Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) recently sat down with Breitbart’s Matthew Boyle to discuss the bill that he calls “Obamacare-Lite” and outlined his reasons why he thinks Republicans should oppose it it.
GOP leadership has long known that their “plan” for dealing with Obamacare would meet stiff resistance in Congress and on Main Street, which is why they did their best to hide the bill until the last moment possible. Now that it’s been made public, opposition has stiffened as conservatives come to terms with the reality that this bill means that Obamacare will likely never be repealed, only retooled to satiate Republican opposition. How is it that the Republican Party, long opposed to socialized medicine, has now seemingly embraced some aspects of socialism? It’s a tremendous change from the way Republicans have been campaigning for the last 5 or 6 years, with their promises of repeal now giving way to simply offering mild adjustments to Obama’s healthcare disaster.
Paul told Boyle that he believes the establishment may be “pulling the wool” over Donald Trump’s eyes to get him to support this horrendous healthcare bill. When Boyle asked the Senator why it was GOP leadership was pushing so hard to pass the bill when so many Republicans were steadfastly against it, Paul replied that he couldn’t explain their reasoning.
[W]hen I’ve spoken with President Trump, I think he agrees with me that we should repeal and replace but I don’t think he’s stuck on that they have to be in the same bill necessarily. [Speaker] Paul Ryan , I think, is selling it to the White House and telling the White House, ‘Oh, it’s a piece of cake, it’s a done deal.’ And I don’t think that’s an accurate depiction of things. I think from the very beginning combining repeal and replace in one bill makes it very hard because we have different ideas on replace. We are pretty much united on repeal, but we have different ideas on replace. If the House leadership had come forward and talked to conservatives beforehand, I think they would have found out there is a lot of disagreement and they would have just passed what we already passed — what everybody voted for — and we also have a debate on the same day on a variety of replacement strategies. We still could do that. And I think if the House Freedom Caucus and the Senate conservatives stay together, I still think that that’s one possible outcome. It would be better for all of us if we separated it out with clean repeal and had replacement as a separate bill.
That opposition that Senator Paul is speaking of is a more than 70-strong contingent of House conservatives who have already announced that they will not vote for this bill, which many of them believe will simply entrench Obamacare in American law and make it nigh impossible to repeal in the future.
The House Freedom Caucus has said that they are united against the bill, and a host of other more moderate Republicans seem ready to fight the bill as well. Boyle spoke to several Congressional aides who work for Republicans not usually aligned with the most conservative GOP members who said that their bosses are all against the bill and just don’t see how Ryan (R-Wisc) plans to move the bill forward.
For his part, Paul explains that there are four major problems with the healthcare bill:
- It creates a new entitlement program.
- It does not handle Obamacare taxes, and even keeps the “Cadillac Tax” in place.
- It keeps Obamacare’s individual mandate, penalizing those who don’t purchase healthcare.
- It keeps Obamacare’s risk corridors in place and just renames them.
Paul also explained that there is a real concern that the bill gives illegal immigrants free access to Medicaid.
Yet, as bleak as things look now, Paul believes it’s too late to toss this bill and move to a full repeal of Obamacare instead. He also believes that as Trump learns more about the bill, and about conservative opposition to the bill, he’ll begin moving toward them in an effort to make a deal that pleases the entire Party and rids the nation of Obamacare forever.
While the GOP may seem fractured now, Paul doesn’t want Republican voters to get too worried because the party is unified on the most important issues we face. The question is whether the Party will still be united once the fight over this new healthcare bill is finished. And, more importantly, will we be free of Obamacare when the dust finally settles?
Cross-posted at Constitution.com