Rand Paul Rips Big Government Republicans’ ‘Obamacare Lite’ Bill
Ever since Obamacare became a reality, I’ve always held that it needed to be repealed but not replaced. In other words, it doesn’t need to be replaced with GOP-branded taxes, regulations, mandates, subsidies, and bailouts. Nothing would change except the name.
However, one type of ‘replacement’ I could agree with is a bill that further removes government intervention into the marketplace. If that’s what conservatives by repeal and replace, then I’d be all for it.
But the GOP leadership’s current replacement bill is really not replacing anything but the name. As Senator Rand Paul explained on Morning Joe, ‘Obamacare Lite’ “keeps subsidies, keeps taxes, actually keeps an individual mandate, and bails out the insurance companies.” No wonder conservatives don’t like it. That’s not an improvement. We don’t want more of the same. We want to drain the swamp, right?
Senator Paul explained that what he has proposed will “legalize freedom and competition.”
“We would get rid of all the mandates, so inexpensive insurance can be sold,” he said. “We would allow health savings accounts to expand – every Republican agrees with that.” According to the Kentucky Senator, his proposal does something that “nobody else is talking about in any of these bills”: “We let individuals join a group or join in an association to get a cheaper price and guaranteed issue through the marketplace, not through mandate.”
President Trump tweeted that he was sure Paul would come around to support the big government Republicans’ legislation.
Yes, Obamacare is a disaster. But it doesn’t need to be replaced with a ‘Republican’ disaster.
Paul is confident that Obamacare lite doesn’t have enough support in the House for it to pass. I hope he’s right.
Ann Coulter on The Sean Hannity Radio Show (3/8/2017) – YouTube
Citizen Of The Planet
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) is calling on House Republicans to withdraw the Obamacare 2.0 bill, the American Health Care Act, that House Speaker Paul Ryan put forward and “start over.”
The strong words from Cotton–including the comparison of the process that Ryan has been pushing to the efforts now House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi used to push Obamacare through back when she was Speaker–come as Ryan has lost considerable support inside the Republican Party when it comes to this legislation.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has been leading an effort along with Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) and the House Freedom Caucus to get Republicans to rethink how they handle this rather rushing through what amounts to Obamacare 2.0. The bill from Ryan keeps the individual mandate but tweaks it so the government no longer collects a tax from those who do not purchase health insurance but insurance companies–with government backing for enforcement–collect a fee from those who do not purchase health insurance.
In addition, the bill keeps the Obamacare Cadillac Tax indefinitely and does not phase out other Obamacare taxes for some time after 2017, and also allows for illegal aliens to access Medicaid expansion funds in states–all while not effectively rolling back the Medicaid expansion, most expert groups say. That’s all on top of the fact that Ryan’s bill does not actually repeal Obamacare, it just amends it slightly–while keeping the same structures that the previous president’s landmark healthcare legislation put in place in the insurance universe.
As Breitbart News has reported, many Republicans party-wide–including House members not in the House Freedom Caucus and Senators from across the party like Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) who says the bill is dead on arrival in the Senate–are lining up against the bill. As many as 70 or more House Republicans, multiple House GOP aides say, are currently against the legislation and want leadership to as Cotton says “start over.”
It remains to be seen what will happen next, but spokespersons for Ryan and for House Ways and Means Committee chair Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX)–another driving force behind the bill–have not responded to requests for comment in response to Cotton’s call for them to “start over” on healthcare.
President Donald Trump and critics of the House plan to replace Obamacare met at the White House on Tuesday, allowing his team to make a case for the bill to skeptical conservative groups.
David McIntosh of Club for Growth, Jim DeMint of Heritage, Tim Phillips of Americans for Prosperity, Adam Brandon of FreedomWorks, Mike Needham of Heritage Action, and Jenny Beth Martin of Tea Party Patriots were all present for the meeting, according to the White House.
White House sources at the meeting speaking to CNN’s Jim Acosta said Trump appeared open to some changes to the bill to make it more appealing to conservatives.
“This is going to be great. You’re going to make it even greater,” Trump said to the groups, according to a source.
The White House appeared open to speeding up a rollback of the current Medicaid expansion to 2018 and delaying some of the changes to the insurance market, Politico said. But the tax credit subsidies for low-income Americans to help purchase health care do not appear to be open for negotiation.
It appears that Trump is not ready to kill the bill Speaker Paul Ryan proposed and put forward a new one, something that some conservatives have begged him to do.
According to Acosta, Trump cautioned conservatives to stop calling the bill “Obamacare Lite,” warning that they were helping Democrats.
But he signaled that if the bill failed, the administration would make Democrats own the impending healthcare crisis, according to Politico.
It’s not the first time that Trump has appeared open to letting Obamacare collapse on its own.
“So the easiest thing would be to let it implode in ’17, and believe me we’d get pretty much whatever we want but it would take a long time,” Trump said in January.