Thursday, March 30, 2017

Editor’s Choice

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Since Donald Trump took his escalator ride to announce his candidacy for President of the United States, the media has been accurate with at least one fact: Trump is a populist.

The concept is great. A leader who looks out for the “ordinary” folks is a leader we could all get behind right?

Eh, not so fast.

Who speaks for the “ordinary” people? More importantly who would a populist President be listening to as the voice of everyday Americans?

How many regular Joe’s have been sitting around that White House conference room table and have they been more than a PR moment for the cameras?

I think you see the point.

The White House has been filled with political strategists and their politicians.

The only Washington outsiders that have the President’s ear are his own daughter and her husband, who sadly have a long history of supporting liberal causes and politicians.

While President Trump may sincerely think he’s looking out for the interests of working class Americans, it would appear that he as lost access to “the little people” who elected him.

Instead, he is being told what the will of the people is through the filter of Paul Ryan, Fox News and his closest, and closeted advisors.

Trump’s support of the American Health Care Act is the primary indicator of what’s going on within his mind.

If you tack on Trump’s wading into Identity Politics at the urging of his daughter and former campaign manager, the picture becomes much more clear:

Trump is a man who wants to make good on his word and is sincere in his desire to serve the interests of all Americans.

The President’s weakness comes from his lack of an ideological foundation. Politically, Trump, while a patriot, has no idea who he is . . .

. . . and that’s where the vultures start picking.

That’s also the fatal flaw of governing by popular opinion – which is nothing new.

Since Ronald Reagan boldly stood behind the podium to nominate Barry GoldWater in 1964, Republicans have been attempting to maintain power through populist compromise rather than standing by principle.

Without principles, you’ll stand for anything . . . and you’ll stand for nothing.

In a modern age where popular interests can be so easily faked and manipulated, the flaw of populist governance without solid principles becomes wildly dangerous to those who are governed.

An industry that wants to influence public policy only has to spend a few million bucks on a Twitter campaign and, voila, a strategist whispers into the President’s ear with a slithering voice, “Misssster Presssident, the people have sssspoken . . .”

You can be rest assured that similar manipulations are occurring each day.

For President Trump to publicly denounce the Freedom Caucus, Freedom Works and the venerable Heritage Foundation (that worked with President Reagan to break the back of the Evil Empire), he is clearly listening to the wrong people.

While the above sounds dire, all is not lost.

For the first time in my career in the world of politics, the people who fervently supported a candidate have not become parrots who will say and do anything that they’re told.

The reaction of Trump supporters when the American Health Care Act came to light, was heartwarming. It was motivating.

For a Trump supporter to stand their ground against RyanCare and President Trump proves that, while Trump may have never built his ideological foundation, his supporters have beliefs built on an unshakable bedrock of granite.

With that and some effort, America can be made great again.

For those who truly know and love Liberty, this is our “rendezvous with destiny.”  Are you in?

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The jig is up.

Under the Obama Administration, Republicans attempted to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) a total of 52 times.

The repeal bills easily passed both the House and the Senate and then were predictably vetoed by President Obama.

Now with a Republican in the White House who would sign any repeal bill put in front of him, Republicans in Congress all of the sudden have no ability to repeal ObamaCare despite controlling both the House and the Senate.

What type of wizadry is going on here?

How did Republicans members of Congress all of the sudden lose the ability to pass a repeal bill after pulling it off 52 different times?

They didn’t.

Establishment Republicans never wanted to repeal ObamaCare.

For the last seven years, they knew that Obama would never sign a repeal bill. They also knew that “Repeal and Replace” was a beautiful wedge issue that could be used for years against Democrats.

Most importantly, the Finance, Health Care and Insurance industries are the GOP’s biggest backers (and the Democrats).

In the 2016 campaign season, the Insurance, Finance and Real Estate sectors contributed a massive $1.1 billion to candidates, parties and outside groups. Of that billion, 55% went to Republicans.

The Health Care Industry piled on another $268 million.

In the House of Representatives alone, candidates raised $554 million in 2016 for their campaigns . . . with the bulk of the funds being raised by incumbents.

