Oh, we don’t support Obamacare they said. We’ll repeal Obamacare they said. We’ll replace Obamacare with sensible legislation they said. Well, that was prior to the mid-term 2014 election.
This story represents an example of how the GOPe manipulate the electorate into thinking the pea is under the middle shell, while their slight of hand is so experienced the pea isn’t actually under any….
If you don’t enmesh yourself in fully understanding the intricate details of how Washington DC is playing “UniParty” it is almost impossible to keep track of their maneuvers; this too is entirely by design.
As you read this, remember there is no actual federal budget in place. Despite Republicans in control of the House and Senate they never passed a budget for fiscal year 2016 which began October 1st last month. This was/is I.N.T.E.N.T.I.O.N.A.L.
This non-budget SPENDING aspect is critically important to understand because the GOPe forward priorities, which are in full alignment with the White House, are dependent on the electorate not understanding the difference between the budget process, and a process of continuing resolutions.
This cannot be overemphasized – because if you don’t understand the difference, you fall trap to believing there’s an actual pea under a shell. There isn’t !
The last thing Speaker Boehner did was pass a long enough “continuing resolution” to take the spending process all the way through March of 2017. Yes, that is correct, all the way to the next President’s statutorily required (constitutionally required) budget proposal.
In order to extend the spending THAT FAR – it had to be constructed without a debt ceiling limit on how much they could spend. So Boehner removed the ceiling and the House passed the entire scheme.
Continuing resolution, unlimited spending, no ceiling on debt – Got it?
♦ Why was/is that needed? Simple, because the GOPe had, and have, no intention of undermining any spending within existing legislation and/or currently baseline funded programs underway.
In essence, the short version is: every program on the books has the capacity for continued funding without limit. The only action that “COULD” be taken, is “unfunding” by writing a law removing the program. The budgetary process is completely removed – if you want to stop a program, congress would have to take action. If they do nothing, it’s funded.
♦ What that means? Well, example: DACA the illegal and unconstitutional executive amnesty (DHS) program is funded, even while it sits in suspended mode due to Judge Andrew Hanen’s injunction. It would take an act of congress to “unfund” it – if they do nothing, it’s funded. See how that works?
Another example: ObamaCare, the programs (all subsidiary dependent programs) related to ObamaCare are funded. Remember, under the CR there is no upward limit on the spending, there is no debt ceiling – the deficit can expand without boundary. The only way to eliminate any aspect of Obamacare consequence is to “defund” the program. Again, doing nothing, means the program is funded.
That’s two GOPe examples. But wait, it gets better.
Here’s where the tricky GOPe play out a narrative to assist their team. Check this out:
The campaign selling point, also promoted by the Decepticon GOPe, is that Candidate Marco Rubio inserted a rider into a 2014 bill saying all of O-Care’s risk corridor expenditures have to come from existing O-Care budgeting. The obscure but ridiculously expensive program inside O-Care law known as “risk corridors” was designed to shield insurers against losses:
[…] The risk corridors program was designed to be a temporary stopgap against high insurance claims during the first three years of the new federal program.
If an insurer had more expenses than it planned, the federal government would cover the remaining balance using cash collected from companies that paid out fewer claims than expected. (read more)
So Rubio is being praised for a mechanism to block additional funding for “risk corridors”, which are essentially taxpayer funded insurance company bailouts.
Sounds good right?
… Except when you realize; wait, there’s no budget in place to control the spending.
Wait, wha… huh?
Using math I’ll give you an example:
Rubio’s block says you can’t spend more than “X” (let’s say 10%) on risk corridors, without taking the money from another segment of the O-Care pie, say “Y”. However, without a budget there’s nothing to stop O-Care from enlarging the size of the pie pan.
O-care at $1 Trillion means 10% = $100 billion (X).
But if the O-Care risk corridor bailout needs $150 billion all congress needs to do is make top line larger. O-Care becomes $1.5 Trillion, and 10% remains but is now $150 billion (X got bigger).
This is what happens when you don’t have a budget, spending limit, or debt ceiling. Thanks Boehner.
Rubio is being patted on the back with credit for attacking Obamacare, however, it’s an attack in name only. The spending mechanism is always there, because there’s no budgetary process to limit the size of the pie.
It’s a complete falsehood that Rubio is defunding insurance carriers within the risk corridors. It’s phoney baloney.
This phoney “campaign talking point” is clearly evidenced within this recent Omnibus Spending revelation:
[…] According to tax lobbyists and House staffers, the tentative deal now under consideration is being developed by all congressional leaders and the White House. The extenders are likely to be attached to the omnibus budget legislation expected to pass Congress by December 11.
The plan under consideration would also delay the medical device tax in exchange for additional funding for ACA risk corridors, which is a program that allows federal payments to insurers to offset high losses in the initial years of the ACA. (read more)
See how that works?
Meanwhile Rubio can go around campaigning, gnashing his teeth and proclaiming he is trying to block taxpayer funded bailouts of ObamaCare insurance companies….
Do you think a single reporter, pundit or debate moderator would ask him why there’s no federal budget this year?
Nah, me neither.
And they wonder why we support Donald Trump !