' The fruits of his labor were on display. He was a servant all the time. All the time ... he found a way to love everybody.

"There are two great commandments: Love God with all your heart and mind and soul. And love your neighbor. So those two great commandments boil down to: Love truth. Because that's what God is," Glenn said.

"Love thy neighbor. That's where joy comes from. The opposite of joy is despair, and that is the complete absence of hope ... and how do you find joy? You find joy by rooting yourself in the truth. Even if that's a truth you don't want to accept. Accept the truth," he added. "But we have to stop saying that there's nothing we can do. What are we going to do? Well, here's the first thing: stop living a lie."

Watch the video clip below to hear more from Glenn:


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After imprisoning a pastor for refusing to follow COVID-19 restrictions, Canadian officials barricaded his church. And when some church members retaliated by tearing down part of the fence, Canadian Mounties arrived in riot gear.

Rebel News Founder Ezra Levant joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to give his insight on the crazy situation. He described the new, armed police presence surrounding GraceLife Church in Edmonton, Alberta, and how it not only encouraged hundreds of protesters to stand with the church in support but forced congregation members underground to worship as well.

What's happening is eerily similar to what occurs everyday in China, Levant says, and it must stop. Who would have thought this type of tyranny would be so close to home?

Watch the video below to hear Ezra describe the religious persecution taking place in Canada.


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Enough prayers? Why is supposed Catholic Joe Biden suggesting that Congress ought to stop praying for after someone commits acts of gun violence?

On Friday, Stu Burguiere and Pat Gray filled in for Glenn and discussed President Joe Biden's remarks during his speech on gun control. "Enough prayers. Time for some action," Biden said. Stu and Pat were surprised how dismissive Biden appeared to be on the idea of prayer.

Watch the clip to hear more. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.

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Just days after Canadian pastor James Coates was released from prison for refusing to bow to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, several police officers showed up at another church to ensure restrictions were being followed. But Polish pastor Artur Pawlowski of the Cave of Adullam Church in Alberta, Canada, knew his rights, telling the cops not to come back until they had a warrant in hand.

Filling in for Glenn Beck on the radio program this week, Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere played a video of the interaction.

"Please get out. Please get out of this property immediately. Get out!" Pawlowski can be heard yelling at the six officers who entered his church.

"Out! Out! Out! Get out of this property immediately until you come back with a warrant," he continued. "Go out and don't come back. I don't want to talk to you. You Nazis, Gestapo is not allowed here! ... Nazis are not welcome here! Do not come back you Nazi psychopaths. Unbelievable sick, evil people. Intimidating people in a church during the Passover! You Gestapo, Nazi, communist fascists! Don't you dare come back here!"

Watch this clip to see the heated exchange:

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