In 2016, the Health Care, Insurance and Finance sectors contributed $118 million to House Republicans. That’s 21% of the campaign contributions.

It’s needless to say that if someone donates 21% of your revenue, you’re going to make them happy.

Why else would they be donating?

One question may remain about this industry influence over Congress. That is, do those industries benefit from ObamaCare?

An astounding, YES!

Take a look at the stock price of just about any company in those industries since March of 2010 (when ObamaCare passed).

Amgen (AMGN), which donated $1.5 million in 2016, had a stock price of $60. Today the price stands at $164.

United Health’s (UNH) stock went from $32.91 to $170.

The list goes on and on, and doesn’t even include the corporations who donated through industry associations such as the American Medical Association that donated $1.8 million or the American Hospital Association that also donated $1.8 million.

Paul Ryan and other Establishment Republicans showed their hand in the past weeks by proposing a bill that was nothing more than a reworded version of ObamaCare, while trying to confuse the public about their real intent.

It didn’t work.

Instead, they showed their hand and flat out proved that they never intent to repeal this $1.72 trillion entitlement program.

Angry yet? Comment below.

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Almost four months after the death of a teenage girl, a father in Tennessee is flabbergasted for receiving a bill of $2,970 to replace the guardrail that killed his daughter.

Hannah Eimers, 17, was driving her father’s Volvo S80 on Interstate 75 North on November 01, when her car crossed the median and hit the end of a guardrail. However, instead of deflecting the vehicle, the end of the guardrail impaled the vehicle and the struck the teen in the chest and head, sending her into the back seat. According to a crash report by the Tennessee Highway patrol, the crash killed Hannah instantly.

On Feb 24, Steven Eimers received a letter addressed to his daughter, almost four months after her death. The letter contained a bill of $2,970 as payment for the damage caused to the guardrail.

Just a week before Hannah’s crash, the Tennessee Department of Transportation removed the guardrail end from its list of approved devices because of performance concerns in crashes excess of 62 miles per hour.

What bewilders the distraught father is that the Department of Transportation had the audacity to send a bill to repair a device that is no longer considered safe by the government body itself.

“I’m shocked,” Eimers told a local newspaper. “The audacity. What bothers me is that they’re playing Russian roulette with people’s lives. They know these devices do not perform at high speeds and in situations like my daughter’s accident, but they leave them in place.”

A spokesman for the agency, Mark Nagi, said around 1000 guardrail ends are still on state roads. However, they won’t be used in new projects. Transportation officials will reportedly start accepting bids for a contract to remove most of the existing guardrails at locations where the speed limit exceeds 45 miles per hour. The speed limit where Hannah crashed is reported to be 70mph.

Following media attention, the Tennessee state spokesman, Nagi, clarified in a statement to the press that the bill was sent in error, as a result of a “mistake somewhere in processing.” He further explained that the Eimers family will not be liable to pay for damages and another letter will soon be sent to clarify the incident further.

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Big Bird walks he way onto the chopping block.

With the budget proposal submitted by the Trump Administration, backers of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, National Public Radio, National Endowment for the Arts and PBS are literally freaking out and trying to deceive the public to continue support.

The Corporation of Public Broadcasting defended itself by saying, “The cost of public broadcasting is small, only $1.35 per citizen per year, and the benefits are tangible.”

There we go with fuzzy math.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting receives $445 million a year from the federal government.

Even if we spread that cost across all adults in the United States, the cost is $1.83 per person.

But the reality is that given nearly half of Americans pay no income tax, there are only 122 million taxpayers in the United States.

So the number is actually $3.64 per taxpayer – higher per household.

Big deal right?

It’s only $3.64 a year. That’s a gallon of milk or almost a McDonalds Quarter Pounder.

It’s the cost of a Fast Pass toll.

But let’s really think about that.

If someone were to steal $3.64 out of our wallet, would you shrug your shoulders and say, “eh, it’s just the cost of a gallon of milk.”

No, you wouldn’t. You would be chasing someone down the street.

Stealing $3.64 or even $1.35 from taxpayers to cover the cost of biased reporting and racist programming directed at our children is not just theft, it’s infuriating theft.

Wait, did I just say “racist”?

