Rand Paul is slowly but surely setting himself up as the main opposition to the GOP establishment under the Trump administration. His latest challenge has been attempting to secure a copy of the Republican leadership’s Obamacare replacement bill. While the Kentucky Senator was prevented by armed guards from doing so, a purported copy was apparently leaked to the press shortly afterwards. The bill outlines major policy prescriptions that sound like they came straight from Democratic talking points. As Rand Paul explains above, there are several problems with the GOP establishment’s Obamacare-lite bill that will prevent it from ever earning his vote.
Rand Paul listed three key components of the Republican establishment’s Obamacare replacement that he will not support. First and foremost, the way that this bill handles tax credits is unacceptable. While tax credits are a good idea in principle, they let you keep more of your money, the way that this plan administers them isn’t done properly. Obamacare-lite would give people back money that isn’t theirs. That’s not a tax credit despite the establishment’s desire to label it so. What they’re describing is a subsidy, part of a new entitlement program, and that’s not a conservative idea.
In addition to the massive increase in spending that would entail, the bill keeps a version of the Cadillac tax and the individual mandate. This is simply unacceptable for any Republican who voted to repeal Obamacare. Republicans are supposed to be for cutting taxes and limiting government. Keeping both of those provisions in the replacement bill does the opposite of that. With subsidies, taxes, and the individual mandate, the GOP’s replacement will hardly be any different from what it’s replacing. The bill deserves its Obamacare-lite label.
As Rand Paul said, increasing spending and raising taxes are not what he signed up for and he won’t sign on to legislation that does so. This is a problem for the Republican establishment which won’t be able to get this bill through the Senate without every Republican vote. If Rand Paul can band together with Ted Cruz and Mike Lee they can stop Obamacare-lite from becoming law. The GOP should listen to Rand Paul’s concerns before they make the mistake of forcing this bill through only to see it shot down.