Conservative and Libertarian Members of Congress Come Out Against Republican Establishment Plan to Replace Obamacare

If you read yesterday’s article, Republicans Release Contents of Bill Detailing Repeal and Replacement of Obamacare — Good Luck Knowing Exactly What They Are Doing, and looked at the links provided, you will understand that establishment Republicans are not repealing Obamacare in its entirety.  What they are doing is piece-meal repealing certain aspects of Obamacare, leaving some tenets of the unconstitutional law in place, and adding their flare to the atrocious law while leaving out crucial details of information for Americans to know exactly what they are doing.

As it turns out, conservative and libertarian members of Congress picked up on this charade, as well as did one State governor, and came out to criticize the establishment Republicans for once again betraying the American public by trying to slip “Obamacare Lite” into legislation.

Leading the opposition to this bill is Republican Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky.  Paul argued on Twitter that anything short of a total repeal of Obamacare would be a betrayal of the American public.

Th House leadership plan is Obamacare Lite. It will not pass. Conservarives are not going to take it.#FullRepeal

— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 7, 2017

According to Infowars.com:

“We own repeal. We ran on it. It is our idea. We have to pass it cleanly, now,” Paul said in an op-ed drafted with House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows. “Then we owe the American people a real-old fashioned period of allowing all ideas to be debated and voted on to produce the best product possible.”

For his part, Meadows argued the Obamacare replacement bill “sets a new entitlement, keeps some taxes and doesn’t repeal all of Obamacare.”

“We really need to look at some amendments, to make sure that we get rid of the taxes, we put something on President Obama’s desk a few months ago, and to suggest that what we put on President Trump’s desk sets a new entitlement, keeps some taxes, doesn’t repeal all of Obamacare,” he said during an appearance on Fox News Channel’s Hannity.

“We’ve got to do better, and hopefully, with some amendments, we can do that.”

Appearing on Hannity with Meadows, Texas Representative Louie Gohmert agreed with Meadows’ assessment that the Republican plan created a new entitlement and went so far to argue the plan could “force citizens to pay health care costs for illegal immigrants.”

“We are going to force citizens, it looks like,  to end up paying for people’s health care that are illegally here,” Gohmert said.

Justin Amash (R-MI) simply tweeted “Obamacare 2.0.”

Speaking on WVOM Maine radio, Governor Paul LePage expressed extreme disappointment with the bill and said he was “very, very discouraged.

“Right now, I am very, very discouraged and disappointed with what the House Republicans are introducing,” he said on WVOM Maine radio. “Basically it’s not much better than—in fact, I don’t know, they haven’t scored it yet, so we don’t know what the cost is. But based on what I see and I’m reading and what has happened here in Maine over the last 15 years, I don’t think it’s an improvement.”

Breitbart News reported that conservatives are critical of Speaker Paul Ryan’s repeal and replacement plan, saying it will create “Obamacare Lite.”

Former House Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan says he does not support Ryan’s American Health Care Act. He said, “This is Obamacare by a different form. They’re still keeping the taxes in place and Medicaid expansion, and they’re starting a new entitlement.”

Congressman Dave Brat (R-VA) explained that he would vote against the Obamacare bill in its current form because “The bill maintains many of the federal features including a new entitlement program as well as most of the insurance regulations.” He continued, “Now [they] are saying we’re going to do repeal and replace but the bill does nothing of the sort. [Speaker] Paul Ryan has always said the entire rationale for this bill is to bend the cost curve down, and so far I have seen no evidence that this bill will bring the cost curve down.”

The House Ways and Means Committee, as well as the House Energy and Commerce Committee, will mark up the bill this week. Republican leadership hopes to send the bill to the Senate within three weeks.

A Republican Study Caucus memo stated that: “This is a Republican welfare entitlement. Writing checks to individuals to purchase insurance is, in principle, Obamacare. It does allow more choices for individuals, and is more patient-centered, but is fundamentally grounded on the idea that the federal government should fund insurance purchases.”

Basically, the plan formulated is a slice and dice of the numerous Republican plans floated about two years ago as stated in my article yesterday.