Yes.

A publically funded organization should at least be representative of America.

Take a minute to google “Sesame Street Cast.”

How many Caucasians do you see over the years? Very, very few.

Watch a few episodes and you’ll notice that the only white kids who are on the show are likely either wearing a helmet or sporting some other type of disability.

Sesame Street is a program designed to force children to think about race. In a supposedly post-racial America (at least up to the election of Barack Obama), Sesame Street, funded with your tax dollars, does nothing more than further racial divides.

For most American taxpayers, I suspect they prefer to keep their $3.64. If America’s non-taxpayers want to keep the alphabet soup of media welfare, they can pony up.

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Who wears the pants?

In 2015, a well-known Christian pastor received a letter from a “judge—a very significant judge in a very significant court.” In this letter the judge lamented, “One of the duties of a judge is to marry people. I am now under government mandate to marry people of the same sex. I cannot do that. I cannot do that.” The pastor, prophetically stated in his sermon, “He will lose his position. Clerks, Christian clerks across the country, who issue marriage licenses, and can’t do that either, are losing their jobs. The takeover is going to be massive. Christian people in high places are going to be replaced by people who will do what this court says you must do.”

Here it is 2017 and the pastor’s warning rings true. This past week the Wyoming Supreme Court publicly censured Judge Ruth Neely for refusing, on religious grounds, to perform same-sex marriages.

Remember Kim Davis? In 2015, the Kentucky clerk did a stint in jail for refusing to perform or authorize marriage licenses of same sex couples—on religious grounds. As The Atlantic reported at the time, “She was just the only one who refused either to perform her job, or quit it. In Texas, Rusk County Clerk Joyce Lewis-Kugle stepped down, as did Live Oak County Clerk Karen Irving. Cleburn County, Arkansas, lost its clerk, as did Grenada County, Mississippi; the clerk’s office in Decatur County, Tennessee, lost its entire staff.”

Kim Davis’ story was updated recently. The ACLU had asked the court to order her pay over $230,000 in legal fees. Federal Magistrate Edward B. Atkins denied their request. He stated since the plaintiffs did not win their case the ACLU was not entitled to the legal fees.

Was this a victory for religious liberty? Was the right to freedom of religious conviction upheld by the courts? Before the question can be answered a little background is in order.

As the result of Davis’ time in jail the law, in Kentucky, was changed. As Breitbart reported, “Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin signed an executive order eliminating the provision requiring a county clerk’s name and title to appear on a state marriage license. The Kentucky General Assembly later made the executive order permanent by an act of the legislature, thus eliminating the point of contention in the ACLU’s lawsuit.” This was the reason the ACLU did not win their case.

A victory for religious liberty? Hardly, simply an executive order by an elected official. What if Matt Bevin was not the governor? Would a Democratic governor have signed a similar order protecting the religious beliefs “objecting clerks?” Has religious liberty now become the plaything of elected officials and the courts?

What has happened to “certain unalienable rights?” Those unalienable rights, granted by the Creator, expressed in the Declaration. What happened to the Bill of Rights? The Rights that protect us from government overreach.

Probably, this is not the last of Kim Davis’ legal troubles.

Now back to Judge Ruth Neely. In their decision to censure her, the court wrote to the effect that Judge Neely shall either perform no marriage ceremonies or she shall perform marriage ceremonies regardless of the couple’s sexual orientation.

Thankfully the Court did not go as far as the Wyoming Commission on Judicial Conduct and Ethics desired. They asked that she be removed from her position.

Interestingly, Judge Neely never refused to perform a same sex marriage, she was never asked too. She simply stated publicly that her religious beliefs prohibited her from performing one. Under oath she testified, “If I ever were to receive a request to perform a same-sex marriage, which has never happened, I would ensure that the couple received the services that they requested by very kindly giving them the names and phone numbers of other magistrates who could perform their wedding.”

Is the pastor correct in his assertion, “Christian people in high places are going to be replaced by people who will do what this court says you must do?” Is the day coming, even in the United States, when practicing Christians will vanish completely from public life?

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Love him or hate him, Stephen Colbert has a knack for turning political flubs into a good chuckle.

