"Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of the day, but a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period, and pursued unalterably through every change of (politicians), too plainly prove a deliberate and systematic plan of reducing us all to slavery." -Thomas Jefferson
The problem with the news today is they no longer provide an objective look at what happened. Instead, they provide a biased point of view and then tell you what to think and how to feel about it.
Instead, I'll cover two competing views on Republican Representative Justin Amash's YES vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and allow you to make up your own mind. Haven't read it yet? I'll post it at the bottom of the article in an effort to declutter.
We'll first look at his decision and validate it against our Principle of "Constitutionalism". This allows us to determine whether the new AHCA bill is even valid, legal or constitutional.
The second way to critique Representative Amash's decision and look at his reasoning. We can then determine if the new AHCA incrementally takes us 'Closer to Liberty' or 'Closer to Tyranny'.
Is AHCA even Constitutional?
There is no gray area on this question. The AHCA Bill is either constitutional or it's not. If it's not, Rep Amash took an oath to uphold the constitution and failed by voting YES. A NO vote on an unconstitutional bill is a constitutional vote. A YES vote for an unconstitutional bill is an unconstitutional vote.
The argument from those who uphold this principle of Constitutionality will claim that we even if AHCA is incrementally better than ObamaCare, his vote on a law that violates the Constitution should be an automatic NO.
They would also claim that just because this unconstitutional law is slightly better than the previous unconstitutional law, Libertarians have never been about voting for the lesser of two evils, Quite the opposite.
So is AHCA unconstitutional? Again, I won't tell you what to think but reading more on it should color your favorability (or not) or Rep Amash's vote. No one has ever been able to clearly articulate to me why the Robert's precedent made ObamaCare constitutional so I'm not the guy to give legal advice. Might I suggest a couple great articles:
Is Ryancare’s ‘Lapsed Coverage’ Surcharge Unconstitutional Under Roberts’s Obamacare Precedent?
Why I voted NO on the American Health Care Act - Representative Andy Biggs
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Does AHCA Take us Closer to Liberty or Closer to Tyranny?
Those who support Rep Amash's YES vote because "AHCA is incrementally better than ObamaCare" will typically claim that they are 'realists' in the room. They understand that we won't wake up tomorrow living in a libertarian society with a perfectly Free Market Health Care system. They argue that libertarians have to do what we can, when we can, to reduce the size of government, even if incrementally.
Rep Amash knows that a NO vote doesn't repeal ObamaCare, it's the law of the land. Realistically, he notes, a YES vote can at least get us started in a new direction, one towards Liberty.
This might be true even though I believe AHCA to be a monstrosity of legal code atop another monstrosity of legal code.
The problem is that for for the past seven years, Republicans have run for Congress on a commitment to repeal Obamacare. And now, even though they claim this is it, they are only amending ObamaCare, retooling the subsidies, taking out the individual mandate, and ensuring the government is the one who maintains power of the health care market.
The AHCA is bad politics for the Republicans and bad policy for Amash's name to be tied to. Why risk putting your name on a slightly better turd sandwich than the one you inherited? The one they all got elected on promising to repeal? The one they passed very clear Repeal Legislation on more than 50 times when they knew President Obama would just veto?
It seems to me that allowing the ill-effects of government intervention into the health care market only empowers those calling for Single Payer, a death knell for individual liberty and one that ensures increased scope of government and decreased quality of product.
My principles of Limited Government and Free Markets refuses to support AHCA. Part of me cheers knowing that it's not likely to pass the Senate in it's current form.
This is a tough one. I'd love to hear your thoughts below on whether your support the AHCA because 'at least it's a slightly better turd sandwich' or if you'd prefer a NO vote on it because 'Repeal ObamaCare or NOTHING'.
Would you be happy living with ObamaCare for another few years in an attempt to try to get full repeal? I'm not optimistic that any power given to the government is one that you'll see them give back without a long fight and without multiple electoral consequences for politicians.
Rep Justin Amash's Response
This is not the bill we promised the American people. For the past seven years, Republicans have run for Congress on a commitment to repeal Obamacare. But it is increasingly clear that a bill to repeal Obamacare will not come to the floor in this Congress or in the foreseeable future.
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