According to South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is “irretrievably gone” on the GOP healthcare reform bill.
“We’re stuck. We can’t get there from here,” Graham said. “I’m very leery of a healthcare bill passing the Senate that can get through the House. We’ve already lost Rand Paul so we’re down to 51.”
“He’s not going to vote for any bill that has refundable tax credits to help low-income people buy healthcare,” Graham added.
Graham’s conclusion is backed up by Paul’s latest op-ed for Rare, in which he asserts that the GOP should “repeal Obamacare like Republicans promised, not just “fix” it.”
“Proponents of taxing what they consider “excessive” insurance somehow believe they know better than you do how much insurance you need,” Paul said. “Curiously, these same people would likely not be so presumptuous as to assert that consumers are spending too much on iPads, but when it comes to healthcare, all respect for consumer choice or free markets seems to evaporate.”
“I remember in the good old days when Republicans were not in favor of new taxes or new subsidies or dictates on how much insurance a person should buy. But that was a long time ago when the Tea Party stoked the nation’s consciousness, and the GOP rose to capture all three branches of government.”
“I ran at the height of the rising Tea Party movement, and I promised to vote to repeal Obamacare. I didn’t promise to replace it with slightly less Obamacare. I promised to repeal it. Scolds from the House now say we ran on the Ryan plan to replace Obamacare with slightly less Obamacare. Not true!” Paul continued.
“I really think the voters believe we ran on repealing Obamacare. I pledged to replace Obamacare with the freedom to buy inexpensive insurance, to save tax free to help purchase healthcare, and to be free to join a group to get discounted health insurance. I most assuredly did not run on replacing Obamacare with Obamacare-lite.”
Paul wrote that it’s “no wonder” conservatives are disappointed.
“Instead of trying to fix Obamacare, which for all practical purposes is beyond fixing, maybe we should try legalizing exit ramps for people to escape the profoundly dysfunctional Obamacare individual markets,” he continued.
“We should immediately dispel any idea of subsidizing the purchase of insurance. Not one penny of taxpayer dollars should go to insurance companies. These same companies earn $15 billion a year in profit. Why, in heaven’s name, would we subsidize them?”
Paul wrote that he has spoken to President Trump about the issue, specifically with regards to legalizing nationwide buying groups.
“I’ve spoken to President Trump about legalizing nationwide buying groups. Our legal counsel believes that current law allows the Secretary of Labor to do this without new laws.”
“So, instead of letting the unelected swamp at CBO skewer any legislation to alter Obamacare, President Trump could simply, on his own, legalize buying groups that have the potential to offer inexpensive insurance to the 20 million individuals that Obamacare failed to insure.”
“I imagine President Trump surrounded by already existing associations, such as the Chamber, the National Federation of Independent Business, and the American Farm Bureau, announcing that he is legalizing nationwide buying groups—now that’s a concept ALL Republicans could rally around,” Paul concluded.