Colbert took a shot at White House Council, Kellyanne Conway (also known as Inspector Gadget), after she was caught in an interview explaining how the government is spying on us through “microwaves that turn into cameras.”

In fairness, Conway later went on to explain that she’s not “Inspector Gadget” and isn’t “in the job of having evidence.”

Of course, Colbert went to town on Conway’s latest gaffe.

While it’s clear Conway loves the spotlight, it’s clear that the cameras interfere with her ability to present a respectable and honest image for the President of the United States.

Watch the clip above.

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Right on.

50 Days, or 1,200 hours have passed since the swearing in of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States.

While in any other circumstance with any other human being it would be completely unfair to review a President’s performance at the 50-day mark, but President Trump is no mere mortal.

The man makes the Tasmanian Devil look “low energy.”

And since the billionaire turned president is a man who puts accomplishment first, it’s fair to throw in a quick and honest evaluation.

To back up a bit, when I initially endorsed Donald Trump during the primary, it was not because I thought he was a conservative, or even a man who understands the value of a small government. He is a man who has little understanding of Liberty. That’s undeniable and displayed in his actions since becoming President.

Being a libertarian, why in the heck would I back a man like Trump?

It was an easy decision for me.

First, there was no libertarian candidate on the ballot (don’t get me started on Gary “Let Them Eat Nazi Cake” Johnson), and even if there were, I still would have likely backed Donald Trump.

And I have a very, very good reason for that.

Trump is a modern day Conan the Barbarian. Instead of muscles and a sword, he wields disdain for the Establishment and can strike hard blows through the power of the White House.

When you diminish the power of the Establishment, you put massive cracks in the foundation of the government largess they have built.

In the simplest terms, whether or not it’s his intent, Trump is going to rattle the walls protecting government so much, that others can rush in and do lasting damage.

Time Magazine wrote in their latest edition, “Trump is a Threat to Democracy.”

They meant to say, “Trump is a Threat to Government.”

Yes . . . he . . . is.

Now, on to that 50-day critique.

The Trump Administration moved quickly to disrupt Washington since Day 1. The hiring freeze, travel ban, restarts on pipelines and a focus on industry were no surprise and all what was promised.

However, what happened behind the scenes was not expected by most people in or out of Washington. The government bureaucrats (not just the politicians) fought back.

We refer to them as the Deep State.

They are the government workers that you and I pay for who are protecting their way of life that comes from the massive size, power and expense of the federal government.

They ignored his hiring freeze, leaked any details at all to the press, and even overtly disobeyed him (specifically the acting Attorney General who was fired).

Worse, they decided to put their disdain for Trump above the law and national security, leaking classified material to the press . . . and we now find out that the material may have been collected illegally.

The Deep State has been engaging in Guerrilla Warfare with the President of United States.

We couldn’t ask for more.

You see, Trump is a man with little patience, a quick temper and a long, vindictive memory.

The secrecy and power embedded within the Deep State will have to be dismantled for Trump to end this conflict . . . and if he wins, we’ll all be a bit more safe from our own government.

So how did Trump do in his first 50 Days? Better than we could have ever expected . . . with one exception.

His vocal support for ObamaCare 2.0 shows that he has likely been co-opted by the Republican Establishment.

There is nothing honest about the Republican plan to “Repeal and Replace” ObamaCare as it doesn’t even carry out the first goal to “repeal” the legislation.

Paul Ryan and other big government Republicans have his ear for now.

That’s where we come in.

Trump needs to hear the truth from his own supporters. They cannot fall into the trap of genuflecting to the promise of the President rather holding to his promises to America.

On the issue of ObamaCare 2.0, the calls to “give him time,” or worse the bleat of the sheeple, “let’s trust him” are long gone on this one.

Obligation goes both ways.

Trump has obligations to the American People that are unbreakable, and we have an obligation to hold politicians accountable for their actions.

Donald Trump needs to be reminded that he’s our President, or he runs the risk of becoming a puppet to the GOP Establishment.

So let’s get to it.

Let us know what you think by voting in our poll.

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This is your government.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell went to the media this week to lower expectations about tax reform in 2017, a top goal of the Trump Administration.

