Recent reports coming out of Washington D.C. have indicated that Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is working with the Trump administration on executive orders designed to give healthcare relief to Americans. This has certain commentators on the right accusing Paul of hypocrisy.
“Paul now argues that Trump can create a legislative impact through executive orders. Isn’t that akin to “altering legislation”? Did we amend the Constitution in the last three years in a way that makes this kosher in Paul’s eyes?” Ed Morrissey asked in a Hot Air column.
Paul was the primary opposition to President Barack Obama’s abuse of executive authority while he was in the White House. Back then, Paul claimed to be against executive overreach even if a Republican wielded that unlawful power.
“I’ve been opposed to executive orders, even with Republican presidents… Presidents were never supposed to be able to usurp the Constitution and run roughshod over Congress,” Paul wrote on his Facebook page back in 2013.
Paul’s defenders argue that he is not displaying any hypocrisy due to the nature of this executive order. The executive order he is planning alongside Trump would cut at the heart of centralized control over healthcare, rather than add to the power of the federal government like has been done during previous administrations.
“I believe that President Trump can legalize on his own the ability of individuals to join a group or a health association across state lines and buy insurance,” Paul said.
Still, the detractors are not convinced by Paul’s rationale.
“If the new EO allows insurance companies to avoid the federal coverage mandates as well as the state regulations, it could accelerate the death spiral for individual coverage… If the EO accelerates the process, though, Trump and Republicans will end up shouldering the political blame for it. But at least we will have created the Libertarian Moment of Total Executive Authority, so we’ll have a great legacy to recall in our dotage,” Morrissey said.
While the EO may not be a silver bullet or do enough to solve the litany of problems resulting from Obama, it is still a step in the right direction. It also shows that Paul will embrace pragmatic solutions if it means reducing centralized control and giving more options through the marketplace for the consumer.