The number one thing in Obamacare that Republicans are supposed to be opposed to is the individual mandate. Requiring people to buy insurance and fining them if they don’t was a massive power grab by government. Repealing Obamacare was supposed to eliminate that power, but Paul Ryan’s Obamacare-lite bill – now referred to as Ryancare – doesn’t exactly repeal the individual mandate outright. Instead, Ryancare forces individuals to pay a 30% increase directly to the insurance companies if their coverage lapses. Rand Paul is diametrically opposed to this corporate welfare and has labeled the new individual mandate as a bailout for the insurance industry.
As with the original Obamacare, it’s pretty likely that Ryancare was written at least in part by the insurance companies. Using government to force people to buy a product is the paramount lobbyist achievement. The insurance industry would be willing to spend countless sums defending that crony advantage. They got their way with Ryancare, which replaces the individual mandate “tax” with a provision that allows insurance companies to charge a 30% premium if an individual loses coverage. In other words, citizens are required to maintain health insurance coverage or they’ll be forced to pay a fee to the insurance company. That’s not so different from Obamacare at all except that insurance companies benefit even more.
Of course, this requirement of Ryancare will do nothing to actually lower the cost of healthcare services. Healthcare insurance is the primary driver of increasing prices after all. This is simply due to the fact that healthcare providers know they can get away with charging outrageous prices to insurance companies because the bills will always be paid. No individual would pay ever pay what they charge out of their own pocket. Continuing to require people to buy insurance without addressing actual healthcare costs won’t accomplish anything. Allowing insurance companies to charge this 30% premium is straight corporate welfare. Conservatives like Rand Paul will never support legislation that contains such a corporatist measure.