Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has been the main conservative proponent for weeks trying to stop an Obamacare bailout that is being pushed by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and other moderate Republicans. His hard work has paid off with Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) officially announcing that they will reject the Obamacare bailout, ultimately killing the legislation.
“After conferring with trusted experts regarding the latest version of the Consumer Freedom Amendment, I have decided I cannot support the current version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act,” Lee said. “In addition to not repealing all of the Obamacare taxes, it doesn’t go far enough in lowering premiums for middle class families; nor does it create enough free space from the most costly Obamacare regulations.”
“We should not put our stamp of approval on bad policy,” Moran said.
President Donald Trump was a supporter of McConnell’s plan, but was wise to keep himself in the middle of the polarized debate. He recently endorsed Paul’s plan to repeal Obamacare before replacing it, giving Paul a powerful ally in his fight to salvage Republican health care reform efforts.
“Republicans should just REPEAL failing ObamaCare now & work on a new Healthcare Plan that will start from a clean slate. Dems will join in!” Trump wrote in a Tweet published last night.
Senate leadership is listening to Paul and Trump, but the repeal-only bill will have trouble garnering support from moderate Republican senators. Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Susan Collins (R-ME) have already pledged to vote any repeal-only measure down.
“We can’t just hope that we will pass a replacement within the next two years. Repealing without a replacement would create great uncertainty for individuals who rely on the [Affordable Care Act] and cause further turmoil in the insurance markets,” Collins said.
If another senator flips on the repeal-only measure, it fails as well. Unfortunately, it is looking like Obamacare will stay the law of the land with so few GOP senators willing to live up to their oath of office and their rhetoric on the campaign trail last year.