Earlier this week, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell promised a new Obamacare bill would be delivered by tomorrow morning and that a vote would be scheduled for next week. Of course, we've heard that story many times in the past so only time will tell whether there's any truth to it this time. We have our doubts.
But apparently Rand Paul (R-KY), who has just published an op-ed on Breitbart, isn't a fan of what he's hearing about the new bill which he says is more or less a capitulation by Republicans to simply "keep Obamacare."
I miss the old days, when Republicans stood for repealing Obamacare. Republicans across the country and every member of my caucus campaigned on repeal – often declaring they would tear out Obamacare “root and branch!”
The Senate Obamacare bill does not repeal Obamacare. I want to repeat that so everyone realizes why I’ll vote “no” as it stands now:
The Senate Obamacare bill does not repeal Obamacare. Not even close.
Of course, it's not terribly surprising that Paul, the Senate's lone "Libertarian-ish" politician (as he once described himself to a group of Harvard students), is opposed to the Senate's new bill which he says does very little to strip out Obamacare's burdensome regulations, taxes and/or taxpayer-funded subsidies to privately-owned insurance companies.
Now too many Republicans are falling all over themselves to stuff hundreds of billions of taxpayers’ dollars into a bill that doesn’t repeal Obamacare and feeds Big Insurance a huge bailout.
Obamacare regulations? Still here. Taxes? Many still in place, totaling hundreds of billions of dollars.
Insurance company bailouts? Those, too. Remember when Republicans complained about Obamacare’s risk corridors? Remember when we called the corridors nothing more than insurance company bailouts? I remember when one prominent GOP candidate during a presidential debate explicitly called out the Obamacare risk corridors as a bailout to insurance companies. Does anyone else?
Now, the Senate GOP plan being put forward is chock full of insurance bailout money – to the tune of nearly $200 billion. Republicans, present company excluded, now support the idea of lowering your insurance premium by giving a subsidy to the insurance company.
Just like the "Obamacare mandate," which we've argued will undoubtedly be used as a basis to force Americans to buy other products they don't want and/or need in the future all for the benefit of the "greater public good," Paul notes that arbitrarily choosing to subsidize the purchase price of a privately marketed good sets a very dangerous precedent which can be applied to a "limitless" number of products in the future.
Remarkable. If the GOP now supports an insurance stabilization fund to lower insurance prices, maybe they now support a New Car stabilization fund to lower the price of cars. Or maybe the GOP would support an iPhone stabilization fund to lower the price of phones.
The possibilities are limitless once you accept that the federal government should subsidize prices. I remember when Republicans favored the free choice of the marketplace.
As we noted nearly a month ago, Paul is part of a 4-person consortium of conservative Senators, the others being Ted Cruz (TX), Ron Johnson (WI) and Mike Lee (UT), who have vowed to oppose any Senate bill that stops short of fulfilling a promise made to the American public to "repeal Obamacare and lower their health care costs."
I was first elected in the heady days of the Tea Party Tidal Wave, when tens of thousands of citizens gathered on the central city lawn to protest Big Government, Big Debt, and a government takeover of health care.
This citizenry won in four elections. Each time, the GOP establishment told conservatives, “We can’t repeal Obamacare until we have all three branches of government.” Finally, in 2016, that came to pass. Republicans now control all three branches of government.
And . . . the best that is offered is Obamacare-lite: keeping the Obamacare subsidies, keeping some of the Obamacare taxes, creating a giant insurance bailout superfund, and keeping most of the Obamacare regulations.
Shame. Shame on many in the GOP for promising repeal and instead affirming, keeping, and, in some cases, expanding Obamacare. What a shame.
Something tells us that Rand Paul is still a 'no' vote...