- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 4, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Congratulations, House Republicans. You just passed the second-worst socialized medicine bill in American history.

And, if it passes the U.S. Senate, you will own the disaster formerly known as Obamacare — just in time for the 2018 elections.

It will be called “Trumpcare” or “Ryancare” or GOPcare.” And it will still be government-run health care brought to you by the experts at the U.S. Postal Service and Veterans Affairs Department.

To be sure, there are some great aspects of this bill. It makes Obamacare less terrible. It includes Medicare reforms that will save innocent taxpayers and our grandchildren many billions of dollars over future years.

That one part of GOPcare is the first decent thing Congress will have accomplished in the past decade (other than confirming Justice Neil M. Gorsuch).

But will it be worth it?

After all, Republicans have just finally conceded the entire argument against socialized medicine in America. They have officially retreated from the belief that liberty, self-governance and free markets are ultimately the best way to provide the most people with the best health care.

By supporting government-run health care — even if it is a little less government-run than Obamacare — Republicans have, in fact, endorsed government-rationed health care. Remember those evil death panels we used to all be opposed to?

Well, now you are the death panels.

What about politically? Will it be worth the carnage at the polls?

With this, Republicans give up all claims to campaign against Democrats for foisting disastrous Obamacare on the American people.

As usual these days, it was President Trump who had the sharpest and most farsighted political instincts on the whole matter when he said Republicans would be better off just letting Obamacare collapse of its own weight. Then Republicans could win two more elections by blaming Democrats for all the misery they had caused.

But Mr. Trump said it would be wrong to punish voters for the decisions of their terrible politicians. That is true statesmanship.

Watching Republicans in Congress jump on this political grenade reminds me of another time Republicans dutifully lined up for a senseless Kamikaze mission, a trillion-dollar spending bill back in 2011.

Rep. Paul Gosar, Arizona Republican, described the bill as a “crap sandwich.”

Believe it or not, Mr. Gosar described the bill as a “crap sandwich” — by way of explaining why he voted IN FAVOR of the bill.

“You definitely do not want to bite into it, you cannot stand the taste, but you know you have to eat it,” he said in an actual press release issued by his office explaining — again — why he voted FOR the bill.

See, this is the whole problem with Washington. It is the only place in America where someone finds a “crap sandwich” and they feel compelled to vote for it. Then they decide they have to eat it.

Out in actual America, nobody has ever seen a “crap sandwich” because since there is no market for them — nobody is making them. And if ever a “crap sandwich” escaped Washington and wound up in normal America, nobody would pick it up, vote for it or dream of eating it.

Look, I am not a politician and have lived my entire life with the single goal of rendering myself unelectable to any public office. But I have to tell you, I would never vote for a “crap sandwich.”

But the more I look around this place, I start to wonder if we haven’t all been voting for a bunch of “crap sandwiches” for a very long time.

Charles Hurt can be reached at [email protected]; follow him on Twitter via @charleshurt.

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