Why?

It seems that Congressional Republicans can’t take on more than one thing at a time.

McConnell told Playbook Live that they would have to “wrap up work” on the ObamaCare “repeal” bill before taking a crack at tax reform.

McConnell also said, “All of those discussions are already under way, [but] how do you craft it?”

Given that Senator McConnell has served in the Senate since 1985, the question is bizarre. He and many of his colleagues have literally had decades to ponder tax reform.

And for decades, they have done nothing.

Another reason for the delay on the issue, is that Senators are choosing to take the month of August off. Their recess begins on July 31st and resumes in September.

American businesses however are churning along at a pace that has not been seen in decades. They are operating and investing based upon the promise of a 15% corporate tax rate that has been committed by Donald Trump.

If there is even a hint that tax reform will be a broken promise, the recent stock market gains will turn into a bursting bubble.

[Correction: On January 23, 2017, President Trump stated that the corporate tax rate will now be “anywhere from 15 to 20 percent.” The change in the corporate tax rate followed a raise in his proposed income tax brackets that quietly changed at the end of the election. The top tax rate increased from 25% to 33%. ]

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Con Man Paul Ryan presenting ObamaCare 2.0 to President Trump

Across the country, from the top of the ticket to the bottom of any federal race, Republican politicians promised the repeal of ObamCare.

When they rolled out their plan to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act on Monday, it was clear . . . they lied.

If you read the first page, specifically the first paragraph, you’ll see that the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), “is amended.”

Let me make this clear: this is no repeal of the ObamaCare monstrosity.

In addition to House conservatives, Americans for Prosperity, Liberty Guard, Heritage Action, Freedom Works and the Cato Institute have all come out swinging against the plan.

Cato Scholar Michael Cannon put it best, “The House Republican leadership bill does not replace ObamaCare. It merely applies a new coat of paint to a building that Republicans themselves have already condemned.”

Paul Ryan and his establishment lackeys are not only amending the ACA, they are expanding it by creating more entitlements to the public and the states.

Personally, it is shocking that Paul Ryan could be either this dumb, or this arrogant . . . or worse.

And we know that Ryan isn’t dumb.

While his arrogance is a given, you don’t make moves like this without a Machiavellian purpose.

Please let me explain.

It’s clear that Ryan and Republican leaders have convinced President Trump that this is the right way to go.

How did they do it?

While Donald Trump has many strengths, he was one significant weakness: he chooses not to read.

He admits to making decisions “with very little knowledge other than the knowledge I had, plus the words ‘common sense’.”

Trump has historically relied on hiring good people, and when they don’t do what they say they’ll do, he fires them.

Easy stuff and a known factor with the President.

And Paul Ryan took advantage of that weakness knowing he would not read the new health care bill.

Here’s what likely happened when Trump met with Ryan and other authors of ObamaCare 2.0:

President Trump: Do you have it ready?

Speaker Ryan: Yes Mr. President, and you’re going to love it.

President Trump: Good, good. Will it lower costs, kill ObamaCare taxes and open competition?

Speaker Ryan: Of course Mr. President, we eliminate all ObamaCare taxes and subsidies and the American people will spend less while getting better care.

President Trump: Great job. Let’s get it passed in record time. Just let me know what you need.

Speaker Ryan: Yes, Mr. President [the speaker slinks out of the Oval Office].

When it comes to Washington politics, Trump is a neophyte. And that’s why he was elected. Americans were near the brink of societal breakdown due to their hatred of Washington politicians like Ryan.

And now we see why.

But that’s no excuse for Trump and his team.

He hasn’t just been betrayed by Paul Ryan who clearly lied to him about the contents of this bill, Trump’s staff failed to catch and stop this attempt to undermine Trump’s integrity in the eyes of the American people.

Paul Ryan knew exactly what he was doing. If you watched his press conference announcing the plan, Ryan started out by giving credit to both “President Trump and Vice President Pence” for making this happen.

Slimy Ryan wants this failure to be known as “TrumpCare” and with those too busy to know the difference, it’s working.

President Trump will be best served by tweeting: “Paul Ryan and GOP lied to me about new bill. I demand complete repeal! No more games!”

