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Rand Paul Shames GOP, ‘Keep Obamacare’ While Dems Want to Fix It

By  |  July 13, 2017, 09:56am  |  @stevengberman


Sen. Rand Paul said that the Senate Obamacare bill “does not repeal Obamacare. Not even close.” He blasted the GOP for caving in on campaign promises to tear out Obamacare “root and branch!”

Writing in a Breitbart Op-Ed, the Kentucky senator shamed his fellow Republicans for “promising repeal and instead affirming, keeping, and, in some cases, expanding Obamacare.”

“What a shame,” he concluded.

I won’t link to Breitbart, them being the home and haven of all things in Trump heaven and earth, with Trumpian angels ascending and descending golden ladders of rose-colored journalism. But conveniently, Paul published his op-ed on his senate website.

The Senate Obamacare-lite bill does what the Democrats forgot to do – appropriate billions for Obamacare’s cost-sharing reductions, aka subsidies. Really? Republicans are going to fund Obamacare subsidies that the Democrats forgot to fund?

It is a shame.

Seemingly in response to Paul’s attack on his own party (a well-deserved attack that hopefully will wake some up to the importance of getting this done), Democrats have unveiled their own plan to “fix Obamacare.”

This was written up in Vox, which I reluctantly link to.

Ten House Democrats (tellingly, not including Nancy Pelosi) have floated a plan that includes crating a permanent reinsurance fund to offset costs of “especially expensive patients.”

This program would be expected to reduce premiums, as insurance plans would know they’d get federal help for their highest bills. The Democrats’ proposal would make this a permanent program with $15 billion in annual funding. The idea has found at least some favor with Republicans: This week, the Trump administration gave Alaska the funding it would need to create a state-level version of the program.

It’s got some other bones like a Medicare buy-in for older Americans instead of enrolling in Obamacare plans, and “fixing” some of the rural areas that have no options. That would allow Democrats to reinstate enforcement of the mandate to purchase health insurance.

Remember, that mandate is still in effect, even though Trump’s administration has vowed not to enforce it.

“Some Democrats are fearful to talk about what is wrong with [Obamacare] for fear we’ll be seen as abandoning it,” says Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT), a relatively progressive Democrat who supports Medicare-for-all. But he says now is a moment to talk about fixing Obamacare, and not single-payer. “There is the practical reality that we’ve got a Republican president and a Republican Congress,” he says. “That’s not the opportune moment for Medicare-for-all. We’ve got to defend what we have.”

It’s important for Republicans to do something and not punt this opportunity away.

Trump is sitting around, “waiting” for a bill to “come to my desk.”

“I am sitting in the Oval Office with a pen in hand, waiting for our senators to give it to me,” Trump said in [a Wednesday CBN] interview. “For years, they’ve been talking about repeal-replace, repeal-replace. I think they passed it 61 times … now we have a President that’s waiting to sign it. I have pen in hand so now it means something.”

He will literally sign just about anything placed in front of him that says “Health Care” in the title and can put his name on it. If Republicans won’t supply the document, Democrats would be glad to.