Moreover, no one has mentioned what is to come of the Independent Payment Advisory Board, dubbed the “death panel” that has been responsible for altering American Medical Association preventive/diagnostic screening tools in order to contain costs.  Many of these diagnostic screenings have resulted in lives saved since detection of serious diseases was caught early.  But, no more.  Likewise, the medical device tax or tax on durable medical equipment is not being mentioned at all.  A brief segment on Fox News yesterday featured a “medical expert” who stated that money would be going to research and development which is beneficial for all.  That is as much as I caught going out the door.  This “expert” misses the point that it is an additional tax Americans did not pay before Obamacare and will still pay with the version floated by Republicans.

In reviewing Sen. Paul’s op-ed, he wrote:

Many conservatives have called for Replace bills at the same time as a repeal bill.  A free market replacement bill has been introduced in the Senate and a companion bill endorsed by the House Freedom Caucus. Others have their own plans and ideas.  The White House will no doubt have some ideas as well.

We should debate all of these replacement ideas on the same day we pass Repeal, but we will have to separate the debate into at least two different bills because there is no consensus with leadership on replacement. While the vast majority of Republicans have come out in favor of the principals of our replacement bill, some in leadership have offered starkly different ideas.

Republican leadership wants to keep several variations of ObamaCare:

 1.     Leadership wants to keep ObamaCare-like subsidies to buy insurance but rename them refundable tax credits (families will be given up to $14,000 dollars of other people’s money)

2.  leadership wants to keep the ObamaCare Cadillac tax but rename it a tax on the top 10% of people who have the best insurance.

3.  Leadership wants to keep the individual mandate but instead of mandating a tax penalty to the government they mandate a penalty to the insurance company (can it possibly be Constitutional to mandate a penalty to a private insurance company?)

4.  Leadership wants to keep $100 billion of the insurance company subsidies from ObamaCare but call them “reinsurance”. (Why?  Because insurance companies love guaranteed issue as long as the taxpayer finances it!)

Conservatives don’t want new taxes, new entitlements and an “ObamaCare Lite” bill.  If leadership insists on replacing ObamaCare with ObamaCare-lite, no repeal will pass.

Nobody wants ObamaCare repealed more than we do.  We think the only way to repeal ObamaCare is to separate repeal from replace.

The question many of these Republicans should answer is “why does there need to be a replacement, period?”  If the replacement it a totally free market system without any government interference, it is that type of “replacement” that many American citizens can support.  If, however, that replacement is government controlled, sanctioned, mandated insurance plans, American citizens will not be supportive of being herded like sheep from one fenced corral to another.

Sen. Paul’s op-ed also stated:

 We’ve got ours ready.  We’ve already sponsored the replacement.  We’ll advocate for – a free market plan that would lower cost and increase access for millions of Americans.  The repeal we support has a timeframe to allow the market to work and ensure Americans don’t lose coverage.  We would love to debate it and hear my colleagues’ amendments.

 Just as soon as we pass the real, clean repeal that we promised we would.

We will introduce that this week too.  If anyone tells you there isn’t a plan that can both keep our promises to repeal, and work in a bipartisan, open way for replace, tell them  conservatives have a plan to do just that.  Now let’s hope our leadership will listen, because it is the only way they’re going to get our votes.

To Sen. Paul, I would say this.  It is good to hear that someone in Congress has a plan that would keep the promise to repeal and a replacement that is a free market plan.  So, let’s see it.  Why not put it out there for the public to see?  Before any of the American public touts a plan that anyone in Congress has, regardless of who it is, that plan should be openly produced to the public to review and determine if it truly meets the promise of “free market” without government interference.

To be perfectly honest, Sen. Paul, too many promises have been made by both sides of the aisle for any American to take anyone’s word on it, even yours when you have demonstrated your commitment to upholding the Constitution.  So far, the House Republican leadership has demonstrated a propensity for betraying the American public through this “slight of hand” to push through what can be termed “Ryancare, Republicare or Obamacare Lite.”  Republicans cannot afford to shaft the American public any more.  Democrats were rejected in the 2016 election, meaning the majority of Americans care not if Democrats are on board or not.  Obamacare passed without one single Republican vote.  Repeal certainly can pass without one single Democrat vote.  What Americans are being shown are the previously hidden RINOs now coming out of the closet to appease a portion of the population for votes to maintain control.  That is it in the nutshell.

So, Sen. Paul, I urge you and your colleagues to put forth, in its entirety to include complete transcript of all laws, regulations, acts and codes, the repeal bill that has been formulated to the American public or reputable news agency for review and comment by the public.

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About Suzanne Hamner

Former professional Registered Nurse turned writer; equal opportunity criticizer; politically incorrect conservative;
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