Then he needs to fire those in his White House who were tasked with vetting this bill along with this spokespeople like Spicer and Conway who failed to do their homework before participating in this con.

Most importantly, Donald Trump cannot forget this and when it comes to the next election cycle, he needs to start campaigning for a clean sweep of Congress.

Please comment below.

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Seriously?!?

After seven years of campaigning to repeal Obamacare, Paul Ryan and his GOP Republicans unveiled their healthcare replacement . . . and Americans should be pissed.

There was a reason this plan was under lock and key for the last week.

Like a unwashed meth head fiending for his next hit, the GOP healthcare bill should have never been released until it was cleaned up.

Here’s a quick recap on “American Health Care Act” (note that these geniuses couldn’t come up with a decent name):

Plays a shell game between subsidies and tax breaks. Insurance providers still get their money at the expense of the working class.

Does not open competition between state lines.

Maintains requirements on preexisting conditions.

Twists the individual mandate penalty to a 30% fine paid to insurance companies for those who drop coverage and then re-enroll.

Gives states $10 billion to expand Medicaid.

Throws a jaw-dropping $100 billion to states to expand services for the “poor” and “sick.”

Keeps a 40% tax on “Cadillac” health care plans.

Grandfathers Obamacare Expansion and . . . get this, allows enrollment in Obamacare for another two years.

On top of all of this, the GOP plan includes Obama’s request for a bailout for insurance companies!

This plan is not “Obamacare Lite” this is, in its worst connotation, RINOCare.

To be fair, the “what’s good about it” question now must be addressed.

What’s good about it?

The best thing about this proposal is that American voters can now wake up from the fantasy that politicians look out for their interests because of a party label.

Politicians on the Hill are looking out for one thing: the lobbying interests of the health care industry.

Health care companies and their investors began popping bottles yesterday as the plan – that they wrote – was revealed.

Two months ago, I was personally told by a source who has made many millions off of Obamacare, “we don’t want anything to change.”

They got their wish.

And to some, it’s no surprise.

Former House Speaker John Boehner, who was collecting a speaking fee for an appearance at a health care conference, told the group of well heeled executives that the repeal and replacement of Obamacare is, “not going to happen.”

He was spot on.

RINOCare maintains Obamacare in its current form, and makes it worse.

By keeping the requirement to provide coverage for preexisting conditions – while backending subsidies in the form of tax breaks, insurance premiums will skyrocket yet again.

Many Americans support preexisting conditions, but it’s wrong headed.

I’ll explain.

My 22-year-old sister-in-law is one of the worst drivers I know. If you take a car, park it in the middle of an empty parking lot and surround it with barricades, she’ll still find a way to hit it.

Imagine if we all had to pay the same auto insurance rates of my sister-in-law?

That’s what happens with preexisting coverage requirements.

That’s why all of us are paying significantly more for health insurance.

The biggest tell from RINOCare is that they didn’t open competition among insurance providers across state lines.

Republicans are for free markets right?

Wrong, Republicans are for winning reelection and that’s about it.

The health care industry DOES NOT WANT competition across state lines. Why would they? They would actually have to offer competitive pricing and spend money on advertising.

Limiting competition is great for the companies that currently have all of the business. It’s a state-by-state monopoly and they love it.

As Bill Walden and other Republicans march from microphone to microphone promoting this trash bill, do not be fooled for a second.

This GOP proposal is the biggest scam they have ever attempted to pass.

Not only is the bill worse than Obamacare, its mere proposal is a betrayal of everything that was promised by these politicians for the last seven years.

And if Donald Trump goes along with it, he will be the biggest betrayer of all.

When politicians have to “get into the weeds” and explain with high complexity why this plan is better, you know they are simply full of crap.

The solution to healthcare is the same as the solution to every other issue out there: Liberty.

As a crusty old activist has said for years, “Liberty is the answer, what’s the question?”

Drop Obamacare, drop regulations on competition, drop employer requirements, and let the industry sort itself out.

If Republicans were to do that, they would never get anther dime or dinner from a health industry lobbyist – but they would finally gain the respect of the American people.

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