Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul says he’s working on a plan to repeal and replace Obamacare after Donald Trump’s inauguration. And, according to the lawmaker, he has the president-elect’s full blessing.
“I just spoke to @realDonaldTrump and he fully supports my plan to replace Obamacare the same day we repeal it,” Paul tweeted late Friday. “The time to act is now.”
Paul contends that the GOP-controlled Congress must immediately provide a suitable replacement for Obamacare after repealing the law or conservative lawmakers will risk being scapegoated for the healthcare law’s disastrous implosion.
That’s because many Obamacare repeal advocates are hesitant to do away with feel-good aspects of the law, like a provision that bars insurers from denying coverage based on preexisting conditions— but they’re eager to axe the individual mandated.
A partial repeal would simply cause insurers to collapse and, Paul contends, beg Washington for a taxpayer bailout.
Paul wrote in a Friday op-ed: “Obamacare required the brute force of government through the individual mandate to make people buy insurance. If you repeal this mandate but leave in place dictates as to whom may purchase insurance, you create a business model doomed to fail.
“Principled opponents of Obamacare rejected it because we reject the use of state force to mandate that we buy a commercial good from a private seller. Pragmatic opponents want to keep the feel good aspects of Obamacare while cleaving the individual mandate that forces people to buy insurance.”
The Kentucky lawmaker predicts that partial repeal will ultimately win out among his colleagues. But he’s still holding out hope that a full repeal and replace could gain support if it is handled properly.
Paul hasn’t yet offered specific details of his Obamacare replacement plan, but says he plans to incorporate the following four freedoms currently missing from the law:
If Paul and the incoming president are able to work together to enact a freedom-centric Obamacare replacement, would likely prove productive for Trump’s approval ratings.
That’s because, according to the results of a recent Kaiser health poll, Americans are split virtually down the middle in terms of support for a full Obamacare repeal.
“Forty-nine percent of the public think the next Congress should vote to repeal the law compared to 47 percent who say they should not vote to repeal it,” Kaiser reported last week.
Among supporters of repealing the law, a majority said they’d prefer lawmakers to provide a plan for replacement rather than moving forward with the GOP leadership’s current plan to “repeal and delay.”
Kaiser also points out that 62 percent of Americans support federal efforts “guaranteeing a certain level of health coverage and financial help for seniors and lower-income Americans, even if it means more federal health spending and a larger role for the federal government.”
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