President Trump’s most recent comments on the GOP attempts to fix our nation’s failing healthcare system are music to conservative ears.
Conservative leaders have for months been arguing that the GOP should simply repeal Obamacare immediately and then write individual bills to deal with the problems that exist in our healthcare industry. Crafting a “comprehensive” healthcare bill that will please all segments of the population is simply impossible and will no doubt end up creating more problems than it solves (just like Obamacare did).
Instead Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Mike Lee (R-UT), and a host of conservative Congressmen have been arguing that if we repeal Obamacare and then write smaller bills to deal with specific problems, we’ll be better able to help as many Americans as possible.
In an early morning tweet on Friday, Trump finally agreed with conservatives and told Congress to simply repeal Obamacare now, and figure out a replacement for it later.
If Republican Senators are unable to pass what they are working on now, they should immediately REPEAL, and then REPLACE at a later date!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 30, 2017
Trump’s mind may have been changed by a recent conversation with Senator Paul.
I have spoken to @realDonaldTrump & Senate leadership about this and agree. Let's keep our word to repeal then work on replacing right away.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) June 30, 2017
On Thursday, Senator Paul told Fox & Friends that he had explained the problem to President Trump and offered a two-part solution whereby Obamacare gets repealed and then GOP moderates and Democrats can add back the provisions they like the most.
“I still sense we’re at impasse, and I said yesterday at lunch with our Republican caucus and everybody kind of laughed because there is still quite a bit of disagreement. There’s basically two factions. There’s conservatives like myself who don’t want new federal programs, we want to repeal Obamacare. And then there’s some of the moderates who kind of want to keep some of Obamacare and they’re not to opposed to new federal government programs.
So what I’ve come up with and I talked to the president yesterday about this is what about dividing the bill in two? Do the repeal, which no Democrat will vote for. Repeal the taxes, repeal the regulations, and do a fix to Medicaid that helps to pay for everything. No Democrats will vote for anything good like that. But Democrats will always vote for spending. So the big government Republicans that want more spending, take the spending and put it in the bill that Democrats will vote for.”
Paul made a similar argument on MSNBC:
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has long been an advocate of straight repeal, but he seems ready to support Senator Paul’s approach as he has been parroting some of Paul’s healthcare talking points.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) wants to allow health insurers to sell plans that do not comply with all of the Obamacare insurance regulations. Cruz argues that selling plans that do not adhere to all of the Obamacare insurance regulations would allow Americans to choose more flexible and affordable healthcare plans.
Sen. Cruz previously wanted to include the House-passed bill’s state waivers to allow for states to sell more affordable health insurance plans. “If we’re going to lower premiums, we have to give consumers flexibility to be able to purchase more affordable plans,” the Texas senator explained. “We have to give states flexibility to innovate to provide creative solutions so that those in need receive better care.”
Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) has also given his seal of approval to Paul’s proposal.
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) concurred with Sen. Paul, arguing that Republicans should endorse a clean repeal of Obamacare. Sasse said in a letter to the White House, “On the current path it looks like Republicans will either fail to pass any meaningful bill at all, or will instead pass a bill that looks to prop up many of the crumbling Obama care structures.”
“We must keep our word. Therefore, if on July 10 we don’t have agreement on a combined repeal and replace plan, we should immediately vote again on H.R. 3762, the December 2015 Obamacare repeal legislation that the Congress passed but President Obama vetoed,” Sasse added.
The conservatives now seem to have President Trump on their side with repealing and THEN replacing Obamacare. Now the question is, can they convince leadership to attempt the Paul model and split the bill into two pieces. If they can, this would, most indubitably be the signature achievement of the Trump era.
Here’s hoping Senator McConnell gets on board the Repeal and Replace train.