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Time for Conservatives to Call Talk Radio

Over the weekend it came out that the Senate’s establishment Republican leadership plans to force a vote on Mitch McConnell’s phony Obamacare repeal before the Independence Day recess.

Ted CruzThat means conservatives have – at most – five days to get McConnell’s mess straightened out.

Most of conservative talk radio (that’s pretty much the only kind of talk radio since liberal talk radio went broke from lack of listeners) has focused on criticizing the Democrats for their hypocrisy in trying to save Obamacare when it is going broke and leaving people in state after state with no health insurance carriers.

This was the angle Rush Limbaugh took on Friday when he began a segment with this short monologue:

The coordinated attack on the Senate health care bill. The operative word is “mean.” Every Democrat and media person out there is talking about how “mean” it is and the “meanness” that is in this health care bill.

And Obama has finally surfaced and is joining the public fray in opposing it, calling it nothing more than a giant transfer of wealth once again from the poor to the rich.

Where are the poor getting all of this money that we can take from ’em and give to the rich anyway?

Rush went on the whack the Democrats for painting the GOP health care bill as “mean” a line of attack that President Trump handed them when he tweeted about the House bill declaring it to be “mean.”

What the President meant by that tweet remains completely opaque, and without some context it has certainly proven to be unhelpful to conservatives, such as Senators Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, Ron Johnson and Rand Paul who are trying to negotiate a better bill.

From our perspective, the House bill wasn’t mean – it was incoherent. And the same goes for the Senate bill.

Both bills fail the test of conservative health care reform because they fail to address the real cost drivers of Obamacare – all of the regulations and mandates that defy actuarial standards.

Which is a policy wonkish way of saying as long as those rules are in place insurance companies are losing money on those policies, so they have quit issuing them or have to charge more to break even, let alone make a profit.

None of this seems to be coming out on talk radio or in the establishment Republican punditry – so it’s going to be up to you to call talk radio and write your newspaper letters to the editor to make sure the word gets out to help drive the conversation.

Otherwise one of two things is going to happen.

The first possibility is that the McConnell’s phony Obamacare repeal goes down in flames because conservatives – and some establishment types like Nevada Republican Dean Heller who likes Obamacare and doesn’t want to see it repealed – refuse to support it.

The second possibility is that McConnell moves the bill to the Left to gain Heller’s support and firm-up other establishment types – like Maine Senator Susan Collins and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski – leaving conservatives holding the bag and the political fallout if it fails.

That’s what Paul Ryan tried to do in the House, so the only way to avoid that is to repeat the avalanche of support we conservatives generated for the House Freedom Cause flowing behind the Senate conservatives.

It really shouldn’t be that hard, because the facts and the numbers are on our side.

See our article “Conservatives Oppose McConnell’s Obamacare Bill” for links to analysis of the bill, including a detailed critique by the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

And don’t forget – conservatives moved the House bill to the Right when they weighed-in to support the House Freedom Caucus in its efforts to get a better, more conservative bill on to the House floor where it passed easily.

A primary mover of that effort was Representative Mark Meadows (NC-11), chairman of the House Freedom Caucus.

Meadows, said over the weekend he is prepared to support the Senate bill if it clears that chamber, a sign that quick action to land the legislation on Trump’s desk is possible.

However, Meadows said the Senate version of the bill would need to be amended to allow insurers who sell plans on Obamacare’s insurance exchanges to offer less-expensive plans that do not comply with that law’s coverage requirements.

And those coverage regulations are the primary cost drivers of Obamacare that we talked about earlier.

Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who currently opposes the Senate bill, has offered an amendment along those lines.

According to reporting by Reuters, Meadows also seeks an amendment that would allow some consumers who have private health savings accounts to deduct the cost of insurance premiums from their taxes.

Senate leaders have set a goal of passing the healthcare measure by the end of this week, ahead of the July 4 congressional recess, which would then send it back to the House.

If the Senate passes legislation this week that is palatable to the House, Meadows said it is conceivable the House could pass that version and choose to forgo a formal conference committee that would reconcile the Senate and House bills. That, he said, could result in sending the bill to Trump’s desk for his signature before the recess.

And that’s where you come in.

It’s time to call talk radio and your Senators. The Capitol Switchboard is (1-866-220-0044) tell your Senators to support the Cruz amendment to the Senate health care bill. And then call your favorite talk radio show and tell the host and your fellow listeners that THEY need to get behind the Cruz amendment to the Senate health care bill, get the bill through the Senate and back over to the House, so the Freedom Caucus can push the House to pass it and send it to the President’s desk.

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